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“30 Albums To Get You Thru November” (an album a day) aka “Eric’s Most Overlooked LP’s” #20

by Eric on November 12, 2008

“The Skills Dat Pay The Bills”-Positive K (1992, 4th & Broadway)

Purchase “The Skills Dat Pay The Bills” via Amazon

Even though Pos K’s ‘92 release “The Skills….” was considered to be his official debut, he was the furthest thing from a “rookie” in Hip Hop. Pos had moderate success via his collabo with MC Lyte, “A Good Combination”, and also his offering that appeared on the First Priority compilation “Basement Flavor” (”I’m Not Havin’ It”). More notable, was Pos’ unforgettable appearance on Brand Nubian’s classic debut “One For All” with the reggae-tinged jam, “Who Can Get Busy Like This Man”. So, after nearly three years in waiting Pos’ K starting kickin’ ass and takin’ names in Hip-Hop with his HUGE smash “I Got A Man”. And when I say HUGE, we’re talkin’ an appearance on the largely forgotten “MTV Party To Go” compilation album HUGE (I hope you sense the hint of sarcasm thrown in there). Sadly, that would be Positive’s lone crown jewel in Hip Hop, and believe it or not, I think in the long run that it may have actually hindered his sales, due to the fact that many of the hardrocks were expecting more of the “fluff-stuff” flavor that was indeed “I Got A Man”.

In my opinion, “The Skills” is an extremely good album, for ‘92 standards that is. A collective of jazzy grooves and heavy bass thumps, “The Skills” had just enough good stuff to cater to nearly every fan-base. Positive liked to call himself “Mr. Clean Cut and Daper”, and that’s exactly the way that his rhyme style and delivery came off, kinda’ “tongue in cheek”, if you catch my drift. Of course, you had the commercial success of the aforementioned “I Got A Man”, yet you also had the more hardcore “How The Fu*ck Would You Know” (many of you will identify the sample from Public Enemy’s debut, Yo! Bumrush The Show”) and “One 2 The Head”. You also had the tracks aimed as the fly skimmies, “Minnie The Moocher (f. Grand Daddy I.U.) and “CarHoppers”. Finally, you had the good ole’ funky sh*t that you couldn’t help but move along with such as the irresistible “Shakin” (my favorite joint from the album) and “Nightshift” (yet another track amongst the thousands that used the “Substitution” break). Like I mentioned before, there’s something for everyone on “The Skills That Pay The Bills”.

Sitting here listening to the album while I type this, I can honestly say that even today “The Skills..” plays just as it did in ‘92. Hell, I may love the album even more now than I did back during my Freshman year of High School. Boy, it’s albums like this that truly take you back to the days when your only worries were makin’ sure you had enough gas in the tank to get from point A to point B, and sliding into to Home Room before the opening bell rang. Man, what a dope album!

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Cinque November 13, 2008 at 8:11 am

You’ve got to have swagger to rock that jacket he has on. How was that gear acceptable? The Cross Colors/Kani era wasn’t a good look.

btw- I don’t know anyone who actually owned this record. In fact I don’t really remember even seeing it in stores (wasn’t looking for it-although I may have to give it a try), yet the video was on all day. It was as if I completely ignored the fact that this guy had more than one single.

floodwatch November 13, 2008 at 3:17 am

One my overlooked favorites as well. A correction, though: Pos K actually appeared on “Grand Puba, Positive and L.G.” on Brand Nubian’s debut. “Who Can Get Busy Like This Man” was a Puba solo cut.

Dart_Adams November 13, 2008 at 6:56 pm

Flood’s right. The things about this classic (yeah, I said it!) album were that:

1) L.G. was one of the most underrated Hip Hop producers of any era and he totally blessed Pos K with a bunch of bangers.

2) Folks expected a bunch of Hip Pop (like Candyman) and they instead got a straight up B-Boy album. Tracks like “One 2 The Head”, ‘How The Fuck Would You Know?” (which got the Hip Hop Quotable in The Source), “Minnie The Moocher”, “A Flower That Grows In Brooklyn” and also my favorite track on the album “Shakin’” (when the beat went backwards at the end I damn near lost it!).

I was in 10th grade when I bought this album and I remember going to school with this tape and the Beatnuts “Intoxicated Demons EP” in my jacket pockets.



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