If I had your link up at one time but you don’t see, give me a day or so, I have to manually import the links back in again by hand. Giving up on it for tonight.
Once again, Eric and I sit down and talk about some albums. This week its the new Cunninlynguists LP, which I’ve been waiting for all year. The second one is a blast from the past in the form of Schoolly D’s “Am I Black Enough For You”. After all, we are both old school heads, so its only natural we talk about some of lost favorites. Enjoy.
Eric: “Dirty Acres”…hmmm, that’s an interesting title for an album
Trav: Dirty south, forty acres and a mule kind of thing? Not sure, might be a lame interview question, but I might have to ask Kno, if I hook that interview up next week.
Eric: Who is the dude on the intro droppin’ knowledge? Isn’t that the same cat who was politicin’ at the begining of Outkast’s “13th Floor/Growin’ Old” from “ATLiens”….”, ” ’96 gon’ be that year….ye..ye….year”
Trav: Not sure, it might be one of the Dungeon Family cats…or I know Deacon does some singing
Eric: For a minute I thought it may have been Witchdoctor. You now he’s droppin’ an album on Cunnin’s label, supposed to be produced entirely by Kno.
Trav: Yeah, heard that. I’m going to have to go back and listen to some of his music. I never got into it for some reason.
Eric: He’s been gettin’ some pub lately. Ill Poetic posted a joint from “A.S.W.A.T.” on his top 25 beats…that’s actually a fairly overlooked album that contains it’s fair share of dope content and beats.
Trav: I know fans of Dungeon Family generally like him and the album, and I’ve always liked the Dungeon Family. Don’t know why I never got it.
Eric: Dude, according to my Itunes I’ve listened to “Wonderful” (f. Devin) 78 times since I downloaded the advance Thursday morning. Wifey became nauseous on our vacation this weekend, I must’ve had it on repeat for two hours straight…..hands down, my favorite track this year…hands down!!
Trav: I’ve gotten into that track pretty hard myself last night and today. The beat is kind of cliche-ish, but it really grows on you. I had 28 plays for “Yellow Lines” and that was just on Last FM…probably another 25 on the headphones
Eric: Yeah, the whole “sped up” sample thing could fall under “cliche” but when that drawn out “ooooh yeahhhh” pops in at the break..shit, gives me goosebumps…..Devin said “starin’ at you at the club for an hour and a half, and it smells like you just took a shower and a bath”…dude is sick!!!
Trav: Yeah, Devin’s verse is kind of the highlight on that track.
Eric:“Yellow Lines” is just plain haunting…Phonte quite possibly spits not only the best verse on the song, but maybe the album. “I put a spell on dem’ hoes, forgive me lord but I’m hell on dem’ hoes”…classic!
Trav: “…we grown folk, let me long stroke” Yeah, that and the “I cordially invite you to come take a ride on my thoughts switch memory lanes while we dream and wanderin’ and in return I strip my inhibitions and go skinny dippin’ in your stream of consciousness”…that whole verse is just sick. It kind of sings to me as of late with some personal stuff going on. I love that track.
Eric: How fitting is “Summer’s Gone” for this time of the year???
Trav: It’s too damn short!!! Both the song and the season. But yes, I played that often last Saturday. Where is that sample from, I should know.
Eric: I honestly have no clue….but, “The Park” is perfect for the season as well. That’s a real nice four song sequence..”Wonderful”, “Yellow Lines”, “The Park” and “Summer’s Gone”.
Eric: Yeah, my sentiments exactly….musically the production is exceptional, Kno’s beats on this album had me dl’in everything dude blessed prior to “A.P.O.S.”
Trav: I’ve been a fan of Cunninlynguists since back in the day I asked for people to fill me in about them on UGHH.com and Kno himself told me to buy “Will Rap For Food” and if I didn’t like it, he’d personally refund me. Needless to say, I never asked for that refund. This album kind of played like APOS for me in terms it took me a bit to get warmed up to it, but once I did, All I’ll say is this will be in my headphones non stop for a while.
Eric: What about Deacon & Natti, those cats are pretty original and talented. They really are sayin’ somethin’ on this album. At times it’s hard for an emcee to capture my attention throughout the bulk of an album..these cats are simple yet complex and thought provoking. I wasn’t a big fan of Kno on the M-I-C though.
Trav: Kno admits that he isn’t much of an MC, and he only shows up on two tracks. He’s tailed off on the MC tip since the first two releases. Deacon and Natti are both nice, although the voices and styles are fairly similar
Eric: yeah, I had a helluva’ time differentiatin
g the two….shit, I can’t even lie I thought Cunnin was just Deacon & Kno….even on “APOS”…that’s pretty bad, huh?
Trav: You can tell them apart by vocal tone and flow. They make some fun of that on their “Sloppy Seconds 2″ mixtape.
Eric: So, “Album Of The Year”??
Trav: I won’t say that yet. But it could be in the running for it when its all said and done. Top Five right now for me. I’m going to look like a big time dick rider if I give it to them two years in a row, but I just love this shit.
