I don’t hide what I think of Salt Lake City. I despise the place, plain and simple. It’s dirty, there is a strong religious influence, and it’s one that I don’t necessarily agree with or fit in with very well. A large portion of the city is unfriendly and down right rude. Try driving around “Suck Lake”, you will quickly see what I mean. I spent four rather miserable years in the city while I went to the University of Utah in the late 90′s. Some of the worse years of my life were spent in that god forsaken place. BUT, to be fair, there are also some good things about Salt Lake. The scenery is obviously beautiful. One of my best friends is from the city, we have a blast whenever we get together anymore. We had some hellacious times while I was living there as well, the summer of ’97 was probably the funnest summer I’ve ever had. This past weekend was no different as we closed down my favorite “private club”, Port O’ Call. My daughter still lives there as well, which was the reason for my visit this past weekend.
And this might be hard to believe, but Salt Lake’s hip hop scene is rather decent. Even in the late 90′s, they had their own weekly hip hop radio show, the Toss Salad hip hop show that was on two or three hours every Saturday night. It was here that I first heard Frankenstein, Krs’ “Hip Vs. Rap” single, Royal Flush’s “Iced Down Medallions” and a weird ass remix for Redman’s “It’s Like That” single that I haven’t heard since then. They had a record store that was devoted strictly to hip hop. The “Hip Hop Shop” had vinyl, mixtapes, CD’s, tapes, DJ equipment, all the things a hardcore b-boy needs. They get most of the hip hop shows that come around the region. I saw Tha Liks, Digital Underground, Biz Markie, Busta Rhymes, Cypress Hill, De La Soul and the Roots all in Salt Lake City. Salt Lake is also home to quite a few used CD stores and record stores. After having some communication problems with my daughter’s mother, I spent most of last Saturday driving around the city, hitting up CD spots as I got to deluge in one of my favorite activities in life, used CD shopping.
After rolling out of the rack a wee bit hungover Saturday morning, I headed in the quest for wrapping paper for my daughter’s birthday presents and some used CDs. I haven’t lived in Salt Lake since ’99, and since then, I haven’t really had the time or the money to do much diggin’ when I am in town. While some of my old haunts are still around, a lot have closed since then. Add in the fact I haven’t driven in certain areas of the town for awhile, I had four post-it notes of stores and addresses on them in the car with me just so I would have some kind of clue. My buddy has a new house way out on the western side of the town, almost out by the Kennecott mine. I hopped in my little rice burner car and headed to Redwood road to the store I used to hit up the most while I lived there.
Graywhale CD Exchange
Graywhale CD Exchange is a local chain in Salt Lake and probably the most popular of the CD stores in the surrounding area. I used to live within walking distance of the store on Redwood Rd and 47th and this would be my first store of the day. I bought a lot of CDs while I lived there at that store. They always had a handful of things I would want each time I went there and the prices were decent, but nothing really under five bucks. What would I find there this time? It had been almost three years since I had been in the store and they had totally remodeled it. It looked like some goth like place, with grey metal like decor surrounding the place. But I wasn’t there to check out the interior designing. I was there for CD’s. As I previously mentioned, this particular store usually had a few things I would want. I can’t remember ever walking away emptied handed very often, even when I was checking it out on a weekly basis. There never was extremely rare releases there, at least I can’t ever remember finding any “holy grails” at this particular ‘whale. This trip would be a lot like the old times. Plenty of things I wouldn’t mind having, but nothing extremely rare.
|2||Chain Gang Rap (4:10)|
|3||The Truth (4:13)|
|4||Hello Y’All (4:30)|
|5||Do It With Ease (4:03)|
|6||Gimme No Crack (5:05)|
|8||Know How Fe Chat (4:46)|
|9||Who The Cap Fits (4:00)|
|10||Golden Touch (4:09)|
This somewhat forgotten 1988 album was something I couldn’t stand back in the day. It sounded nothing like Ra, Kane, LL, or any of the hardcore rhymers I was listening to back in those days. Shinehead is what they would call a “Ragga
muffin” (also a name of one of his songs) artist, similar to today’s dancehall artists, although he probably does more hip hop than a lot of those artists. He mixed a lot of reggae and hip hop together and I just wasn’t feeling it in my young age. His video for “Chain Gang” was on Yo! MTV Raps often in those days. Even since then as I my hip hop and musical tastes grew, I still never really checked for Shinehead. I would see this release around often back in the days used, but as time went on, I saw it less and less. So when it had been awhile since I seen it, I figured I’d pick it up for nostalgia purposes. I can’t ever recall hearing the whole album. It’s not bad at all, if you enjoy the Caribbean influence in your hip hop, you would probably get down with this. Something I didn’t know about the album is that the late Jam Master Jay (RIP) and Davy D produced the first three tracks on this album, including the lead and most well known single, “Chain Gang”. As far as the $5.99, it was probably a dollar or two more than I would have liked to pay for it, but I figured that since it was one of the cheaper used CDs in the store and it’s not like I could come back and get it in a week or so that I should just grab it while I can.
