The final chapter of 1991, finally…..
The Source’s Top 15 Videos of 1991 (In No Order)
A Tribe Called Quest – Check The Rhime (the song that sold me on ATCQ)
Black Sheep – Flavor Of The Month
De La Soul – Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)(this was my answering machine for awhile in the mid 90′s)
Ed OG & The Bulldogs – I Gotta Have It
Gang Starr – Just To Get A Rep
Grand Daddy I.U. – Somethin’ New
Ice T – OG (Original Gangster)
K-Solo – Fugitive
Leaders Of The New School – Case of the PTA
Main Source – Just Hangin’ Out
Naughty By Nature – OPP
Nikki D – Daddy’s Little Girl
Poor Righteous Teachers – Shakiyla
Resident Alien – The Dew Doo Man (I never knew a video for this track existed and it’s not on Youtube)
Son Of Bazerk – Change The Style (On the part three post)
KMD – Mr. Hood (Elektra)
Released: May 7th, 1991
“Mr. Hood” was instrumental in transforming my hip hop tastes in those days from the raw, in-your-face, type of music of LL Cool J, Run DMC, Kane, Rakim, to a more laid back, approach of groups like De La, Tribe, that Native Tongue vibe that started to blossom around this time. I’ve long had a dislike for MF Doom’s material, but it didn’t start out that way. As most of you should know (since probably half of you reading this are more than likely die hard Doom fans) Zev Love X was “discovered” by MC Serch and the Prime Minister Pete Nice and appeared on several tracks with 3rd Bass including the hit, “Gas Face”. That was more than enough to ignite the excitement for the upcoming KMD project with Zev at the helm.
The album didn’t disappoint, although Peachfuzz kind of made me hesitate at the time. It’s a loosely based concept album, that sees the boys of KMD go through the album interacting with the shady “Mr. Hood”. The album encompasses dope beats, def rhymes (how cliche) and a sense of humor that definitely isn’t seen much today. “Who Me?” was a favorite of mine and released as a single (second or third, I can’t totally remember). The joint contained the flavor that always made me think of De La or Tribe and while I never understood how this album wasn’t included into the “classic” label that is applied to those projects, this album will always be among my favorite albums of all-time.
Scarface – Mr. Scarface Is Back (Rap-A-Lot)
Released: Oct 3, 1991
Scarface along with Andre 3000 has the paved the way for strong lyricism hailing from the South. Following the immense success of Geto Boys’ “We Can’t Be Stopped” in 1991, Rap-A-Lot dropped Scarface his debut in the same year (only three months later!???) and unfortunately, this album went largely unnoticed. Now every one of us can put two and two together, especially after being breast-fed with information in the confinements of cyber-space and the traffic of unworthy news of marketing agendas; the Geto Boys were still reaping all the benefits and riding on a horse called “My Mind’s Playing Tricks On Me” when somebody had the bright idea to put out “Mr. Scarface Is Back” and let it fade to oblivion ( it took the album almost two years to go gold!). It couldn’t work and it didn’t work. I know a lot of people who would welcome Scarface to the Hall Of Fame, but nine times out of ten, the same people had to come back and revisit this album. Joints like “Murder By Reason Of Insanity” and “Diary Of A Madman” were beyond average and “A Minute To Pray And A Second To Die” ( He chose the wrong way and that’s the route he took / Born and brought up as an angel but he died as a crook) reality-rap at its purest form. I don’t know what my man Eric has in store for you guys as far as Scarface records are concerned- I could name you at least two albums that are better than this one- but I understand his choice and fully appreciate it since this composition is more than solid. Maybe that was a romantic pick, who knows… -words by Rasul
Trav’s Take: I was a lot more open to the “reality rap” back in those days and I’ve longed considered this one of the best in that genre. I realize there are probably one or two other ‘Face albums that are better, but “Mr. Scarface is Back” has always been my favorite from him. It was just the raw realness that made me think I was watching some gangster movie. Scarface is a master at weavin’ the stories of the crooked streets and I was totally sucked into this album.
Greyson & Jasun – Sweatin’ Me Wet (Atlantic) Released: July 9th, 1991
Upon looking at the cover, I’m sure visions of dancing, new jack swing kicking, r&b rhythms fill your head and you put the album back down in the dollar bin that you found it in and moved on. You would be making a mistake, because “Sweatin’ Me Wet” by Greyson & Jasun, while not a classic in any sense of the word, is a solid release. The albums first single would come in the form of “Get Bizzy”, featuring one of my all-time favorite MC’s Slick Rick. It was a straight up party joint that was produced by Vance Wright, who did the whole album. At first, it was Slick Rick’s verse that hooked me. Rick comes with one of the most pompus, arrogant, cocky verses I’ve heard from him, and that is saying a lot, but I loved it:
“They call me Slick Rick, Rickey D, Rickey Ricardo get it through your mind that your a played out retardo truth child, follow, shield your pic (?) there is no competition, (cuz they are all on his dick) So shoo number 2 you crumb cause your a bum You are all going real dumb when I’m on You could screamed “Rick” from way back in the past so now you want to kiss Rick’s ass cause I blast? Save it and let me whip things thorough I run through every county state town and borough So don’t try to step to me and say is he “Dizzy” why? Cause I’m about to get bizzy”
It was about this time when I started calling people “crumbs” for the summer. The rest of the album had some slammin’ cuts, such as the title track, “Livin’ Like A Troopa”, “Laura” and the ever so dope “Hard As They Come”. So why didn’t this album make much noise? This was about the time hip hop was starting to make a change. The Daisey Age/Native
Tongue flavor was starting. NWA and the west coast was starting to make noise. Hip Hop was evolving, and this album sounded like it really could have been released in ’88 and it would have fit right in. It was built on the break beats, James Brown samples and other fairly common samples of the day, not the obscure samples found on Black Sheep’s album or Prince Paul’s Turtles sampels. Then of course, Atlantic had no CLUE how to promote hip hop back in those days. See what happened to K-Solo, Hard 2 Obtain and Original Flavor.
Terminator X – Terminator X & The Valley of the Jeep Beets (Colombia)
Released: May 7, 1991
For those of you not around to witness what a power Public Enemy was in hip hop during the early 90′s, you have to look no further than witnessing a solo album from their DJ, Terminator X, being released. I’ll repeat that again; their DJ, the same DJ that is rumored not to even do much in the grand scheme of the group. That’s how much clout Public Enemy had back then. In all common sense, this album probably should have bombed before it even dropped, but in reality it’s not all that bad. It might be a little uneven, there is some stuff that is probably better suited laying in the bottom of a cat box, but tracks such as the ever popular “Buck Whylin” featuring Chuck D and Sista Souljah or my two personal favorites, The Interrorgators “Back To The Scene Of The Bass” and Celo of the mysterious Casino Brothers (I always wanted to know more about them) “Wanna Be Dancin’” maybe this a CD that I kept in my Jetta for most of the summer.
The album lived up to it’s name, it was made for the Jeeps in mind. Or in my case, my Jetta. This wasn’t the thick, rollin’ 808 basslines most of my friends were playing in their cars. This album packs some hard kicks that really test a speaker…and amps. The instrumentals just are showcases of production and some cuttin’ from our good friend Norm. The musical influences is a wide variety genres, everything from R&B (No Further), an attempt at rock (Run That Go-Power Thang), and even an reggae influenced cuts (DJ Is The Selector). As said, by no means should this album be considered near classic, but the strong cuts on the album make this more than a good purchase in the used CD section.