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Ego Trip's 20 To Grow On: "Slept On Albums For Dat Ass" (1-3)

by Eric on September 3, 2007

1. W.C. & The MAAD Circle-”Ain’t A Damn Thang Changed”

From Ego Trip’ “Book Of Rap Lists”: “Before Coolio embarked on his fantastic voyage to the top of the charts, he was Dub C’s first lieutenant in this first rate Cali underground battalion. Things done changed, but this gangsta platter still kicks ass”

Eric: “Released in 1991 on Priority Records WC & his comrades the MAAD Circle (comprised of Coolio, Crazy Toones & Big Gee) delivered what is now considered to be a criminally slept-on West Coast classic. In the same vein as Ice Cube “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted” & “Death Certificate” this album is a sure winner for fans of the noisy Bomb Squad production that carried Cube’s albums to classic status. This album was my “gem” from my monthly binge of CD shopping. I picked this one up on Thursday at a Hastings here in Jacksonville, AR for a mere $5.99, after speaking with Trav & then checking on Amazon.com I was amazed to see that “Ain’t A Damn Thang Changed” is now going for $79.98….used!!! What a steal, huh? Anyway, after glancing at the linear notes for this album, I found it quite interesting that each song listing is basically broken down in a few meaningful words to give you the songs direction and focus. For example, let’s take a glance at the album’s “gem” (and also the most popular cut from the album) “Dress Code”, the linear notes read as follows: “Because W.C. & The MAAD Circle choose not to dress trendy and seek societal approval does not mean that they are villains. If a group has to dress in ways that will associate them with the upper classes in order for them to gain respect then the MAAD Circle will always be underdogs. Step into reality, what you see ain’t always what you get”. Hmmm, coming from the linear notes of an album released in 1991…..16 years later, one may still say “Ain’t A Damn Thang Changed”!! The production on this album does sound a bit dated today, but there’s no denying the funk that rocked trunks from the West to the East Coast on “Ain’t A Damn Thang…..”. Largely in part to Sir Jinx (Ice Cube) this album was filled to the rim with P-Funk samples yet never stagnant or boring with enough bass knocks and familiar breaks to make you wanna’ through them “dubs” up. Check out the “Soul Clap” meets “Humpty Dance” beat showcased on “Behind Close Doors” for a prime example. While it’s kinda’ funny to hear the “pre-”Fantastic Voyage” Coolio ride along with Dub C on the mic, you can’t deny his place in Hip Hop history (hell, I’ve always felt that “It Takes A Thief” was a decent album). As far as primary mic duties are concerned, W.C. holds it down with his commanding voice and gritty social commentary that followed along the same path as the “post-N.W.A.” Cube. While I may not have given this album it’s proper due in the early to mid-90′s (I always prefered the 1995 release on Payday Records “Curb Servin‘”), listening to this album today will allow you to appreciate West Coast Hip Hop just prior to it’s peak in 94″….-Eric

2. Scientifik-”Criminal”

From “Ego Trip’s Book Of Rap Lists”: “A criminally underrated, underground effort featuring production from Diamond D, Buckwild & The RZA. Tragically, the Bostonian was killed in a car accident in 1998.”

Eric: “Man, count me in as a “sleeper”!! I honestly probably never heard of this album until late 2003-early 2004 when I downloaded “Criminal” off of SoulSeek. Even more to my surprise was learning of his inclusion in the “Bulldogs” aka Ed. O.G.’s posse that went along for the ride on early Ed O.G. releases such as “Like Of A Kid In The Ghetto” and “Roxbury 02119″. Someone help me out here, I can’t tell if that’s Scientifik that appears alongside Ed O.G. on the cover art for “Roxbury….” or not. Anyway, supposedly released on the Definite label imprint in 1994 “Criminal” has become somewhat of a myth and has been hyped to monstrous proportions due to in large part to it’s all-star production cast. Hmmm, “Ego Trip” states that Scientifik died in a car accident in 1998, but I also recall reading somewhere recently that he shot his wife/girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself. Don’t ask me, I’m just judging by hearsay. Sadly, this album has basically been subjected to download based on the limited distribution of the album (if there was any at all). Although, “Criminal” was actually re-released by Traffic Entertainment Group in 2006….the dude who I imagine would really be able to hip you to the saga of Scientifik would almost have to be fellow Bostonian Dart Adams @ Poisonous Paragraphs (Dart, that loading time on your page is killin‘ me dude!!!). I would consider “Criminal” to be “slept-on” no doubt…but, the album at 10 tracks deep is nowhere near “classic” status. I’d give it a solid 7/10 no more, no less. The Jeru sampled “Jungles Of Da‘ East” is hard not to like with it’s soulful yet bouncy production that would’ve no doubt rocked mixtapes up and down the East Coast border had the album received it’s proper due in 94′. The Diamond D assisted “I Got Planz” is another banger that leans to Diamond’s quality production featured on “Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop” rather than his lazy production from his follow-up “Hatred, Passions & Infedility“. All in all, I’ve enjoyed this album enough to purchase it which speaks volumes about this overlooked release from yet another emcee that left us way to soon”….-Eric

3. Milk-”Never Dated”

From “Ego Trip’s Book Of Rap Lists”: “Shrill Audio Two frontman Milk Dee goes solo with inc

redible, ear-shattering results. Timeless moment: a special guest appearance on “Spam” from Beastie Boy Adrock.”

