The beauty about the internet is we get to hear music that we probably would never have gotten the chance to hear any other way. The evil thing about the ‘net is the fact that the fact that some of this music is obscure automatically makes the ebay geeks run up crazy prices on certain vinyl only releases. That’s the case with Sparrow’s “Physics/Rhyme Impotence” 12 inch release. The Baltimore, Marlyand group dropped the highly sought after single on Unruly Records back in 1995 and since has been commanding prices as high as a $1000 (ONE FREAKING THOUSAND) on internet sites such as ebay and Discogs. I’ve always been totally against the greed some of these sellers display (which is probably why I’ll never be “rich”), and I have a hard time paying more than $20 bucks for a piece of vinyl, but there are people out there willing to pay these prices, so I guess they are made for each other.
Getting off my soap box, we’ll discuss the single itself and the group. Sometimes known as Sparrow The Movement, it was comprised of Fla-Fla & S.O. They dropped the single “Inheritance” in ’98 and according to Discogs, they had another undated single, “Get Your Ass Up” b/w “What You Expect”, which I know absolutely nothing about. That leaves us with their most popular release, “Physics” b/w “Rhyme Impotence”. Indeed it is a very nice piece of work and probably deserves the attention it receives as well as the desire that people, such as myself, have for this particular 12 inch. Produced by Sparrow themselves, it’s not one of the records that you can easily say “oh, that’s from ’95″ just by listening to the beats. It’s very modern sounding, yet, it’s still a banger from front to back. Not much is known about Sparrow, but they are still apparently making music. Myspace
The A side features three tracks of “Physics”. The first two are the clean and dirty versions of the song. Right from the get-go, you know this is what hip hop should sound like. The swirling, layered piano keys remind me of some kind of Havoc produced Mobb Deep jam, but just a little more upbeat. I’m a sucka for keys to begin with, but they are just insane on this track. Speaking of Mobb Deep, they also utilize a nice Prodigy vocal sample that adds to the joint. To be honest, I’m not totally sure who is who as far as the MC goes, but they do a fine job with the rhymes. The rhymes are very tight and straight to point. The remix of “Physics” is a darker opus that incorporates an eerie organ sample with a hallow drum track. It’s rather bare bones compared to the layered effort on the original version and that in turn gives the track it’s much darker tones. The lyrics are also changed up as well. They too are also much darker, and coupled with the slower and more deliberate flow, it’s straight up menacing. Then you have Ol Dirty Bastard saying “see murder which is caused when you fuck with the negative and positive charge” over the track and you swear you can feel the cold dark night and the near by sewers. I might have to give the slight nod to the remix.
The b-side is one that a lot of cats give this record the “b-side wins again” label, and that might quite possibly be true. “Rhyme Impotence” was my introduction to Sparrow back in 2005 on the OG Cocaine Blunts boards. It is featured on the b-side as both a clean and dirty version. Again, hearing this track makes you think back to the ratio of dope shit to wack shit was much closer than it is today. The hard drums knock hard as a familiar sample comes which I can’t place (it’s been on another hip hop song from the early 90′s, but that too is escaping me). The overall feeling is a smooth yet rugged vibe that is simply great for the MC to do his thing over it. It’s a solid, nah scratch that, a great beat. Lyrically, it’s another on point effort. Dude is definitely an above average MC. I know a lot of people prefer “Rhyme Impotence” over “Physics”, and I can see why, although for me, it’s pretty hard to beat the remix for “Physics”. The last track on the b-side is the remix instrumental, to close of a dope little 12 inch, although, not worth a $1000.
|A1||Physics (Clean Radio Edit) (4:29)|
|A2||Physics (Dirty) (4:29)|
|A3||Physics (Remix) (5:16)|
|B1||Rhyme Impotence (Clean) (4:56)|
|B2||Rhyme Impotence (Dirty) (4:56)|
|B3||Physics (Remix Instrumentals) (5:16)|