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Bass Week: Trav's Five Favorite Bass Albums

by Travis on December 12, 2008

I’m a list junkie, always have been. It’s one of the reasons I love the end of year so damn much. I can write up all sorts of crazy ass lists to cover the years music. It’s the reason I’ve already started on making lists for the grandiose year end post I have coming up in the next few weeks. I look for any chance I have to come up with some hair-brained list. And I found one for this week. My top five favorite bass albums.

I’m no where near a bass “expert” by any stretch of the mind. I listened to it from ’88 until about ’91, then I got swept up in the new have of NYC material coming out during that time. None the less, I did have my favorite bass and bass related albums. It’d be easy to say any 2 Live Crew album (which were all good in those early years), but I seemed to gravitate to some of the more obscure things, which I have the habit of doing. So, without further rambling, I present WYDU’s Top Five Favorite Bass Albums….

5 (TIE). MC Shy D – Commin’ Correct in ’88

I really can’t remember who or what got me originally into MC Shy D. I want to say it was like a lot of cats in those days did it. Anytime I bought a new tape, I would pull out the liner notes and read the “Thanks To…” from whatever artist. This would usually list a bunch of other rap groups and artists. I can remember reading MC Shy D‘s name being mentioned in those quite often. Or it could have been for the fact he was signed to Luke Skyywalker Records for his first couple efforts and I picked up one of the tapes strictly based on that. Whatever the case, at one time, my next door neighbor neighbor and I had all of MC Shy D’s albums. Shy D was out of Atlanta, which surprisingly had a few groups dropping material in the late 80′s, such as Shy D and Success N Effect (another favorite Bass flavored album, at least their debut effort).

This particular album, my buddy bought and I ripped it off of him (another example of kids always pirating music). I remember I wore the tape out, but of course it was on one of those super cheap tape brands as well. While his first album, Got To Be Tough, and his third album, Don’t Sweat Me, are both very good, it was Shy D’s sophomore album, Commin’ Correct in ’88 that was my personal favorite. From the first track, “I Am Rough”, with it’s stripped down drum track with a nice funk guitar sample and 808 kick drum, it sounds like it might be a traditional 80′s hip hop album. Lyrically, Shy D always reminded me of a southern Steady B, which is probably why I liked his material. “Just My Caddy” tackles the favorite car of most Miami Bass artists, the Cadillac. “I Don’t Want To Treat You Wrong” jumped on the bandwagon of every rapper had to have a love song on his shit. This was Shy D’s attempt, but what makes the track so important is that it’s one of the first times I heard the Isley Brother’s “In Between The Sheets” sample used. Biggie and numerous other cats made the sample famous over the years, but Shy D beat them to it. My two personal favorite songs from the album, “Shake It” and “I Don’t Play” liberally use electric guitar riffs, ala Beasties and Run DMC, but I loved that shit. I guess it was the white boy in me. All together though, this is a great album that has gotten a lot of play over the years from me.

MC Shy D – Commin’ Correct In ’88 (Luke Skyywalker R

ecords, 1988)

1.I’m Rough (3:47)

2 It’s Just My Caddy (3:44)

3 I Don’t Want To Treat You Wrong (4:31)

4 I Don’t Play (3:43)

5 I Will Go Off (Part II) (3:43)

6 Atlanta That’s Where I Stay (4:13)

7 Shake It (5:27)

8 I Wanna Dance (4:07)

9 Tearin’ It Up (3:21)

5. (Tie) Young & Restless – Something To Get You Hyped

Yet another album I don’t really remember my introduction to, Something To Get You Hyped by Young & Restless. Too many adult beverages in my lifetime I guess. It could have been the liner note thing again, or it could have been one of the videos that Yo! MTV Raps used to show, most notably “B-Girls”. The album itself isn’t really strong on the bass features. You’re not going to be blown away by the rumbling bass, but coming out of Miami, they still had all the traits that m

ade a good Miami Bass themed album. Coming in at a short eight songs, you could almost consider this album a Miami version of DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fr

esh Prince. Songs such “It Just Wasn’t Our Day” and even the favorite “B-Girls”. They contain light hearted stories about the their every day life, using humor as the selling point. “B-Girls” was probably the groups biggest hit, talking about the golden digging females out there. The track got a lot of play from us on the way to high school. The track “Poison Ivy” is classic Miami Bass though. The sped up BPM with the 808 kick drum and the call and response is all traits of a good Miami Bass th
emed track.

Young & RestlessSomething To Get You Hyped (Pandisc, 1990)

1 Something To Get You Hyped (3:58)
2 It Just Wasn’t Our Day (5:53)
3 B Girls (4:00)
4 Cold Get Ill (3:30)
5 Gimme Them Guts (3:24)
6 Funky Az Bass Line (4:17)
7 Louie, Louie (5:07)
8 Poison Ivy (Remix) (3:56)

4. The Gucci Crew II – So Def, So Fresh, So Stupid

Gucci Crew was one of the earliest groups I got into in my younger y

ears, even before the advent of “Yo! MTV Raps”, so pre ’88. While 2 Live Crew was responsible for my infatuation of bass music in those early years, it was probably Gucci Crew II that kept it going. This album was originally released in ’87 on Gucci Records, which somehow (again, I don’t remember how, it was before videos and magazines for me) I got a hold of. The Gucci Crew followed the traditional blueprint

for a good Miami Bass themed album. This album had LOTS of hard bass hits, the 808 runs rampent throughout the album. It’s listed as Disco Rick produced, who would later split with the group and go on to form The Dogs. There are some rumors that Miami legend Amos Larkin had a hand in some of the production, not sure exactly how true that is.

