This week for our semi weekly “Rare/Obscure Single of the Week” series, we feature Demastas’ “Feel No Guilt” b/w “Ain’t No Sunshine (When I Bust Dat Ass Remix).” If you checked last month’s volume of WYDU Classics, you will recognize the “Ain’t No Sunshine” remix. I was somewhat reserved featuring the whole single so close after it was featured on that project, but I’ve always been a big fan of this single, so it’s now or never.
Digging up any info on Demastas is rather difficult, there simply is not much to be found. What I know consists of what is common knowledge on Discogs and whoever did the write up for Philaflava’s “100 Greatest Obscure Tracks”, which also incorrectly credits Jesse West as the producer for both the A-side and the B-side. I could have written that for all I know. Both tracks were actually produced by Rob Lewis, who like Jesse West, was also associated with Nine. So my guess, without being able to confirm it, would be that the three man group was out of NYC, perhaps the Bronx. I’m sure some of the readers will have some more info to drop than I do on the group itself.
The single though, I can atest that it’s simply banging. It was released in 1999 on London Records and was the crew’s second and final (to my knowledge) release. Their first release was the original version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” that was dropped a year earlier. The A-side consits of “Feel No Guilt”, which features Nine. I’ve been a Nine fan since he first dropped with Funk Flex, so hearing him on anything not on his albums, I’m all for it. Nine’s gruff voice is often proclaimed as gimmicky by some, but for me it is something different and unique. Nine trades verses with all three MCs and handles the ad-libs and chorus. The Demastas MCs aren’t ground breaking, but hold their own. One kinda sounds like Phil Da Agony from The Barbershop MC’s and Likwit Crew, which is some what interesting. For the beat, if you are familiar with Rob Lewis and his work, then you know what to expect from the track. If you are not familiar with Rob Lewis, all you have to do is go back and listen to Nine’s debut album since he produced all but two or three tracks on it. Rob used a lot of strings in his sound and backed it by hard hitting drums and the beat for “Feel No Guilt” doesn’t stray from that path. Throw some piano keys over the top of that mixture and you have yourself a nice little beat. He then brings it all together a nice Milk D vocal sample for the hook (you know which one I’m talking about) and this track is one that needs to be heard by the masses. The rest of the A-side contains the clean version and the instrumental version.
The B-side features a remix for their first single, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, but in this case Rob Lewis comes with the “When I Bust That Ass Remix”. If you’ve heard the original version, which was also produced by Rob Lewis, you will recognize a big difference. The original creeps along at a slow and somber pace, while the remix lives up to it’s name and comes at a much more frenzied pace. The vocals are all new. On the original, they had just been dumped. On the remix though, they were on to the next stage and were all pissed off about being dumped. It happens to all of us. They are much more aggresive on the remix with the vocals. I’m a much bigger fan of the original than of this b-side remix, but it’s still a decent attempt.
A1 Feel No Guilt (Radio) Featuring – Nine
A2 Feel No Guilt (Dirty) Rap Featuring – Nine
A3 Feel No Guilt (Instrumental)
B1 Ain’t No Sunshine (When I Bust Dat Ass Remix) (Radio)
B2 Ain’t No Sunshine (When I Bust Dat Ass Remix) (Dirty)
B3 Ain’t No Sunshine (When I Bust Dat Ass Remix) (Instrumental)