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Rare/Obscure Single of the Week: Jewel T – "Rock Nice" b/w "Ride The Crossfade"

by Travis on November 14, 2008

Jewel TRock Nice/Ride The Crossfade (Jewel Records, 1987)

A1 Rock Nice (3:53)
A2 Ride The Crossfade (4:04)
B1 Rock Nice (Instrumental) (3:48)
B2 Ride The Crossfade (Instrumental) (4:00)

There isn’t a lot out there about this cat. I first ran across this particular single on the Cocaine Blunts boards back around 2005. Until then, I knew of him from being signed with B-Boy Records in the late 80′s, in which I think he only released one single, which was “I Like It Loud”. All this leads me to believe he was from New York, and I want to say Queens, but don’t quote me on that.

The single consists of two tracks basically as a dual A-Side single, with the b-side containing the instrumental versions. Jewel T is a type of MC that was fairly abundant in those late 80′s, a sort of cut from the LL Cool J clothe. The first cut, “Rock Nice”, is basically Jewel T rhyming over a drum break. For cats my age, we can appreciate that kind of thing. This was the hip hop I was introduced to, so I have no qualms about it, but some of the younger crowd will probably find this dull and old sounding. In other words, some of that late 80′s material hasn’t aged gracefully. “Rock Nice” also contains some nice scratches throughout the song. Lyrically, you won’t find anything ground breaking. As I mentioned, he is aggressive on the mic, in a near shouting delivery. The rhymes are typical braggadocios rhymes from the time. Basically, if you are a fan of the late 80′s drum machine/break type of tracks, this won’t disappoint.

The second track, “Ride The Crossfade”, has always been my favorite of the two tracks. When you listen to it, the crazy drum break will immediately remind you of “Rock The Bells”. In fact even the rhymes and some of the bits and pieces sound like they came from the famous LL cut, down to the electric guitar sample bit used at the intro of the song. Again, it’s your basic drum track, with some dope scratching. Raw, unadulterated hip hop in all it’s finest. While it might not be the most original in nature, it’s still kind of cool.

Jewel-T had several singles through the late 80′s, dropping one in ’86 (“Believe It Or Not”), this one in ’87, “I Like It Loud”, dropped in ’88. Then his career takes kind of a weird turn. He dropped the “County Blues” single in ’93, which I know nothing about. Then he would drop a full length CD in 1995, called “Gangster Chronicles”, which judging by the title and cover and the fact that I’ve never heard of it, it was a horrible attempt at cashing in on the gangster music craze of the time. Regardless, this particular single can be had for $15-$20 off of Discogs, so not a bad price for a nice little piece of hip hop history.

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