|2||Only The Strong|
|Rap [Featuring] – Geto Boys|
|3||Invasion Of The Purse Snatchers|
|4||Take The P_ _ _ _|
|7||Mother F_ _ _ _ _’ Thugs|
|Rap [Featuring] – Big Mello|
|8||Fugitives On The Run|
|9||Life Of The Gangsters|
|10||Wanted Dead Or Alive|
|11||Jealous Niggas Hy Cappen|
I had my “gangster” rap phase fairly early in my life, listening to a lot of it in the early 90′s. For some reason though, I shied away from this Too Much Trouble release. Even at an early age, anything that was trying to pawn itself off as “The Baby Geto Boys” just wasn’t very original in my book. So I avoided it. Since then, I’ve gone back and listened to it and while it’s not a lost classic by any means, it is rather entertaining, if for nothing else than the H-Town funk production found on it. I hadn’t seen this in awhile and went through a phase earlier this year where I was listening to a lot of the Rap-A-Lot releases (you will see why here in the next week or two) and this was one of my favorite ones, so the same rule of “if I see something I like, buy it, because I won’t get a second chance”. Funny thing was later, my buddy got in my car and started going through my bags of CDs I picked up earlier in the day and he ran across this. He likes the old hip hop, but he just started busting up laughing at the cover. When you do think about it, the whole concept, the group and the cover is rather humorous. I could have picked this up on Amazon for about the same prize or cheaper, but what’s the fun in that?
|2||Drink Wit’ Me (4:12)|
|3||Playa Shit (4:40)|
|4||Drunk Bitches (4:28)|
|Featuring – AMG|
|5||Fantasy (It’s Reality) (4:43)|
|6||Up In The Hood (4:21)|
|7||Deep Shit (4:32)|
|10||Liqua Ndustry (4:24)|
|Featuring – AMG|
|11||Daddy’s Lil Angel (4:19)|
|12||Typical Day (5:16)|
|13||Little Kids (Who’s The Man With The Master Plan?) (3:38)|
|14||Life’s So Hard (4:02)|
|15||Came Up (3:52)|
I was totally unfamiliar with Vell Bakardy’s “Genuine Liqua Hits” until the Cocaine Blunts forum days, which was two-three years ago. Since then, it’s been one of those internet discoveries that I’ve rather enjoyed. Bakardy was out of Kansas City, not your usual place for hip hop flavor, but even in the mid 90′s, hip hop was world wide, bitches. The west coast influence is hard to ignore as it sounds like it could have came straight out SoCal in those days. 304 member AMG is even found on a couple tracks, which is what originally drew me to the album. At $8.99, this was rather spendy, but I haven’t ever seen it anywhere before, so I figured what the fuck, I liked the album and I wasn’t probably going to see it again, at least not in my hometown.
Fu-Schnickens – Nervous Breakdown $4.99
Fu-Schnickens – F.U. Don’t Take It Personal $4.99
I wasn’t a big Fu-Schnick fan back in the day. I had some hip hop tunnel vision in those days, anything definitely than the type of thing I was digging, I didn’t check for really. The Fu-Schnicks were definitely on some “otha shit”. I started coming around when I heard their “Sneakin’ Up On Ya” on the CB4 soundtrack. I then went back and realized that “La Schmoove”, “True Fuschnick”, and “Ring The Alarm” were all great tracks from their debut album. I still never actually picked up one of their albums. I have even passed over their albums numerous times in the past when I saw them used. Not this time, I figured at $4.99, this was the cheapest I was going to see them both at.
Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded $6.99
I originally bought the B-Boy Records 1993 re-release of Criminal Minded, the one with the “Bride Is Over” in the track listing. I had it for quite awhile, but would eventually end up losing it when some tweaked crack head stole a bunch of my shit while I was living in Salt Lake, another reason I hate that place, and if I ever see that sorry tweaker, I’m beating some ass…… Anyway, this is the 2001 Landspeed re-release, which also contains the instrumentals. I couldn’t possibly live with myself as a “well-respected” hip hop blogger and NOT have a retail copy of this in my collection. At $6.99, this is worth that and more.
As I previously mentioned, a lot of my old spots were no longer in business any more. This included a Media Play that was just down from one of my houses I rented for a couple years while I was there. Two years ago when I was back for Christmas, I got in on their closing sale and picked up some fairly decent bargains. At the time, it wasn’t disclosed what would be moving in there. When I did a google for used CDs before leaving, this store called F.Y.E. was listed in the same location as the old Media Play was that I used to hit up often while living close by. So after hitting up the Graywhale, I backed tracked by to the F.Y.E. store. F.Y.E. is one of those “all in one” media places that sells books, video games, and music. I personally had never heard of before, which is actually quite funny, because as I was writing this and went to the store’s webpage, I learned there is a F.Y.E. only about five miles from where I live currently, go figure. Anyway, I walk toward the back for the used hip hop section and find a nice little section of used hip hop CDs. I quickly learn they are running a promotion: Buy three CDs get the fourth free. As Cube said, “Once again, it’s on!” As I start going through each CD one by one, it’s obvious that these aren’t in exactly the most organized order. Eminem is in with the A’s, Atmosphere’s are with the T’s, basically, shit is a total cluster fuck. To top it off, I’m 6’1 in height and the racks were kind of low, so I was bending over most of the time, which made it extremely uncomfortable. Not a lot of raw stuff to be found here, but some albums I was missing from the collection, so all in all, not a bad spot to hit.
|01||Low Life Mutha Fuckas (4:32)|
|02||Spoiled Rotten (4:40)|
|03||Jeri Curl (4:19)|
|04||The Bitch That I Hate (4:34)|
|05||Dance All Nite (4:07)|
|06||Poison Freestyle (5:16)|
|Featuring – Brother Marquis , Tony M.F. Rock*|
|08||Bad Influence (4:12)|
|09||You Gets Nothin’ (4:49)|
|10||The Neighborhood Haps (2:51)|
First person to call me a hypocrite for something I said earlier in this post gets…..well nothin’, but the satisfaction of calling me a hypocrite (which isn’t all that hard to do) when I say that Poison Clan’s “2 Low life Muthas” has long been a favorite “ig’nant” album of mine (hint: It had to do with Poison Clan’s nickname). The CD is something I’ve long been looking for after owning it on tape since it first dropped back in 1990. This was a cross between good ole fashion gangsta rap and the Miami Bass sound. The album was produced by 2 Live Crew’s Mr. Mixx, and contains a lot of familiar breaks and sounds, but it was perfect for 16 year old high school kids back in the day such as myself. The two original members appear on this one, JT Money and Debonair, who was also in Home Team a few years later. Classic album in the WYDU frame of mind. Coming in at $7.99, it’s not much more than found on Amazon and the price of this has dropped quite a bit in the last couple years as I think it got the re-release treatment. This appears to be an original release, as far as I can tell.
Brothers Uv Da Blakmarket – Ruff Life (Select, 1992) Free (counted as my fourth CD)
|1||10 Below (0:28)|
|2||To Da Head (3:50)|
|3||20 Below (0:18)|
|4||Livin’ In Da Bottle (3:50)|
|5||Not U Again (4:26)|
|6||I Love Loosey’s (4:15)|
|7||Ruff Neck Style (4:00)|
|8||Gettin’ Money (4:59)|
|9||We Got This (4:38)|
|10||30 Below (0:21)|
|11||Ruff Life (In Da City) (3:56)|
|12||I Ain’t Da One (4:08)|
|13||Collette Da Pet (4:28)|
|14||40 Below (0:40)|
There is kind of a funny story behind this CD. I like to kind of keep track of what certain CDs are going for used on Amazon and ebay. Not that I sell my shit, but if I see something that is hard to find is going for cheap and it usually costs a shitload, I want to be able to snatch it up. When I first saw Brothers Uv Da Blakmarket’s “Ruff Life” on Saturday, I snatched it up with the quickness, like someone was going to come take it from me. It’s a decent album, with a single “Livin’ In The Bottle” that made some noise back in the day, but I got confused by two things. When I was looking for this album on Amazon a while back, they didn’t have any for sale when I entered in the title. They had an entry for it, but none for sale. That usually means, if one does pop up, it’s going to be going for a pretty penny. I didn’t realize though, the groups name is spelled without a “c” in “Blakmarket”. It was just odd though that Amazon did have a listing for the wrong spelling. Then for some reason Saturday when I saw it, I had them confused with the group School of Hard Knocks, which is going for $30 bucks or more on Amazon. I left the store thinking that I cut a fat hog in the ass. It wasn’t until I did a little more investigating that I realized my errors and found out the CD can be had on Amazon for a couple of bucks. At least it was free. And it is a good CD, full of your typical east coast early 90′s fare, shouted posse choruses, raw beats and rugged lyrics.
