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Ego Trip's 20 To Grow On: "Slept-On Albums For Dat' Ass" Vol.IV (10-12) East Coast Edition

by Eric on September 29, 2007

10. “Vagina Diner”-Akinyele

From Ego Trip’s “Book Of Rap Lists”: “Two tons of boasts, freaky tales and wicked wordplay. Plus, it’s the only complete LP produced by Large Professor outside of Main Source’s “Breaking Atoms”

From Eric: “Am I the only one who remembers The Source hyping Akinyele as “Hip Hop’s next saving grace” back in 1993? Yeah right, like Hip Hop was in desperate need of any “saving” back in those days….my,my,my! Not soon after his appearance on what would become the legendary “Live At The BBQ” (which appeared on Main Source’s CLASSIC debut), Akinyele set forth to stake his claim as part of the “resurrection crew” (Black Moon, Wu, ATCQ, etc), in a valiant attempt to bring back “that ol’ New York Rap” back to NYC…while it was currently chillin’ in the West Coast thanks to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”. Released on Interscope Records with production in it’s entirety by the now legendary Large Professor, Akinyele scored a wonderful debut when compared to most of the freshman releases we’re subjected to nowadays. Although, “Vagina Diner” did fall short of our expectations in 93′. Still, over the years this album has never failed me, packed with an overabundance of metaphors and boasts, Akinyele would have fared very well in today’s underground “battle” circuit where mostly everything is based on an overreliance of punchlines and braggadocio. While Akiniyele is far from a herb lyrically, the constant metaphors do wear thin by album’s end. So how did “Vagina Diner” end up on this list? Simple enough…..Large Professor!! The beats on this album are pure Golden Age boom-bap brought to you by the only notable member of the now defunct Main Source. The album begins with a less than stellar Extra P production with “WorldWide”, of course Large Pro’s “less than stellar” beats far surpassed that of 90% of his peers even then (read: it was no “Looking At The Front Door”, but still decent). Quickly, things turn around with the irresistible “head nod” found courtesy of “Outta State”, which also finds Aktapuss “ready to make papes somewhere other than his place of residence”. For some peculiar reason, the album’s most disturbing track “I Luh Her” has always been the centerpiece of “Vagina Diner” for me. On “I Luh Her”, Akinyele’s disturbing (well..not at the time but nowadays rappin’ about “killin’ babies with coat hangers wouldn’t go over with the public too well) lyrics are virtually subdued by Large Pro’s masterful production yet again. Overall, “Vagina Diner” has always been a fun, lighthearted listen…I mean, c’mon…..Who else would make a song about hating to work out as Aknell did with “Exercixe”??? Plus, other than Main Source’s “Breaking Atoms” and Large Pro’s “The Lp” & “First Class” where else are you gonna’ find an album with beats produced 100% by the legendary Extra P?”….-Eric

11. “Slaughtahouse”-Masta Ace Incorporated (CD Rip)

From Ego Trip’s “Book Of Rap Lists”: “An exceptional concept album that outwitted of Juice Crew fans expecting more rhymin’ with Biz”

From Eric: “Shit, I sure the hell don’t have a clue who’s “sleepin’ on” this Classic sophomore album from the legendary Masta Ace. I’ve always loved this album ever since I purchased it on the strength of the single “Jeep Ass Nigguh” being featured in the Source’s “Sure Shot Singles”. “Slaughtahouse’s” elevation to classic status (I assume) is greatly due to it’s appearance on countless blogs and Hip Hop featured sites that more or less gained the album a cult following (I’ve even seen one very prevalent blogger (who shall remain nameless) give this album the #1 spot on his top albums of all time. Ace totally blindsided the listener (hell, he even flipped the script a bit with “Sittin’ On Chrome” as well) with this very original and brilliant follow up to “Take A Look Around” all the while making a mockery of all the “shoot em’ up” gangsta rappers that attempted to capitalize on the success of reigning “gangsta” heavyweights such as Ice Cube, Ice T, The Geto Boys and N.W.A., but failed miserably. “Slaughtahouse” is a truly timeless album…..a gem, listening to this album today you can’t help but get the feeling that it was so0 far ahead of it’s time it’s ridiculous. The majority of the production on the album was so unlike anything else that hit the streets in 1993, I often hear the word “boom bap” thrown around loosely (shit, I do it my damn self!) but the production courtesy of a vast array of beatmakers such as Uneek, The Bluez Brothers & Masta Ace aka Ace One truly defined “BOOM BAP”. At times Ace’s debut “Take A Look Around” felt a bit light-hearted, not as intimidating, but on “Slaughtahouse” don’t you dare take Ace, Lord Digga or Paula Perry lightly for one minute or you’re bound to be slapped back to reality on tracks such as the incredible “Style Wars” (why didn’t that make my “Top 25 beats”?) and the unscripted rawness of “Boom Bashin”. My absolute crowning moment on “Slaughtahouse” comes courtesy of the track that shares the album’s title. At about the 2 minute mark, after Paula Perry’s warning to all wack emcees…the playfulness of the cut is quickly halted by the rolling drum track and Lord Digga’s repetition of the phrase “Death to the wack emcees, Death to the wack emcees”. “Slaughtahouse” is the perfect opener to the album as Ace makes his intentions to steamroll over all fraudulent emcees clear as day. Okay, here’s were you, the reader comes in….I need a bit of clarification, when I bought “Slaughtahouse” on tape back in 1993 I could have sworn that the album’s finale (the certified classic “Saturday Night Live”) was NOT included on the cassette. Is this indeed true? Okay, here’s part two of my dilemma…..At about the 17 second mark of “Saturday Night Live” you can vaguely hear one of Ace’s homies utter “DJ Premier” just as the scratching commences, shortly thereafter I swear that you can also hear Lord Digga say “DJ Premier” again. Trav from WYDU & I have been dissecting this portion of the track for the last few minutes via InstantMessanger, he says it’s not Primo on the cuts….but, I say it is indeed the better half of GangStarr. Can someone please offer us some clarity on this “argument”. In the meantime….”death to the wack emcees, death to the wack emcees, death to the”……..-Eric

