When talking about D-Nice, alot of cats seem to forget that he had a few albums under his belt (serving as a DJ for the almighty Boogie Down Productions) before the release of his Jive debut “Call Me D-Nice”. This album is special to me in so many ways, I still try to get this in rotation at least every other week or so. What I remember being particularly interesting is that Nice’ produced and mixed “Call Me D-Nice” all by his lonesome…not alot of cats attempt or have the talent to do that nowadays. Lyrically, ”The TR-808″ was competent enough to fulfill the high expectations that came along with the territory of being one of Krs-One’s boys. To me the production on “Call Me…” was the highpoint, from the BOOMING bass line of the first single “Call Me D-Nice” to neck brace worthy “It’s All About Me”…BTW, is that a party toy I hear in the background? Only once does D-Nice try to drop knowledge with the track “Glory”, which isn’t very surprising considering his close ties with BDP for so long. The production on “Call Me D-Nice” (the single) was simply ridiculous, one of the hardest hitting basslines, overlayed with a boisterous organ sample has left a lasting impression on me as one of the most bare-boned beats to ever invade my headphones. Hell, even Ice Cube liked it so much that “Call Me D-Nice” was the first beat to be “gaffled” on Cube’s killer cut “Jackin’ For Beats”. It’s a shame that D-Nice dropped a lame attempt for a sophomore effort with “To Tha Rescue” and never really regrouped to bless his die-hard fans with a third album. Oh, and be sure to check out D-Nice’s web page were D has posted a few great “sit-downs” with artists such as Black Sheep & YZ along with some great photography, good stuff!
With Eric and Parish, it wasn’t really about deep lyrics or mind-blowing concepts (read content). All you expected were dope songs with crazy production and an easy delivery (read flow). Ever since they came out, I’ve been fascinated by their ability to trap me into a zone of unknown satisfaction, pulling me into a spell of simple “beats & rhymes”. It just felt, and still feels, good to listen to EpMD. They were heroes I desperately tried to dress, act and sound like. “Strictly Business” was overwhelming- specially for that period of time where producers still looked for the right piece of equipment to work with. “So What Cha Saying” off their second masterpiece “Unfinished Business” will remain one of my favorite songs of all time. But to me, “Business As Usual” was the perfect album! They delivered 14 songs and not a single one was mediocre. Matter of fact, I could name you at least one track from all the six above-mentioned albums I have called on so far, that I really could not feel (read Album-filler). This was the definition of perfection at that time with balance, wit and charisma- from the first to the last track. LL gave one of his most memorable performances, “playing MC’s like an old accordion” while P spit one of my favorite lines ” Cause many often wonder is M.D. paid / You’re God damn right punk, stay outta my way / Cause I clock G’s while you clock Z’s / And I don’t smoke crack – I smoke MC’s” (ask Kitsune, I’ll be quoting those lines pretty often)… And yeah, they introduced K-Solo to the world (followed by Redman and Das Efx) and that’s worth a mention for god’s sake. What ever happened to them afterwards never mattered to me. EPMD gave me three classics and I have a hard time saying that about any other group. Can you?….-words by Rasul
Whoa Nelly! Hand me out a late pass for sleeping on JVC Force! I’ll never understand how such a dope “middle school” trio missed my ears in 1990. I guess I was too wrapped (pun intended) up in releases from Eric B & Rakim, PRT, PE & Special Ed to have paid the least bit of attention to JVC Force’s sophomore album, “Force Field”. Honestly, I can’t even recall seeing this tape in stores! Thank God for the internet, because without the ability to have music at your fingertips in just minutes I would have never been fortunate enough to partake in such a dope listening experience. Hailing from Long Island, New York, the trio of B-Luv, AJ Rok and DJ Curt Cazal truly have a very solid chemistry and it shines through in the “rhyme & pass the mic” delivery of the two aforementioned emcees. Dare I say it, there are moments on “Force Field” were I feel like I’m listening to a pre-”Business Never Personal” EPMD, even some of the production on “Force Field” is reminiscent of EPMD’s production on classics like “Strictly Business” & “Unfinished Business”.
