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“30 Albums To Get You Thru November” (an album a day) aka “Eric’s Most Overlooked LP’s” #’s 24 & 23

by Eric on November 8, 2008

“Vagina Diner”-Akinyele (1993, Interscope)

Purchase “Vagina Diner” via Amazon (good luck with this one..)

From Ego Trip’s “Book Of Rap Lists”: “Two tons of boasts, freaky tales and wicked wordplay. Plus, it’s the only complete LP produced by Large Professor outside of Main Source’s “Breaking Atoms”

From Eric: “Am I the only one who remembers The Source hyping Akinyele as “Hip Hop’s next saving grace” back in 1993? Yeah right, like Hip Hop was in desperate need of any “saving” back in those days…especially with the Wu-Tang debut and Nas’ and Biggie’s first offerings right around the corner. Not soon after his appearance on what would become the legendary “Live At The BBQ” (which appeared on Main Source’s CLASSIC debut), Akinyele set forth to stake his claim as part of the “resurrection crew” (Black Moon, Wu, ATCQ, etc), in a valiant attempt to bring back “that ol’ New York Rap” back to NYC…while it was currently chillin’ in the West Coast thanks to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic”.

Released on Interscope Records with production in it’s entirety by the now legendary Large Professor, Akinyele scored a wonderful debut when compared to most of the freshman releases we’re subjected to nowadays. Although, initially “Vagina Diner” did fall short of our expectations in 93′. Still, over the years this album has never failed me, packed with an overabundance of metaphors and boasts, Akinyele would have fared very well in today’s underground “battle” circuit where mostly everything is based on an overreliance of punchlines and braggadocio. While Akiniyele is far from an herb lyrically, the constant metaphors do wear thin by album’s end. So how did “Vagina Diner” end up as one of my favorite records of All-Time? Simple enough…..Large Professor!! The beats on this album are pure Golden Age boom-bap brought to you by the only notable member of the now defunct Main Source.

The album begins with a less than stellar Extra P production “WorldWide”, of course Large Pro’s “less than stellar” beats far surpassed that of 90% of his peers even then (read: it was no “Looking At The Front Door”, but still adequate). Quickly, things turn around with the irresistible “head nod” found courtesy of “Outta State”, which also finds Aktapuss “ready to make papes somewhere other than his place of residence”. For some peculiar reason, the album’s most disturbing track “I Luh Her” has always been the centerpiece of “Vagina Diner” for me. On “I Luh Her”, Akinyele’s disturbing (well..not at the time but nowadays rappin’ about “killin’ babies with coat hangers wouldn’t go over with the public too well) lyrics are virtually subdued by Large Pro’s masterful production yet again. Overall, “Vagina Diner” has always been a fun, lighthearted listen…I mean, c’mon…..Who else would make a song about hating to work out as Aknell did with “Exercixe”??? Plus, other than Main Source’s “Breaking Atoms” and Large Pro’s “The Lp” & “First Class” where else are you gonna’ find an album with beats produced 100% by the legendary Extra P?

“The Bomb”

“Black Business”-Poor Righteous Teachers (1993, Profile)

Purchase “Black Business” via Amazon

Finally, after sitting down and searching through “dead links”, in a strange turn of events you’re lucky enough to get my actual “thoughts” on this album today. You lucky bastards! Following in the footsteps of their two previous efforts (the Classic “Holy Intellect” and the subpar “Pure Poverty”) Poor Righteous Teachers dropped what I’ve always felt was their best album “Black Business” in the fall of 1993 on the now-defunct Profile Records. Wow, I just realized….PRT dropped FOUR albums on Profile? How often do you see that kinda’ loyalty from a record company nowadays? With “Black Business” Wise Intelligent displayed more of a “Ragga Hip Hop” stylee than on the group’s prior efforts. Evidence of this can be found on the exceptional “144 K” and my favorite cut from the album “Selah”, both of which are highlighted by the appearance of Rahzi Highpower…who blesses the choruses from both songs with his rasta influenced vocal delivery. The filtered horn loop and heavy drum kicks displayed on “Nobody Move” are as close to “Boom Bap” as I’ve ever heard from P.R.T., while Wise Intelligent provides yet another outstanding lyrical showing.

Another cut that follows in the same vein as “Nobody Move” is the Chuck D & Flavor Flav vocal sampled “Here We Go Again”. The track titles of the two aforementioned cuts may not be the most original, but they did truly capture the essence of the “boom bap” era. Highlighted with heavy drum kicks and spine-tingling horn stabs both cuts could still find their place bumpin’ outta’ trunks everywhere. Wise, who is yet another emcee that is rarely mentioned as one of the top emcees when the question “who is your favorite emcee?” is posed is almost a genius. I mean…dude never came wack, even on his newest shit the lyrics are well above average. Shit, I could go on for days about this album….I truly love “Black Business”. The only real beef that you may encounter with the album is that the second half is not up to par with the first half. Which isn’t to deter the Classic status of “Black Business”, it’s just the first six cuts on the album are “amazing” and the last six are still “exceptional”…if that makes any sense at all?

If you haven’t scooped this up just yet (lord knows how long the link was down) do yourself a favor and peep “Black Business”. Hopefully, you’ll be just as “blown away” as I was when I first heard the album and as I still am even today. Hell, this may even be “Top 10″ material for me! It’s just that I (much like half of the die hard golden era fans) always seem to forget about these Jersey cats. Shit, I gotta’ surf on over to Amazon and pick this up right now! Oh, and to homeboy who kept hitting me up on some “where is the P.R.T.?” for three days in the C-Box….are you happy now?

“Nobody Move”

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Travis November 8, 2008 at 9:28 am

daaaayum, didn’t realize that the Ak was going for that much. I still have my CD of it, it’s banged to fuck, but still sounds good

me1cooldude November 8, 2008 at 6:54 am

Nice choice on this album, I remeber buyng this when it dropped. Mostly noted for their lyrics I thought the beats where incredible…

Dart_Adams November 9, 2008 at 4:55 pm

I remember when Dream Hampton did that editorial in The Source where she published an open letter to Akinyele about his portrayal of women and his misogynistic lyrics on songs like “I Luh Huh” and “No Exit”.

This was one of the best albums of the era on I still have the cassette that I bought for $7.34 from Tower Records back in 1993. That was 15 years ago! Wow.


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