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"More Goodies From The $1.99 Bin"

by Eric on August 27, 2007

Various Artists-Payday “Representin‘ The Streets”

In what may have very well also been deemed “The Best Of DJ Premier”, released in 1996 London Records subsidiary Payday/FFRR dropped what would serve as little more than a talent showcase for their hefty roster. Including compositions from East Coast strongholds Group Home, Showbiz & A.G., Jeru The Damaja, Jay-Z, O.C. & a then little known duo from the “D” comprised of Jay Dee (J. Dilla) & Ronnie Cash (Phat Kat) who went by the title of First Down. Also, WC & The Maad Circle seem a little out of place on this compilation with the Ice Cube produced “Home Sick”. I actually picked up “Representin‘ The Streets” on cassette, I may have given it a listen or two before placing it to forever collect dust in my old plastic clothing bin that I picked up from Wal-Mart back in the day. Of course, by the time this hit the streets Jeru’s “Mental Stamina” and “Scientifical Madness” (prod. by Premier, duh!) had already hit their peek when “The Sun Rises In The East” debuted near the summer of 94′ and the same case could also be made for the two Group Home cuts that are featured on the compilation as well (“Sacrifice” & “Tha Realness”). Two more Showbiz & A.G. cuts pop up on “Representin‘….”, the Primo remix of “Next Level” & “Got ThaFlava“. This may be a nice pick up for some of you based on the nostalgia factor of Jay-Z’s “In My Lifetime” remix and First Down’s (J Dilla & Phat Kat) “Front Street”, which was also produced by the late, great Dilla Dawg. Hmmm, I don’t know..would you have let this one slip out of your grasp for a measly $1.99?….-Eric

All City-Metropolis Gold

Released in 1998 on MCA Records All City’s “Metropolis Gold” has always been somewhat of an enigma to me. I mean, taking a look at some of the producers featured on this album (Primo, Pete Rock, EZ Elpee, Ron “Amen Ra” Lawrence, Rockwilder, Clark Kent, etc.) one can nearly salivate at the thought of what a gem “Metropolis Gold” could have been. One theory that I have is that this album was dropped entirely too late and included waaaay to many failed attempts at radio play. Wasn’t “Who Dat” leaked to the streets in something like 1995 (damn, that beat knocked…way too short though). Hell, I can remember it being featured on DJ Cash Money’s “Guess Who’s Coming To Diner” that same year. If you read my “Top 25 Beats” list last week you already know how passionate I am about Primo’s production featured on “The Actual” and the Pete Rock produced “Priceless” is the dope that we’ve come to expect from one of the greatest producers of our era and the choice of the Biggie sample “I want the fuckin‘ fortune like the wheel” elevates the track that much more. Hell, even the Fredro Starr produced (shit, are we ever gonna’ forgive dude for “starring” on Moesha?) “Xtreme” bangs as the funky horn loop and steady bump of the track will no doubt have your head noddin‘. It’s not that emcees Greg Valentine & J Mega aren’t entertaining….it’s just that lyrically they’re really not sayin‘ much. You can even hear a little Mase influence on the piss poor attempt at urban radio play, the Clark Kent produced “Hot Joint” and speaking of “piss poor” go head’ and throw “Live It Up” in that category as well. Hmmm, let’s see….what else? Oh, the V. Black produced “Afta Hourz” is a nice little track that combines elements of both Primo & Pete Rock to formulate an impressive beat that is delivered from a “no name” producer. This album is the yin & the yang of being released on the cusp of a commercialized new era, there are joints that are hard enough and deliver enough mid 90′s boom bap too keep you eager to listen. Although, there are enough “jiggy” attempts to keep you pissed off and throw this album underneath your passenger seat only to never be given another play….-Eric

A.D.O.R.-Shock Frequency

If you don’t own A.D.O.R.’s heavily slept-on “Shock Frequency” then shame on you! While I’ve never been a big fan of A.D.O.R. on the mic some of the production displayed on this album the best that you’ve never heard. Everyone already knows the brilliance of the Pete Rock produced “Let It All Hang Out” (remember the orange and yellow multi-colored cover of the 12″?). As soon as you press play be prepared to be hit with the unmistakable production of Diamond D featured on “The Rush” and Diamond even does the unthinkable and “one ups” himself on “The Kid Is Crazy”. How could one overlook the Peter Phillips productions on “Shock Frequency”? The aforementioned “Let It All Hang Out” is right up there with the “Jump Around” & “Shut Em’ Down” remixes when speaking in terms of quality. For those of you who have been under a rock for the past few months, Dan Love already analyzed the beauty of Pete Rock’s production on “Enter The Center”. Even the breezy production courtesy of Willie Gunz on the album’s title track deserves some serious attention. Funny thing is, every Hastings that I’ve raided
within the last few weeks has had an overabundance of “Shock Frequency” in stock. So if you live near a Hastings, I’d highly recommend skipping on over there and picking up this album, it’s worth every penny!….-Eric

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{ 4 comments }

Dart Adams August 27, 2007 at 8:55 pm

I worked at Tower Records as a manager and I received All City’s “Metropolis Gold” as a promo. I took it out and played it right then and there because “The Anthem”, “The Actual”, and “Priceless” had me geeked (plus the list of producers was bananas!). I was more disapointed than the day I found out that Salt N’ Pepa didn’t write their own rhymes and the day I heard that EPMD broke up. This album pissed me off to the highest possible level of pisstivity.

Thanks for making me remember that day. One.

Krisch August 27, 2007 at 9:02 pm

Seems i can be glad that I only bought the “The Actual”/”Priceless” 12″ back then.

Thanks for the Payday Compilation, didn’t have that R&B joint featuring O.C.

Dan Love August 27, 2007 at 9:40 pm

Easy Eric,

Thanks as always for the link. I always got quite a lot out of Shock Frequency and have exactly the same feelings about Metropolis Gold. I have listened to it in ages for the reasons you state which is a shame because there is no doubt that there are some quality tracks on it. I may have to dust that bad boy off…

Laters,

Dan

theproblemalb August 30, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Song List for payday.

1. Mental Stamina – Jeru The Damaja
2. Next Level – Show& AG (remix)
3. Front Street – First Down
4. Tha Realness – Group Home
5. Give Me A Little More Time – O.C./Gabrielle
6. Got The Flava – Show& AG
7. In My Lifetime – Jay-Z (remix)
8. Sacrifice – Group Home
9. Brooklyn Took It – Jeru The Damaja
10. Home Sick – W.C.& The Maad Circle

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