***Trav’s Note – I forgot to mention yesterday that this week will be focused on some of the vinyl singles I have in my collection that I want to rip. I bought myself a USB turntable for my birthday a couple weeks ago and am just now figuring it all out. I’ve never been one to act all high and mighty and say, “Look what I have and you don’t,” so I figured I’d share what I rip. I’m still learning this whole vinyl ripping thing and can still hear some pops and crackles in the stuff I’m ripping, but trust me, I’ve come a long way from a couple weeks ago (just ask Has-Lo, he heard the first track I rippped that sounded like a helicopter taking off in teh background). I’m still learning the fine tuning of Audicity program, so it’s bound to get better.
Dancers who turn rappers? History shows us that it’s a hit and miss prospect. You had Stezo, who used to bust funky steps for EPMD back in the day. He dropped an album which received some attention back in the day. Of course, he is credited (with controversy) for being the first to use the Skull Snaps “It’s A New Day” sample. Even before Stezo, there was UTFO, who could boast that half of the group used to dance for Whodini back in the day. There was also the A.T.e.E.M., who had a dancer AND a bodyguard (of sorts) in the form of Hot Dog and Rob Swinga. Of course, I loved the A.T.e.E.M., but I’m not your average hip hop at times. We won’t mention Oaktown 3.5.7. (although I did somewhat like their debut album, but I will never admit to it if asked) nor the 2 Bigg MC, although, to be fair, I never heard that album, and probably never will unless Hammer himself kidnaps me and ties me to a chair and forces me to listen to it.
The dancer turned MC we are featuring today is one of Big Daddy Kane’s dancers from back in the day. If you remember right, his dancers Scoob and Scrap, where on all his early videos. Soon, Big Scoob would be appearing on all the Kane albums. Of course there was the near classic joint, “Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy” from It’s a Big Daddy Thing, then there was “Down The Line” from Taste of Chocolate. He would appear on the “Chocolate City” track from Looks Like a Job For… Then for some reason, Kane thought he was important enough to feature on three tracks for Daddy’s Home. It was probably those three tracks that made it difficult for a lot of cats to take him serious. Early Scoob was somewhat entertaining on the mic, but he wasn’t what you’d call a lyrical monster. But once he adapted the annoying delivery found on Daddy’s Home, especially the cartoon like verse he did for “Show & Prove”, that almost swore me off of listening to any hip hop dancer on the mic ever again. He also had his single from the same year of 1994, titled “N—-z Can’t Hang”, which also employed the same flow. I had pretty much wrote off Big Scoob.
Advance to two years later, in 1996. Rumors of Scoob trying to make a solo career abound, greeted mostly with snickers among the hip hop heads. Some of us, such as myself wouldn’t hear some of his attempts and at the time I wasn’t missing much. That was until I was in my local record store on a late September, spending a Saturday afternoon going through some records after watching some college football games and chilling at the sports bar. I was flipping through the singles and ran across a Cold Chillin’ label and saw BIG SCOOB printed across it. I had heard some of his own solo singles abandoned horrible delivery he used on “Show & Prove” and being one to check out the old shit, I picked up the single for a mere $3.99.
The single only features the minimal requirements of a dirty version, radio version, instrumental and acapella of the track “Champagne on the Block”. As far as I can tell, this was only released as a promo. The cover is your generic back sleeve with a sticker label with the name Big Scoob and the songs title with the Cold Chillin’ logo and some busted champagne glasses. This had to be toward the end of Cold Chillin’s run as I don’t remember them putting much out after ’96.
How is the song? It’s a pleasant surprise. If you are fan of typical east coast production and vibe from the mid 90′s, this is something you’ll definitely want to check out. Big Scoob flows along nicely, and probably the best I’ve ever heard him on a track. He’s still no Rakim, hell he probably isn’t even a PMD, but he holds his own. He comes with a very catchy and memorable hook that will sure to have cats mumbling the chorus to themselves while they travel on the train to work, school, or wherever it is they are heading. The beat is the what really caught me by surprise. Produced by Majesty, who has produced for Cella Dwellas and Da King & I. Comprised of a subtle yet addictive bass line and an ill sample, the beat is true hip hop in it’s rawest essence. The head nod factor increases as the track plays on.
It’s a shame this track never saw an official release, as I think he could have caught some head’s attention. It definitely surprised me with it’s infectious groove and addictive chorus.
A2 Champagne On The Block (Instrumental) (4:57)
B1 Champagne On The Block (Sober Radio Mix) (4:20)
B2 Champagne On The Block (Acapella) (3:35)