Eric: Incredible? Ear-shattering? Timeless? Man, I don’t know, but those are three words that I’d never associate with Milk Dee’s 1994 release on American. Yes, I’ll admit I’ve never been an Audio Two fan. Yes, I recognize “Top Billin” for it’s creative genius (the beat came was created from an ill-fated attempt at sampling The Honeydrippers‘ “Impeach The President”). Yes, I recognize what Audio Two and the whole First Priority has brought to Hip Hop, but man…. for Ego Trip to state that “Never Dated” is “slept-on” or even better yet “one to grow on”? I have to strongly disagree!! I did actually buy this album or what some may call EP. Hell, I actually bought it twice and Mike Dikk @ Dumpin.Net got hooked up with the other copy for lacing me with my header artwork. In all honesty, each time I attempt to give “Never Dated” a thorough listen, I just can’t make it to the album’s finish. It just becomes more and more unbearable and aggravating each time. For one thing, the album was released in 1994 the year that brought us “Illmatic“, “The Main Ingredient”, “Ready To Die” and Outkast’s debut to name a few, so that’s strike one. Milk, whose voice as always been super-annoying to me, doesn’t attempt to actually “bring it to 1994″ choosing rather to get by with his basic, “let’s see how loud I can yell in to the mic” style just doesn’t work….period!! Who knows, but peep at some of the track titles for a clue: “Get Off My Log”, “Laid & Paid”, “Rude & Cocky”, “Ask Me How Thick”, and it don’t stop…. For “Ego Trip” to even label “Never Dated” a listening expirence blows my mind! This is coming from someone who has always had an open ear for anything in Hip Hop, but this one is just lame….-Eric

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{ 14 comments }

Anonymous September 3, 2007 at 7:57 pm

Props on the post, the Aint a damn thing changed link is dead.

Travis September 3, 2007 at 7:59 pm

I know you just didn’t slam Milk D, I KNOW you just didn’t slam Milk D….man oh man….

Milk is loud and obnoxious and it’s GREAT!!! It’s what Hip-Hop is built off of, cockiness with a swagger…I love the album, it’s always been a favorite of mine.

Eric, Eric….man..I…I…fuck it….

Big Fonz September 3, 2007 at 9:20 pm

^^^^^ I knew Trav was gonna throw a fit. Hahaha!

Travis September 3, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Yeah, I think I had a hemorrhage when I read that….

Jeff September 4, 2007 at 2:00 am

You’ve done it, you’ve finally driven me to delurk and post something. That Milk EP’s a classic, two or three tracks off it stay on my iPod at ALL times. YOU ARE OFFICIALLY OUT YOUR MIND!

All this recent “I Get Money” shit really makes me want to hear more from Milk Dee.

(But keep up the good work, overall, nice posts and all that.)

Eric September 4, 2007 at 2:55 am

@jeff…man, there’s no way to explain it…that dude (Milk) has always irritated me….just my opinion….if I sat here and told you every album was great, would I be giving you my honest opinion?

Travis September 4, 2007 at 2:56 am

What Jeff said!!!!

hahaha

Phantom Foetus September 4, 2007 at 5:33 am

I… I… I gotta post…?…!

Damn, I thought I was through. But now y’all drug me back into the game. (Has that ever been a theme for a movie? Shit. I should do some research. Become a director or some shit).

Milk D never really got his props in the first place. So why try to bring a good man down? I mean, this is some good, well-produced, light-hearted shit.

Nowadays, everybody has to go back and review golden age artists (even though this isn’t a golden-age album) through some ill-fated thuggish rose-blud colored glasses. Come on!

You do a great job at keeping things relative. But to dis (yep) Milk D like that… Damn. I’d give you a pass if you were really that hardcore on it… damn.

I dunno. Great site though. Keep up the good (and underappreciated) work.

Travis September 5, 2007 at 12:05 am

^^Well said…(at Eric) How you like dem apples???

Eric September 5, 2007 at 1:37 am

@trav…….whaddya’ want me to say, I like the album today???

Travis September 5, 2007 at 6:14 am

hahaha, no, that you have no taste and Milk is the man!!!!

Drew Huge September 7, 2007 at 9:49 am

Each to their own, but this joint knocks most of the other stuff off the list. Lots of nice limited stuff around this as well – the yellow vinyl ‘Spoiled Milk’ Ep, the white vinyl version, the Jazzyfatnastees remix. A nerd’s dream.

BRANDONIAN 'the talking head September 8, 2007 at 12:21 am

kickin madd flava in ya earzzz
..i thought pdiddy did the production on that track?

rag September 9, 2007 at 6:29 am

Sir Jinx is a genius.

thanks for reading.

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