Sadly, my introduction to JVC Force was with their single “Big Trax” which sampled the infamous “Blind Alley” breakbeat. However, it wasn’t until this past Christmas when I actually peeped “Force Field”. During a 7-Hour road trip to Louisiana, to visit some of my in-laws for the Holidays, I played this album on the Ipizzy. After listening to the album’s opener “Introduction 2 Dance”, JVC Force earned my full attention. “Introduction..” is pure 1990′s funk, heavy drums, dope scratching and to be honest…..nonsensical rhymes which seemed to “fly” during the early ’90′s. There are plenty styles to be found on “Force Field”, you had your token Hip/House cut (“JVC Is In The Haus”pronounced “house”, I never caught on to the whole “spell like Kwame phase”….this track has no lyrics either, mind you!), you had your token reggae cut (“Matik-A-Matik”) and even a “clubby” dance track that actually works, “It’s A Force Thing” (now, this track REALLY sounds like an EPMD joint). Some of you may recognize the breakbeat supplied for “Force Field” (the track) and say “hey, they jerked that from Black Moon’s “How Many Emcees”! Uh uh youngsters, it’s the other way around, it’s okay though…that’s the first thought that came to me when I heard it as well. Many of the tracks, such as “Smooth-N-Mellow”, “Tear The Show Up” and “A Musical Sample” are backed with easily identifiable breakbeats that seemed to have aged like fine wine. However, let me state that if your searching for “deep” lyrics then keep on searchin’, because you won’t find them here. The majority of the rhyme schemes are kept very simple, yet interesting enough to garner your attention throughout the majority of the LP. Also, clocking in at 18 tracks deep the simplistic emcees aren’t quite talented enough to keep the momentum going for over an hour. But, “Force Field” is definitely an album that you don’t want to overlook, if not just for the production only. Sadly, this would be the last album that we’d hear from JVC Force as the trio disbanded leaving “Force Field” along with their 1988 release “Doin’ Damage” in their rear-view mirror. Released on the now-defunct Warlock Records the trio could have definitely used a touch up on the album’s generic cover art. I mean, c’mon, 1990 wasn’t that limited was it?
Damn, No Face was signed to Rush Associated Labels/Columbia? Now, that’s a Hip-Hop tidbit that I would have never guessed. In what is an odd combination of “rawness” intertwined with New Jack Swing, No Face’s one and only album “Wake Your Daughter Up” is definitely not lacking in the entertainment department! Raunchy as hell, tracks like “Fake Hear Wearin’ Bitch” and “Half” succeed in keeping you in stitches. The aforementioned “Half” is a track that nearly every married man can relate to as it describes the financial pit-falls that affect your pockets after a divorce. From the opening bars…..shit, not even “bars” of “We Wants To Fu*k” (No Face’s ignorant interpolation of “We Want The Funk”…go figure!) it’s quite evident that No Face isn’t out to impress anyone, but rather to craft an album that is offensive, crude and as care-free as they come. Now hearing this album for the first time, it’s extremely difficult to give “Wake Your Daughter Up” an honest listen, so it’s key that I try to listen to the album with the fresh ears of a 12 or 13 year, because that’s how old I was when I skimmed over this album numerous times while browsing the “rap” section at Camelot Music. However, after “gutting out” this album last nite and today, I sure am glad that I did pass this sh*t over! No B.S., “Wake Your Daughter Up” has gotta’ be one of the absolute worst albums that I’ve ever heard in my life! I mean, it’s not really even Hip-Hop! On most of the cuts, the emcees…..nah, take that back…Mark Sexx and the Shah attempt at singing most of the lyrics, it’s no wonder that “Wake Your Daughter Up” was their only album. Thank God! The only two tracks that are half-way decent are “Stole My Sh*t” and the pure thump of “Your System”, the rest of the album is an almost unbearable listen. Who knows, maybe if I’d heard “Wake Your Daughter Up” back in 1990 my opinions today would be different, although I highly doubt, that even back then this would have been worth my $9.99. Of course, we all have albums that we hold near and dear to us (I see you Trav!), albums that take us back to that particular time-frame when we didn’t have kids or bills to manipulate our daily thought process. For me, some of the guiltiest of pleasures include MC Twist’s “Comin’ Thru Like Warriors” (which was released on Luke Records, strangely enough), MC Hammer’s “Let’s Get It Started”, Speech’s (of Arrested Development) solo album and Kid-N-Play’s supplemental album to the movie “House Party”, “Kid-N-Play’s Funhouse”, so I can understand Trav’s affection for this album. However, as receptive and open-minded as I attempted to be when listening to “Wake Your Daughter Up”, there’s no denying that No Face was on some bullsh*t with this one!