12. “Enigma”-Keith Murray (CD Rip)

From Ego Trip’s “Book Of Rap Lists”: “The most beautifulest thing in this world? Mr. Murray’s second album, jive turkeys!!”

From Eric: “I know, I know….back when this site came to fruition a mere 7 months ago (time flies, huh?) I’d written off Keith’s follow up to his phenomenal debut “The Most Beautifulest Thing In This World” as a “sophomore slump”, boy, I couldn’t have been more wrong (you can’t pick em’ all right). Over the last several months my outlook on “Enigma” has changed drastically, almost forcing me to believe that “Enigma” may actually be a more well-rounded album than his 1994 debut. Released on Jive Records in 1996 the Hip Hop world was introduced to “Enigma” via the first single “The Rhyme” (remember the Jive sampler was packaged in an issue of the source with this single along with a few E-40 cuts on it?), which to I really never cared for (“we keep it jiggy, jiggy, jiggy, jiggay….we keep it wiggy, wiggy, wiggy, wiggay!). While the Ummah helmed remix of “The Rhyme” was a vast improvement to the track, I felt that “The Rhyme” was a poor attempt to capitalize on the same vibe as “The Most Beautifulest..”. Keith Murray’s mentor and pal Erick Sermon of EPMD handled the majority of the production on the album as he did with Keith’s debut, the overall feel of the E Double’s production is very comparative to that of The Ummah & J. Dilla in particular (The Ummah did produce “Dangerous Ground” as well as the aforementioned “The Rhyme” remix). Many of the beats on the album could have doubled as instrumental backdrops for A.T.C.Q’s “Beats, Rhymes & Life” released the same year as “Enigma”. Like I said before, I truly pegged this album wrong…other than “The Most Beautifulest..” no other track on Keith’s rookie effort captured the same feel and essence as tracks like “What A Feelin” (gotta’ love that Total vocal sample, those chicks couldn’t hold a note for shit!!) , “Yeah” (f. Jamal, Redman, Busta & E Double) & the album’s opener “Call My Name” did for me on this impressive second “go round” for this intricate lyricist. I don’t know where my head was at ya’ll this album is niiiiice! While listening to Keith’s unlimited vocabulary (dude, sounds as if he just wrote the lyrics with a thesaurus in his back pocket) is by comparison like listening to Aesop’s Rock “None Shall Pass”, Keith’s always animated and enjoyable nonetheless. Damn, give me “Enigma” all day, everyday……now, we’re subjected to this bullsh*t ass “Rap Murr Phobia”. To hear Keith at his peek, “Enigma” may have very well been Mr. Murray’s last call to greatness”….-Eric

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{ 8 comments }

Tim September 30, 2007 at 9:19 am

I’m a big fan of Keith Murray’s second album, although I’m hard-pressed to decide between that and his first. I love the free-flowing vibe of ‘The Most Beautifullest…’ but I think ‘Enigma’ might just beat it (pun intended) in terms of beats.

Krisch September 30, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Anybody recognized “I Luh Her” uses the same sample as Common’s “Southside”?

Krisch September 30, 2007 at 3:55 pm

I only know there’s a Premo Remix of “Saturday Night Live”, maybe the album version is indeed a remix?

zingama October 1, 2007 at 7:28 am

worldwide sub-par lol thats my favourite track

krisch check fromdabricks for a breakdown on that sample (used for lots of lovin’ remix as well)

pz

Travis October 1, 2007 at 4:42 pm

I stand corrected, when I thought I knew everything about that album there is to know, I found out indeed Primo did the cuts for the album version. Interesting….

turtle October 2, 2007 at 4:21 am

I first heard Akinyele in the fall of 93 and bought the lp shortly after. But I have to admit, I like that lp more today than when I first bought it. At the time, ’93 til Infinity, Midnight Mauraders, De La, Erick Sermon, and eventually the Wu had my attention. That was a good year. Someone mentioned Common’s Southside using the same beat as I Luh Huh. Common also used the beat skit at the end of Bags Packed as the beat for Chapter 13 (Rich Man Vs. Poor Man), one of my favorite tracks from Resurrection.

Infamous October 3, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Enigma is definitely keith murray’s best record IMO,too.
I was kinda shocked when I saw it at the sophmore slump section back then. But I also think it has one of the worst album covers in hip hop history,maybe that’s the reason why nobody really gave it a try..

Spenzalii November 1, 2007 at 9:09 am

Maaaan….

That Vagina Diner was the shit! I copped the cassette when it first came out on the strenth of Extra P and Ak’s verse on Live at the BBQ and bumped it ever since. I managed to find a copy on CD a few years ago and dropped it on my ipod so I could keep the CD in safe keeping (not trying to loose it again!). It pretty much bangs from beginning to end, with only a few missteps (never liked Bags Packed). Checkmate I think was his best showing on that album. That track still sounds raw today.

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