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Click HERE's 100 Greatest Obscure Tracks: Part Five

by Travis on March 25, 2008

Link To All Of Part 5

Joe Sinistr – Under The Sun
Kilo G. – Release Me feat. Pimp C.
Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo – 2 To The Head feat. Ice Cube, Scarface & Bushwick Bill
Kool G. Rap- Mister Mister
Kool Keith – Yo Black (Buckwild Remix)
Kurious – Mansion And A Yacht feat. Sadat X & Mike G
Leaders of The New School – Classic Material (Diamond D Remix)
LL Cool J – Crime Stories
Lord Finesse – Shorties Kaught In The System
Mac Dre – California Livin

Joe Sinistr – Under The Sun (P.R.O. Division, from the 12 inch “Under The Sun” b/w “Krunchtime” as well as the Terminatior X & Godfathers of Threatt)

I’ve mentioned many times in the past that my favorite MC that only dropped two joints then vanished is Joe Sinistr. He appeared on Erick Sermon’s solo debut on the “Payback II” track. A year later, much to my delight, he was featured on Terminator X’s second debut album with “Under The Sun”. Dude was just straight ill. He would have made some major noise with the right funk type of production and backing. But it wasn’t meant to be as I never heard of him again after this track. It’s one of those things that bothers me the most in hip hop, what happened to Joe Sinistr? This track is some stank funk that just drips of the thick bassline that accompanies the track. The track was produced by Jam Master Jay and T-Funk, and they do it up well. Joe is one of those MC’s, like Redman in his early days (and even presently if you ask me) that sounds at home over these type of funk beats. It’s a shame that we never heard from Joe again. - Trav

Kilo G – Release Me feat Pimp C (Cash Money Records, from “The Bloody City” LP, 1995)

I was never much on any of the Cash Money releases, much to disdain of Noz from Cocaine Blunts. No real reason at that time, because I was more open to the “reality rap” than I am today, I just never had anyone recommend or I didn’t see it in The Source or on Yo! back in the day. It’s got a pretty smooth, player, Caddy, playistic type of beat going down for it, that is kind of cool. Worth a listen whether your a fan of early Cash Money or not. – Trav

Kool G Rap & DJ Polo – Two To The Head feat Ice Cube, Scarface, Bushwick Bill (Cold Chillin’, on the “Live & Let Die” LP, 1992)

I wouldn’t call this obscure either, but I would call it one of my favorite posse tracks off all-time. I liked it from the first time I heard it. G Rap, Cube and Scarface all just tear their verses to shreds. Bushwick was a little outclassed on this one, but he still manages to do his thing. The track is on some “killin’” type of shit with an eerie sound effects and a fairly common drum break. Great track, just not all that obscure - Trav

Kool G. Rap – Hey Mister (White Label, 1995)

One day DJ Mike Nice was chilling out at Upstairs Records in Brooklyn and Dr. Butcher appeared out of nowhere with a stack of white labels in his hand. A couple weeks later a second pressing appeared at Mr. Bongos in London. This was right around the time The Kool Genius of Rap dropped his solo debut 4,5,6. G. Rap was known for his graphic story-telling. Drug deals gone bad, shoot outs with cops, talking like sex- he almost covered the full spectrum of extreme and explicit writing, almost. And then he wrote a song that no record label could ever release.

“Hey Mister Mister, what the fuck you doin’?
Hey Mister Mister… KEEP WALKIN’ PAST! Hey
mister mister, what the fuck you doin? DON’T

Yes, that’s right folk; an ode to spousal abuse. The internet has led to this song becoming more and more well known but it really is quite obscure outside the confines of cyberspace. There were two pressings of this Dr. Butcher-produced white label. Remember the honky-tonk western vibe of “The Symphony,” which G. Rap murked about a decade earlier- well think of a similar piano loop that is louder and angrier. Add in a little boy’s voice being scratched-in, pleading for G. Rap’s attention, a no-good bitch pilfering from G. Rap’s hustle, and G. Rap hitting her “until her face gets bigger” and we have a real winner here folks. Not only did this deserve a commercial release, it also deserved a video complete with a bloodied-up Superhead. Ah the injustice! Well, at least I had “Hey Mister” played at my wedding reception. – Original Philaflava post

