“I woke up early on my born day…..” – Nas.
I’m another year older this morning as I am now old enough to run for president. I have nothing left to look forward as far as milestones, except senior citizen discounts. Yeah, great. I don’t really feel like getting into a big long post about turning older like I did last year, but if someone has a copy of the mix I threw up last year on my birthday, I’d be much obliged. I didn’t feel like piecing back together and it wasn’t on my computer. I’m sure it’s on a disc somewhere, but I don’t have the time to find it, if it is even unpacked. Just another day as far as birthday’s go. I’m going to my incredibly boring, yet tense job today and then coming home and working on my other things. This weekend, Saturday to be exact, I’m celebrating it. Some drinks, a W.C. show here in town and I’m sure I’ll end up drinking to much and making an ass out of myself before the end of the night, some people never grow up.
Back to the Bonus cuts from the Philaflava Top 100 “Hard To Find, Less known, Kind of Obscure” tracks, as felt by ME……
The Almyghty Myghty Pythons were one of those super groups that sounded great, but never really materialized. We did, however get a single out of the Souls of Mischief/Pharcyde (Bootie Brown and Imani), which is more than we get out of most of the rumored collaborations. I’m not saying this track or single is an instant classic, but it has a nice smooth flow to it, with production by A Plus that utilizes an almost spanish sound guitar lick. The hook gets in your head like a bad dream and you end up muttering it to yourself most of the day. It would have been interesting to hear what a full project between the two would have sounded like.
Black Sheep – Still In The Ghetto (Mercury, on the “Similak Child” b/w “Still In The Ghetto” 12 inch single, 1992)
I snatched up the “Similak” cassette single back in the day, which had a blurred out picture of a nipple, which excited my 18-year old hormones. Since then, this song was rather hard to run across for whatever reason. I remember a group of us was looking for a decent rip of this track with no luck. I’m guessing it’s a leftover from “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”, which would be unfortunate, because it could have hung on that album. The Sheep drop a ill horn sample over several familiar drum breaks, basslines and piano chords. Lyrically, the song would have fit in well with the other collection of tracks found on “A Wolf….”, although it carried a slightly more serious overtone to it.
Common – Tekzilla (2000-2001?, from the “Unreleased Shit” 12 inch which had “Tekzilla” b/w “1-9-9-9″, on a white label)
If I remember right, “Tekzilla” was supposed to be on Hi-Tek’s first solo opus, but was ditched due to sample issues. It’s most unfortunate, because this song is one of my favorite Common songs. Common drops a story of sorts, rollin’ thru the streets of Chicago when he catches beef with a cat and ends up throwin’ blows and giving the dude an eye jammie after having a fight with his woman. I guess I just like the vibe of the story. The beat is freakin’ amazing as well. Tek hooks up a piano sample with some horn stabs that just make you feel like you about to throw blows with some dip shit talking smack. Great mood music, as both the lyrical performance and music make you feel the whole situation.
Dismasters – Small Time Hustler (Urban Rock Records, featured on the “Small Time Hustler” b/w “You Must Be Crazy” 12 inch, as well as the “And Then Some” LP, Single from 1987, the LP in 1989)
I know I said I didn’t like using tracks from albums, but then again, most albums are not as obscure as the “And Then Some” LP from the Dismasters crew. The Dismasters consisted of Raven T and Mike Ski and were back by Chuck Chillout, who also produced this track. I’ve always loved this track since the late 80′s. I’ve often said that the late 80′s were my favorite era in hip hop and this song is a prime example of why that is. The production is on some drum break and sample type of thing, but it’s what I loved about the 80′s. The two members are no Rakim on the mic neither, but put everything together and it just makes for a great song.
Funkmaster Flex & The Ghetto Celebs feat Charlie Brown, Old Dirty Bastard and Biz Markie - Nuttin’ But Flavor (Wreck Records, on the “Nuttin’ But Flavor” b/w “Live at the Pallidum” 12 inch, 1995)
Triva question: What was the first song to play on the very first WYDU Classic? Answer: this track, “Nuttin’ But Flavor”. Another joint I went out and bought on a cassette single. I played the shit out of this track, mainly because it would never be on any full length LP, so I thought I was pretty cool for owning it. There was a video for it, which is how I was introduced to it. The beat is simple, but it’s got some catchy piano keys that pop up on it. Then of course you have three very different MC’s, and all three come in a completely different way, so you have a very entertaining joint.
Trying to find info on this is a bitch. BUT…From what I remember, this song was an originally a Kamikazee track and not a Nas track, that most sources credit it to. Kamikazee was a Queens MC that was around in the very early days. I don’t know much else about him other than he was the subject of LL Cool J’s ire on “I’m Bad” track. This shit is flyyyyyyyyyyy, you might know the Nas version already, and the track is some nasty ass vinyl version, meaning lots of cracks, but it’s hip-hop history. True Queens shit.
Live Squad – Heartless (Tommy Boy, from the “Murderahh” b/w “Heartless
” 12 inch, 1992)
The internet has made this track not as rare as it once was, with the unreleased full length “Game of Survival” floating around. Originally, the single with “Heartless” was the only thing floating around from the Live Squad. Big Stretch was the main member of the Live Squad, who was down with Tupac. Some say he was in on the set up of Pac in New York when Pac was shot five times or whatever it was. A year later to the date, Stretch was found dead, killed execution style. Not much was ever said about it after that. Tommy Boy fuc ked up this release and never dropped the LP properly, although it appears plenty of promos made it out there. “Heartless” had a video out on MTV that made me look all over hell for this song, but never could find it. I also just found out there was a video for “Murderahh”, which I never knew.
Masta Ace – Splash (Tommy Boy Black Label, from the “Hip Hop 101″ LP, 2000)
As far as I know, Splash was never released commercially as a single. Which means it’s on an album, but the album is a compilation of stuff from the Black Label which was run by Tommy Boy. The album wasn’t all that popular, but I was a sucker for this Masta Ace song. So maybe it isn’t all that obscure, but I couldn’t pass it up to post another J-Love/Ace joint. These two worked so well together, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be as Ace won’t answer any questions concerning J-Love, so whatever I guess.
Pete Rock feat Grap Luva – Collector’s Item (Up Above Records, from the “Collector’s Item” b/w “Blindsided” single, 2003)
“Collector’s Item” was one of the more “obscure” 12 inchers dropped by the Chocolate Boy Wonder in the past. Only five years old, you don’t hear much about this joint. I want to say it was sold originally as a hiphopsite.com only release, then later picked up…..but I could be completely wrong with that. Grap Luva spits over a fairly simple Pete beat, but I’ve still always felt this track and always make sure it stays on my computer.
Science of Sound – Who Got The Funk feat Phife (Science Of Sound, from the self titled EP/12 inch, 1995)
Not a lot is known about this joint, from Science of Sound aka S.O.S. I want to say they were ATCQ project, as Tribe produced a track and of course this track, “Who Got The Funk” which featured a healthy dose of Phife. It lives up to its name as a funk filled track blesses Phife and his homies as they just kick rhymes that mean nothing, but still sound good.