So Def, So Fresh, So Stupid is full of great and memorable tracks. You immediately get hit with the bass from the onstart with “Gucci Bass”. It goes without saying that the cow bells and rollin’ bass is in full effect on the track. Other tracks like “Cabbage Patch”, which I wonder if they stole from the World Class Wreckin’ Cru, is just fun club tracks. “Get ‘Em Girls” was a big favorite of myself and my friends. Growing up with many differen

t cultural influences, I’m probably one of the few kids that could’ve been found riding a horse, with my Walkmen headphones pumping Gucci Crew and my hat turned backwards. The other favorite “Sally (That Girl)”, with it’s sexu

al overtone and catchy as fuck hook, it’s something you could’ve started singing to anyone in the neighborhood while playing hoops, and they would have join right in. In my life, this album was pretty influential at one time.

Gucci Crew II – So Def, So Fresh, So Stupid (Gucci Records, 1987)

A1 Gucci Bass
A2 The Cabbage Patch
A3 Till The Day We Die
A4 Sally “That Girl”
A5 We’re Def – Yall
B1 Gucci Broke
B2 Get’em Girls
B3 And The Beat Goes

B4 Dating Game

3. Poison Clan – 2 Low Life Muthas

Poison Clan’s “2 Low life Muthas” has long been a favorite “ig’nant” album of mine as well as a favorite bass themed album. They came along the lines of 2 Live Crew, which is obvious by the “Baby 2 Live Crew” moniker the album was blessed with on the cover. Debanior and JT Money were 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. Classic album in the WYDU frame of mind.

The lead track, “2 Low Life Mutha F—-s” is as dirty and hard hitting as they come. As I said, the 2 Live influence is all over the album, as they curse out bitches, punks and anyone frontin’ on them over a hard as hell drum track. The only “safe” track, “Dance All Nite” is probably the most traditional when it comes to the Miami Bass genre. It’s all there for a club banger. The rest of the album is pure ignorance, all over that Miami flavor that was mad popular in those days.

Poison Clan – 2 Low Life Muthas (Effect/Luke Records, 1990)

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*
07 Flaugin’ (4:39)
08 Bad Influence (4:12)
09 You Gets Nothin’ (4:49)
10 The Neighborhood Haps (2:51)
11 Juveniles (7:02)

2. DJ Magic Mike & MC Madness – Ain’t No Doubt About It

I going through the blog looking to see if I had written anything about this album before, and surprisingly enough I didn’t see anything. If I haven’t, that’s a shame, because when it comes to the bass genre, DJ Magic Mike & MC Madness’ “Ain’t No Doubt About It” is a great album for many different reasons. First of all, it’s got bass, and a lot of it. This is probably the first “true” Miami bass album on the list, simply because this album will blow up any car system not properly installed. It can rattle dishes in a house from a mile away. Tracks like “Do You Like Bass” and “Feel The Bass III” concentrates on that ultra low bass that will make you pee yourself if not careful.

Also for a bass album, it was wide on variety and MC Madness, who will never be confused for Rakim, could hold his own on the mic. Tracks like “Dynamic Duo” contained the best of both worlds, adrenaline producing music and bone jarring bass. It got your blood pumping and I probably would consider it one of my bass influenced jams of all time. Magic Mike had a string of albums that went gold, with very little airplay and no videos from what I remember. He did that with a cult following and making quality bass joints, and this is the pennacle of it all.

DJ Magic Mike & MC Madness – Ain’t No Doubt About It (Cheetah Records, 1991)

01 Speedy And Poncho
02 Sgt. Fester
03 Ain’t No Doubt About It
04 Dynamic Duo
05 Do You Like Bass?
06 Class Is In Session
07 Slow Draggin
08 Exile Via Freestyle
09 Cellular Phone #1
10 Madness To The Brink Of Insanity
11 Just Cruisin
12 Suckers Frontin
13 I’m Gonna Make It Real Funky For You
14 Orlando’s In The House
15 Dance All Night
16 The E And The Sea-Gull
17 Give ‘Em An Example How A DJ Works
18 Abracadabra
19 Feel The Bass. III
20 Shake Your Booty Baby
21 The Boo-Boo Of Rough J. Rough
22 Murder In The 1st Degree
23 Cellular Phone #2

1. MC ADE – How Much Can You Take

The holy grail of all bass albums, MC ADE’s How Much Can You Take. It is my favorite of the genre. Hard hitting bass, possibly the hardest I’ve ever ran across (I never listened to those car audio joints, so those might have more) that would just roll so hard, but would be so clear. Maybe it was the way I had my system set up or something, but this was the CD I’d use to test out any car stereo. “Hit Harder” was my shit, but “Control”, “How Much Can You Take”, and “Da’ Train” all had crazy crazy bass. Some of the other tracks were traditional hip hop tracks, but still had that kick behind them.

I remember my best friends cousin was visiting from Vegas and he played this for us. I fell in love with it. It was something that we couldn’t find in my little ho-dunk town at the time, so I think I ended up trading him a 12 pack of beer (as seniors in high school, getting beer was a bit of a chore) for the CD itself. Somehow over the years I lost it, but it was pretty beat up anyway. I finally got the hook up from my man Tommy B over at Miscreant Productions. This is an ebay and amazon treasure with people paying around hundred bucks and more for the CD and wax versions.

MC A.D.E.How Much Can You Take (4-Sight Records, 1989)

01 Go A.D.E
02 How Much Can You Take
03 To The Fan’s
04 Sex, Crime, Drugs
05 Hit Harder
06 Da ‘Train
07 A.D.E. Got It Going On
08 Lyric Licking
09 Money Hounding Ho’s
10 Physician
11 It’s Crazy
12 Control

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