|2. Comin’ up Outta This Bitch|
|3. It’s All About the Double A.S.|
|4. Streets of FTW|
|5. Ass Like Boom|
|6. Turn up the Music|
|7. Pump for More|
|8. Somethin’ for Bassheads|
|9. Mothafuckas Just Butt|
|10. 40′s Talking|
|11. Single Parent Child|
|12. As Long as You Don’t Touch Me|
|13. Just Who’s Your Uncle|
|14. Gangxta Shit|
|15. Light Anotha Joint|
The Audio Assault Squad was one of the many things I discovered on Bust The Facts. Before then, I think I had heard of them, but never did check them out. I can’t recall where the crew is from, I want to say L.A. The album is not anything great, some generic west coast gangsta rap from the early 90′s. By this time though, I was in a “buying frenzy” and ended up snatching up anything I found remotely interesting. I had actually put this down after I got con
trol of myself, but when I only had seven CDs, I went back and got my eighth one, because it was free. I did end up paying $7.99 for it. Looking back at it now and looking on Amazon, I kind of got ripped, but so be it. I haven’t seen it before, so I gotta grab it when you can.
Artifacts – That’s Them $6.99
Artifacts – Wrong Side of the Tracks $6.99
I know, I know, I should have my hip hop blogger license revoked for not already owning these. Everyone one has them, a group that while they like their music and all, they just never ended up buying their albums. That was The Artifacts for me. I can’t deny that both these albums are classic east coast music and I was happy to finally grab some copies of them.
Ultramagnetic MC’s – Critical Beatdown $7.99
If not having the Artifacts on CD didn’t warrant my hip hop blogger license being revoked, surely not having Ultra’s debut in the collection would, right? In my defense though, I’ve had it on tape for a long while, since at least ’89 or ’90, so that should at least get me a “get out of jail” card. What can I say about this album that hasn’t been said already? It’s a certified classic. I believe this might be an original release as well. It’s got a copyright of 1988 and no later ones on the case and the case itself is beat to hell. Not sure, nor does it really matter, but it’s kind of cool if its the original release.
Organized Konfusion – Organized Konfusion Free (fourth CD)
Another potentially license revoking omission on my part I suppose. This came out in the days that Trav was not having this kind of thing (creative) and I rejected it. I hated “Fudge Pudge”, “Walk Into The Sun” and “….Last Piece of Chicken” with a passion back in those days, all singles that were played on Yo! back in the day. I would go on and get Stress: Extinction Agenda and Equinox both when they first dropped, but I never did go back and buy the debut. I would listen to it since then and realized it was pretty fuckin’ good, especially as one of my freebies.
Too Short – Short Dogs In The House $7.99
I swear I do this every fuckin’ trip, I end up buying a clean version of some fuckin’ album. Yes, it pisses me the fuck off and I fuckin’ think I have to make fuckin’ up for it. FUCK! And Too Short is not something you want the clean version to. I paid $7.99 for this shit? FUCK! Short Dogs In The House is my second favorite Too Short album after Life Is….To Short. Most of my, no scratch that, ALL my Too Short CDs disappeared back in my house party days. Usually because they always got brought out and played sometime during the party. This one still has the plastic on it, but I have no desire to listen to a clean version of a Too Short album. It’s just wrong.
TO BE CONTINUED
That is all for part one of the trip. I still have three more stores to go over, including the best one of the trip, so stay tuned later this week for part two of the trip………