From Ego Trip’s “Book Of Rap Lists”: “Big Mike shines in his pre-Geto Boys, pre-solo career with an LP of songs like “Fu*k School”, “Woop Her Ass” and “I Love Boning”
From Eric: “Wow, I can sense that today’s post is gonna’ be very interesting already. For one thing, of the three albums that are posted today for W.T.R./Ego Trip’s “20 To Grow On” I’ve only listened to the Odd Squad’s “Fadanuf Fa’ Erybody” before this weekend. Being quite blunt, the Odd Squad’s debut is also the only album that I’m particularly found off. Of course, we’re all familiar with Big Mike and his appearance as Willie D’s “stand in” on the Geto Boys overlooked “reunion” LP “Til’ Death Do Us Part” as well as Mike’s 1994 solo release “Somethin‘ Serious”, but up until I read Ego Trip’s “Book Of Rap Lists” I had no clue that Big Mike along with 3-2 “made up” the Convicts. Also, 3-2 attempted to blaze his own trails releasing a solo album to little fanfare and appearing as a member of the Blac Monks (damn, I actually bought that album….gotta’ dig that out someday) for their 1994 release “Secrets Of The Hidden Temple”. Released in 1991 on the infamous Rap-A-Lot Records this debut follows down the same musical path as Scarface’s “Mr. Scarface Is Back” or the aforementioned Geto Boys album. Heavy on easily identifiable sampling and just enough knock in the trunk to give it that Texas stamp of approval. I’ve always liked Big Mike and I’d heard 3-2 on all those 7 minute plus posse cuts that used to pop up on nearly every Rap A Lot record back in the day (Geto Boys’ “Bring It On”, Odd Squad’s “Came Na’ Get Down” to name a few), but I’ve never really checked for him. It’s hard for me to give this album a “yay” or “nay” simply because counting it’s plays today I’ve only made it through the album three times as a whole, but there are a few tracks that I feel are worth a mention. Once you make it past the “sing songy” intro of “Penitentiary Blues” you will be surprised at the direction the track takes you, with it’s boom bap, bass heavy production you’d swear that this track would almost cater to any East Coast emcee that was spittin‘ in 91′. Also of note, is yet another 7 minute plus posse cut….the Geto Boys featured “1-900-Dial-A-Crook” which almost equates to a Texas style “Speak Ya’ Clout” with it’s beat switches upon every verse laid by each emcee. Still, I don’t know if this album merits it’s “Most Slept On” status that Ego Trip anointed it with. Give “Convicts” a listen and you be the judge”.
From Ego Trip’s “Book Of Rap Lists”: “Pimpin‘ ain’t easy, even when you’re Ice Cube’s protege. Guest appearances from Morris Day to Bootsy Collins couldn’t prevent the album (whose artwork is memorable for it’s backdrop of swimming sperm) from comin‘ up short like an unproductive ho. Fo‘ sho.”
From Eric: “Wow! This pick really blows my mind! I’ve never and I repeat NEVER cared for this album one bit. Maybe it’s my East Coast bias shinin‘ through a little bit, or maybe it’s just K-Dee’s constant references to “Pimpin‘ & Simpin” that tend to become tiresome after the 2nd listen. I mean “slept on”?? No Way! Released on Ice Cube’s Lench Mob Records in 1994 (damn, I thought this came out around 1996?) K-Dee’s “Ass, Gash or Cash” showcased the same production that hindered Ice Cube’s “Lethal Injection”. With Cube producing almost half of the album’s cuts, most of the tracks on the album tend to blend together as the album is as laid back as it gets….which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Although, when the emcee in this case (K-Dee) sounds like a more explicit, less lyrical version of his West Coast predecessor Ahmad nothing really stands out. Out of the 20 albums that Ego Trip defined as “20 To Grow On”, this one seems the most out of place. Even the “Pimpin‘ And Pandering” skits are lame. When it comes to “Pimpin‘ & Hoes” give me AMG’s “Bitch Betta’ Have My Money” or “Ass, Gas Or Cash” any day!!”
From Ego Trip’s “Book Of Rap Lists”: “The only hip hop group to showcase a blind emcee (Rob Quest), Houston’s Odd Squad also featured foul-mouthed emcee/crooner, Devin. Scarface has called “Fadanuf…” the best album ever released on Rap-A-L0. A-ight, then.”
From Eric: Scarface said the best album ever released on Rap-A-Lot….Damn!! You don’t know how relieved I am to finally put in my two cents regarding an album that I actually like today. I initially posted this album when I first started up W.T.R., but you lucky suckas‘ get the remastered version which I picked up last week! I can remember purchasing this album along with Kurious‘ “A Constipated Monkey” (which also, oddly enough is being re-released) during the winter of my Senior Year in High School and let me tell ya’ it was hard to put those two albums down for about a month. Rap-A-Lot’s reign in Hip Hop was similar to the firm hold that Death Row had on the industry (minus all the violence) shortly thereafter. To hear an album like “Fadanuf…” coming from the South’s most notorious record label actually caught me a bit off guard at first. On the Odd Squad’s debut, it’s puzzling to hear East Coast, sample laden rhythms, basslines and “shout outs” to DJ Premier and Showbiz on “Jazz Rendition”. It’s also a “welcome” surprise to hear the echoing horns that back the album’s highlight “Can’t See It”, which finds blind emcee Rob Quest
offering his take on what it’s like bein‘ “the blind emcee”. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Devin…..plain and simple, you just can’t! With sing songy hooks such as “smokin‘ that weed, feelin‘ fine, got me a forty and a phat ass dime” this album is just one big party. Quite frankly, the album’s title couldn’t be more appropriate….for the Odd Squad’s debut is truly “Fadanuf Fa Erybody” (and you cats or lucky enough to get the re-mastered version..must be nice!)