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Philaflava.com's 100 Greatest Obscure Tracks: Part Two

by Travis on March 18, 2008

NCAA Time….

It’s time for the big dance. You know what that means, brackets. Millions of dollars are lost each year in the U.S. from employees using company time to research and fill out brackets (unless they monitor your shit, then your just fucked). I’ve already started filling my brackets to numerous spots, with my buddies, my little family ruckus we have and also for one of the newer blogs that I’ve hyped up in the past, Hip 2 Da Game. Dude is giving away some shit, so what the hell, go over there and if nothing else, join up for the bragging rights. I’m big on this shit anyway, although I haven’t watched nearly as much college basketball this year as I have in the past..so if anyone is going to beat me, this might be their only chance….haha

One Be Lo Contest:

Thanks to everyone that entered in the One Be Lo giveaway last week. We had two winners, which Audible Treates will be sending autographed One Be Lo CD’s to (if they haven’t already). Congratulations goes out to Larry and Tony. I hope to have more contests in the near future.

Philaflava.com’s 100 Greatest Obscure Tracks: Part Two

Link For All 10 Tracks In Part 2

Brand Nubian – Allah U Akbar (Remix)
Brand Nubian – Step Into Da Cipher feat. Serge, Mastro Manny & Snagglepuss
Brother Lynch Hung – Had 2 Gat Ya
Children of The Corn – I Remember When
Chubb Rock – Three Men At Chung King feat. Red Hot Lover Tone & Grand Puba
Da Fat Cat Clique – Da Flow feat. The Man They Call Lux, EST, Rugged Ruff
Da King & I – Tears
Darc Mind – I’m Ill
Dark Skinned Assassin – Unholy
Dark Sun Ridas – Time To Build (Ultra Marsalis Remix)

Brand Nubian – Allah U Akbar (Remix) (Elektra, from the 12inch single “Allah U Akbar” b/w “Steal Ya Ho” and the original version appearing on the “In God We Trust” LP. Single was released in 1993)

Brand Nubian’s second single from the “In God We Trust” Lp, “Allah U Akbar” is a track that I honestly know little about. I wasn’t a big fan of the “In God We Trust” album at the time. Besides the “Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down” single, I didn’t listen to much of it and blew off this single. In a way it’s a shame, because this remix is much better than the original, or at least what I remember of it. Produced by Brand Nu themselves, it uses a fairly familiar bass line as the beats back bone as well as some keys that I want to say my man SoulClap used on one of his recent creations. I deserve a box of “No Dose” for sleeping on this shit back in the day.

Brand Nubian – Step Into Da Cipher feat Serge, Maestro Manny, & Snagglepuss (Elktra, from the 12 inch single “Hold On b/w “Step Into Da Cipher” as well as “Everything Is Everything” LP, 1994)

Another album cut, that I personally probably would have avoided, especially off of a fairly well known album from a fairly well known hip hop group. That being said, this was a quality cut that doesn’t really get mentioned all that (but neither does my favorite song from this LP, “Alladat”. Lord Jammar was the mastermind behind the beat, which follows that classical New York flava from that day in age. It’s almost “Diggin’ In The Crates” sounding in nature, but if you were going to emulate anyone, they’d be the crew to do it. I know nothing about the first two guests on this track, but Snagglepuss has always been one of those cats I wish I heard more from. I’m not saying he is a overlooked great, but he had a different style that I would have either grown to love or hate. I want to say he had a 12 inch single out sometime during the mid 90′s as well as appearing on a Pudgee cut and the posse cut “No Hand Outs” which was on the One Million Strong compilation.

Brother Lynch Hung – Had 2 Gat Ya (Black Market Records, can be found on his debut album “24 Deep” which was released in 1993)

I’m way out of my zone with “Had 2 Gat Ya”. I never listened to much Brother Lynch Hung, which is kind of surprising, because I was still checking out a lot of the gangsta shit back when this dropped. Most likely, I didn’t see it on “Yo!”, thus wasn’t exposed to it. This is my first time hearing it, and I have to admit the shit is pretty nice. I’m digging the beat, which was produced by Brother Lynch Hung himself. I’m going to have to track down this album and give it a listen.