Eric: Shit, I have no reservations stating that this album just slid past “Below The Heavens”, it’s much better than “Bayani”….Ill Poetic’s “The World Is Ours” better watch out….”Dirty Acres” is no joke!! I love this shit too! It’s solid from all aspects, no matter how you look at it, it’s very difficult to find a weakness on “Dirty Acres”….9/10…fa’ sho’
Trav: Brave, for sure. It’s still growing on me. I’m not going to jump out there quick on it yet. Like I said it’s taking the same path APOS did for me. It took me about a month to really “get” APOS. This album is going faster since I’m playing it more often and kind of laid of checking out a lot other things since this dropped.
Eric: Remember how Clipse’s “Hell Hath No Fury” and Ghostface’s “Fishscale” were Blender’s & Rolling Stone’s “Million Dollar Babies” on there year end list for 2006. You heard it here first…”Dirty Acres” will be that album at the end of this year….I can see it already, these cats are gonna’ get the attention they deserve.
Trav: Not sure about that, I’m not sure they will get heard like that, they aren’t exactly the media darlings that Clipse and Ghost are. If APOS didn’t do it, not sure if this will either.
Eric: I don’t know, I read somewhere (I wish I could find it) that these cats are the best thing since Outkast..pretty heavy stuff, huh?
Trav: They’ve been compared to Outkast for awhile now, which I think is why some people knock them. I never really saw a huge link there, but I guess there is worst things to be compared to.
Eric: What would you tidy up on the album if you had to?
Trav: The only beef I have so far with the album is that there is no “banger”, no “uptempo” joint. Most of songs are of similar BPM’s. There is no “Hell Fire” or “Old School” from previous albums to switch things up a bit.
Eric: “Wonderful”? I’m telling you, that’s the 2007 “Around The Way Girl” baby!!
Trav: Its a great song, but its still not that uptempo joint that I think the album could use
Eric: Hmmm, I can see your point…I was gonna’ suggest “Valley Of Death” but that’s a pretty mid-tempo joint as well
Trav: not a big beef, but I kind of missed that this time around. I loved “Hellfire” last year and the way it was placed on the album.
Eric: Yeah, “Hellfire” knocked for dayzzzzz. Nevertheless, I have a feelin’ that when it’s all said and done this will be your favorite from 2007 along with many other Hip Hop heads out there
Trav: You could be right….a good album. Looking forward to seeing them in concert in a couple weeks and possibly sitting down with Kno and kick it.
Eric: Word? I heard dude on a DJ Hyphen mixshow that I downloaded from Hyphen’s MySpace…dude seemed kinda’ chill
Trav: He was cool about returning my request for an interview. Should be good. I’ll be picking this up the day it comes out.
Eric: Ditto……great stuff from a group who has really put Kentucky on the map. Speakin’ of Kentucky, shout out to “Have A Nice Day Cafe” (saw Run DMC perform there once, place was CRAZY!!!)
Schoolly D – Am I Black Enough For You?
Trav: I got my 40oz, got my greasy ass double cheeseburger, lets talk some Schoolly D.
Eric: Damn, I listened to this album a few times this week prepping for our review…for some odd reason when I picked this album up in 89′ I recalled the production being somewhat “advanced” at the time…not so sure today…but damn, this album is the SHIT!!
Trav: It was advanced for Schoolly at the time who lived off of 808′s, but this has always been my favorite Schoolly album. I love this fuckin’ album.
Eric: Oooooh! This is my ONLY Schoolly album (with the exception of “Welcome To America”, which I recently picked up for .99)
Trav: I’ve beena big fan of Schoolly since first hearing “I Don’t Like Rock N’ Roll” and some corny ass video where he was wrestling “long haired faggots”….the dude is a legend. There is some dope shit on here. Jimi? Dope.
Eric: I’ve always been partial to Schoolly (being from Philly) myself, but I never really checked for any of his work after “Am I..” which was one of my first Hip Hop purchases. Matter of fact, I picked up it along with 2 Black 2 Strong’s “Burn Baby Burn” EP….talk about an eye-opener for a country ass white kid!!!
Trav: Yeah, “Smoke Some Kill” and “Am I Black Enough” both scared the fuck out of my fragile little 17 year old mind or however old I was at the time. I remember playing “Pussy Ain’t Nothin” constantly. Thats how I learned who Jimi Hendrix was, believe it or not.
Eric:< /span> HaHa, I was about to say…..Luke didn’t have shit on “Pussy Ain’t Nothin’, that Hendrix riff is killer and the beat is just “hard as hell”. “Who’s Schoolin’ Who?” has always been my favorite track on the album. It’s funny looking back at it now…listening to Schoolly’s vocals laid over these banging tracks. I just conjure up images of Schoolly locked up in some basement in Philly with Pabst Blue Ribbon cans and blunts spread all across the cold basement floor, spittin’ lyrics in a plywood booth soundproofed by egg cartons. Shit just sounds crazy raw.