Kool Keith/Ultra – Yo Black (Buckwild Remix) (Remix from the original that appeared on “Four Horsemen” LP, 1993)

Kool Keith rides this dark, menacing beat from DITC crowned prince, Buckwild. I was a big fan of Keith during his Ultra days and this song is perfect reason why. Keith was just ill as fuck during these days. He was truly one of the best MC’s at the time. The beat sounds a lot different than a lot of Buck’s material. As previously mentioned, it’s dark with a deep, fuzzy bassline that just draws along. It packs some bottom that sounds best on a good system. Not sure if this was ever commercially released or not. - Trav

Kurious Jorge – A Mansion & A Yacht feat Sadat X & Mike G (Columbia, on the “I’m Kurious” b/w “A Mansion & A Yacht”, 1994)

Another joint that at one time was pretty hard to come by and a lot of heads were clamoring for. Produced by the Groove Merchantz, this would have fit in nicely on the “Constipated Monkey” LP, but it didn’t make it for some reason. All three MC’s do their thing on this, with Sadat dropping a classic verse as he was on top of his game during this time. The song has a classic sound, like it could have almost dropped in ’84, if it wasn’t for the advanced rhyming found on it. - Trav

Leaders Of The New School – Classi
c Material (Diamond D remix)
(Elektra, from a promo 12 inch of “Classic Material” b/w Spontaneous”, 1993

Another track that might fit the “obscure” label. They jump on a trademark Diamond beat, with the horns, a tight bassline and the gritty DITC feel to it. I wasn’t a fan of the original version of “Classic Material”, but Diamond remixed this joint proper. It’s just on some classic mid 90′s flava that makes people like me miss the “good ole days”. - Trav

LL Cool J – Crime Stories (Def Jam, appeared as a cassette only track on “Walking With A Panther” LP, 1989)

I forgot all about this joint. For a small time, cassettes were the main media being sold. So naturally, groups would put bonus tracks on just the cassettes. Digital did the same thing on “Sex Packets”. This joint isn’t one of the stronger tracks on the critically abused “Walking With A Panther”, but I always kind of liked it. It is slightly different than a lot of the tracks that appeared on that album. It’s more of a social message about not doing the crime if you can’t do the time. It’s upbeat in nature as LL does what he does best, just rip it apart. Good listen if you haven’t heard it - Trav

Lord Finesse – Shorties Kaught In The System

Lord Finesse like his protégé Big L was mostly known for his wordplay and ability to make sucker MC’s duck for cover. Hell, he single-handedly dissected and annihilated the entire “Lords of the Underground” with one 2 minute freestyle. Shorties Kaught In The System is track depicting the urban life, of a young male, trapped in a cycle of crime and desperation, trying to survive in his environment. And the harsh reality is, songs like these are no longer a necessity, but are considered “out of left field” and “unconventional” when it should be the norm. Unfortunately the world is so cynical now, but this track stands the test of time, and is even more important today. - Original Philaflava post

Mac Dre – California Livin’ (Strictly Business Records, from the “California Livin’” EP, 1991

Listening to this now, it’s kind of surprising this didn’t make noise than it did. Of course, unless you were Ice T or NWA, Cali wasn’t really accepted much in ’91. This almost sounds like some Coolio shit that would drop three to four years later. Has that upbeat, party like beat, such as some of those Coolio joints like “Fantastic Voyage” and the such. I’m not the best person to talk about Mac Dre’s legacy as even I kind of slept on him back in the day, but he was a talented artist and this song defintely lends evidence to that claim. - Trav

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