Children of The Corn – I Remember When (? No label, no year information early/mid 90′s is my guess)

Children of The Corn are one of the most unrecognized groups of the 90s. Concatenating of leader Big L (RIP), Killa Cam’Ron, Murder Mase, Bloodshed (RIP) and Herb Mcgruff all hailing from the rough streets of Harlem. This track is the most essential track of their terrific, yet small catalog of music. Bloodshed and Cam’ Ron both trade verses giving a retrospective look of their upbringing, and a simpler time of life, when fists where protection, and guns weren’t the choice of weapon for street villains. Cam’Ron gets even more descriptive giving details of the drug game’s heavy hitters of his era, and shouting out the rap group birth out of that drug cartel: Mob Style. If you’re a fan of mid 90s East coast rap, then this is a must listen!

Chubb Rock – 3 Men At Chung King feat Red Hot Lover Tone & Grand Puba (Select, can be found on the “I Gotta Get Mine, Yo!”, released in 1992)

Another album track that isn’t particularly obscure, but not many people mention the lyrical performance put on by the three guys, who happen to be recording at the Chunk King Studios. What a coincidence! There is no hook here, just each MC going for theirs. I’ve always been a fan of Red Hot Lover Tone which is evident by the amount of posts dedicated to him on WYDU. Then of course, I’d argue that Grand Puba could hand with anyone lyrically during this time period. Polarity would argue that Chubb Rock is the greatest hip hop artist of the 90′s, which would stretching it, but he’s damn nice during his early run.

Da Fat Cat Clique – Da Flow feat. The Man They Call Lux, EST, Rugged Ruff (DFCC Records, from the 12inch “My Tracks” & “Gettin Over” b/w “Da Flow” & “Live from Fox Valley” 1996)

Da Fat Cat Clique’s “Da Flow” is truly one of those tracks that deserve the title of obscure. I don’t know much about this Philly based crew. They released a couple 12′s that I know of, one in 1994 and this one in ’96. There could be more, I’m not too sure. This jam is mad nice, with an ill string sample and some keys dot the track while Da Fat Cat Clique and their relatively unknown guests proceed to live up to the titles track, flow. One guest appearance is noteworthy though, EST of Three Times Dope shows up. This tracks is something that needs to be heard if you haven’t yet.

Da King & I – Tears (Rowdy Records, appeared on the “Contemporary Jeep Music” LP from 1993)

I would almost consider this song classic instead of obscure, but then again I’m kind of a hip hop nerd anyway, so be it. I also prefer the slew of remixes that this song has been transformed into, but it’s still a nice track

Darc Mind – I’m Ill (Original Version) (Mindbenda Recordings, from the Soul Food LP, 1996)

Darc Mind was one of those dope mid 90′s dudes that kind of got screwed in the whole grand scheme of things. The album that the original version of “I’m Ill” (which I hope this is) got shelved, but it would reappear on the 2006 “Symptomatic of Greater Ill”. His voice can kind of grate on ones nerves after too long, but it’s still an “ill song”.

Dark Skinned Assassin – Unholy (Black Dog Entertainment, found on the “Unholy” b/w “Uncontrollable” 12 inch, 1996)

Known only to connoisseurs of Staten Island hip hop and fanatical Wu Tang Clan collectors, The Dark Skinned Assassin (also known as DSA) is a rare case of an extended family member who actually is highly skilled at his craft. He put out a number of 12-inch releases that feature Clan members Raekwon and Method Man. “Unholy” features a 70’s vocal sample that sets the tone for the rest of the song: “It’s been too hard livin’, but I’m afraid to die.” Powerful snares and punchy high-hats lay the track for a bubbly and melodic organ sample that DSA runs laps around with deep, introspective, lyrics about the day to day drama of disastrous choices. Hold it down? Kill? Be killed? Run from it all? DSA lays it out, rapping about his reflection in the mirror and what he sees and the result is a man preparing to confront his own bad choices and path that brought him there. This 12-inch came out on Black Dog Records and like most Staten Island releases of its day was more of a local hit than a lot of the other 12-inch singles that were getting national attention as the indie explosion was popping off. Obscure isn’t the word, these days you won’t find this in shops and your best bet is eBay unless you live in the Staten Island area.

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