Trav: There are so many classic cuts on this, and yes, your right, shit is just raw as fuck, “D is For” was one of my favorites as well. Schoolly sounded so pissed, but in control like he could murk when ever the fuck he wanted.
Eric: Tell me the production on “Gangster Boogie” doesn’t sound like some Eric B & Ra shit. I’ve always liked the danceable (err….as danceable as a Schoolly D cut is ) tracks on the album like the aforementioned “Who’s Schoolin’….” as well as “Mama Feel Good” …..Schoolly spits..”two seconds later cole’ popped a hardie”.
Trav: Schoolly used the James Brown samples fairly liberally on this, but he hooked up on this. “Gangster Boogie”, “Gucci Again” and the track that first alerted me to this album “Living In A Jungle”, which at the time was SO different than anything Schoolly had done.
Eric: Who’s that on the cover with Schooly? Is that Code Money? Did you also notice that the legendary Joe “The Butcher” mixed “Am I Black Enough? Oh, and tell me this pic doesn’t bring back mad memories http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?what=R&obid=815457
Trav: Yeah, thats Code Money. Joe The Butcher is deep in early Philly lore. This tape was in my little Jetta non-stop for a year at least. All my non-hip hop friends knew who Schoolly was and liked him, because of this album. But it also kind of made me become conscious of the Black struggle, kind of in the same way PE and KRS did actually, which is weird to say.
Eric: I acutally purchased this album not soon after “It Takes A Nations Of Millions”. My folks didn’t know what the hell is goin’ on with me. Here I am, this 12 year old kid ridin’ my 10 speed to my grandfather’s farm to help with the dairy cattle…blastin’ “Am I Black Enough For You” out of my little ass walkman (Fast Forward only fool) with a screen printed PE t-shirt on with ironed-on logos from EPMD & Wreckx N Effect (yeah, “New Jack Swing” was my shit when it dropped) on the back. And two year old work boots piled with cow shit on my feet. Talkin’ about the music reaching every demographic!!
Trav: How did you get hipped to Schoolly then?
Eric: That’s a damn good question. I know it wasn’t the Source, maybe RapPages. Or it could have been the fact that the album was released on Jive….back when everything they dropped was the shit, they were a pretty significant label back in the late 80′s -early 90′s
Trav: Yeah they were, thats crazy how some of this music reached us back then. Like I said, I had purchased “Smoke Some Kill” when it dropped. If you can find one of his first 5 albums, they are going for some money these days. This is the cheapest at almost 40 bucks. I still have my tape, but I’m wanting this on CD one of these days.
Eric: Damn, that would be a nice find….I sorta’ have some reservations about listening to “Welcome To America”, I think I want to remember Schoolly like Jordan goin’ out with the jumper over Bryon Russell in the finals against the Jazz. I’m fearful that “Welcome To America” will tarnish Schoolly’s legacy in my eyes. Any suggestions??
Trav: To me, “Welcome To America” is where it starts to drop off and the last Schoolly album I own. It’s not bad, but its not as good as his first five albums. Any of the first four Schoolly LP’s you cant lose with “Schoolly D”, “Saturday Night” (which might be his best, but I like “Am I…” too much), “Smoke Some Kill”, this of course and “How A Black Man Feels” (which is a slight let down after this album. His downfall though was he failed to keep up with the changing game.
Eric: I can sense that would be the case with Schoolly, he’s like one of those old dudes that you play pick up ball with, who try to back you down in the blocks everytime they touch the rock and your like “Gotdamn! How bout 3 seconds Muhfucka!” I don’t see him even “wanting” to adapt to the changes around him that occured in Hip Hop.
Trav: He did a good job changing up from “Smoke Some Kill” to “Am I Black Enough For You”, I mean after all, Afrocentricity was the thing at the time and the production is much more advanced than the 808 drum machine he used before, but yeah, he didn’t age well. To be honest though, I’ve never heard any of his other stuff after “Welcome To America” probably for the same reason as you, I didn’t want it to tarnish his legacy. Changing record labels might have had something to do with it all as well.
Eric: You had to love this album though, I don’t care who you are! You think we should post a link for the kiddies to snatch up some good ol’ Philly funk??
|2||Gangster Boogie (4:06)|
|3||It’s Like Dope (3:46)|
|4||D. Is For (3:47)|
|6||Gucci Again (3:42)|
|7||Pussy Ain’t Nothin’ (3:04)|
|8||Black Attack (0:40)|
|9||Who’s Schoolin’ Who? (3:17)|
|10||Mama Feel Good (3:30)|
|11||Get Off Your Ass And Get Involved (1:53)|
|12||Education Of A Black Man (2:29)|
|13||Black Education (1:03)|
|14||Livin’ In The Jungle (3:34)|
|15||Black Jesus (3:50)|
|16||Super Nigger (1:53)|
|17||Am I Black Enough For You? (4:24)|
|18||Don’t Call Me Nigger (3:36)|
|19||Black Power (1:03)|
|20||Godfather Of Funk (3:05)|