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Where's The Book, Dammit?!?!

by Travis on May 20, 2009

I’m wrapping up “Raising Hell: The Rise, The Ruin and The Redemption of Run DMC”, by Ronin Ro. It’s not the greatest book of all time, but it’s been extremely entertaining. I credit Run DMC with getting me into hip hop to begin with, and probably the single most important group in the genre’s history, so to read an in depth book on them has been interesting to say the least.

On my nearly hour commute this morning, it got me thinking, and not just about about how many hours left until the upcoming three day weekend neither. I was thinking what groups/artists would I want to read a “no-holds barred” biography on. It would have to be entertaining, have to be some juicy back stories, and some dissension and conflict are always entertaining sub-plots to have.

In the end, I came up with these five as my most wanted to read bio’s…..

The Pharcyde

If you are going to write a book on an artist or group, the subject matter has to be fairly interesting, which means you need conflict, deception, and angst. Let’s face it, the history of the Pharcyde contains all of that. From starting off as dancers and pop lockers, the story that I’ve read about them dancing in an after school boys club and how they came together, always sounded mad interesting. Then of course, you have the near infamous stories that you occasionally catch from the Pharcyde manor day, in which you had every hanger on sleeping on the couches, while the four member crew was usually high as hell. Everything was all happy go-lucky during the Bizarre Ride days, but it’s also been documented that things went south fairly quick with rumors of drug abuse by both J-Swift (the fifth Pharcyde member) and Fatlip. There is a reason for the change in tone between the first album and the second album. What was it? Inquiring minds need to know

The stuff that has been heard about how the group handled the whole Fatlip episode would be great reading material after Labcabin.. was released. I’m sure there is a shitload of “behind the scenes” stories to come out of that whole incident. Including an incident with him and Imani at a Blaze Battle at the House of Blues back toward the late 90′s. Slim Kid Tre was the next to bolt, and again, cats felt jaded by it.

I’d read their biography, not only because they are one of my all-time favorite groups, but their story sounds like a great read. I have it from my behind the scenes contacts, that their is currently a….I won’t even call this cat a blogger, because he’s so much better than a “blogger”, but a writer that is well known on the internets that is looking into doing their biography. Let’s hope that goes through.

Masta Ace

I know Ace has been talking about doing his biography for the past few years now, and hopefully he has the chance to follow through on it. Ace’s story is interesting in many aspects. He didn’t get his start until AFTER he graduated from college. He won the opprotunity to record with Marley through a contest, way back in the day. That’s the makings for a good book just right there. But it doesn’t stop there, the split from Cold Chillin’ is something that hasn’t been covered all that much. I’m sure it’s like most of the other artist splitting from Cold Chillin’, which has a reputation for being somewhat shady.

The Inc. was a close knit bunch at one time. Both of Ace’s Inc. albums portrayed a group of individuals that had Ace’s back, then all of a sudden, things went south. There were rumors of some deceit going on behind the ranks with Ace and Digga. Not sure where that put Paula Perry in the whole mess. I’m not sure how many people now the story behind Ace and Leschea, but let’s just say there is your romantic tale for the book.

After the Inc failed, Ace got signed to Big Beat, in a deal that failed miserably. Again, great material for those not in the know, and there isn’t many in the know. I don’t know much about that deal, and I’m a self professed Ace stan. Of course, Ace probably hasn’t the greatest “comeback” in hip hop history, with coming back with the Disposable Arts and A Long Hot Summer releases and even the eMC album is worth reading about.

Hopefully this gets done as well. Ace is an interesting character that has been through a lot. You’d have Juice Crew history all the way to still being relevant in the 21st century. Not many can claim that.

HOLD UP!!!! Marco Polo & Torae welcome Masta Ace & Sean Price to the Double Barrel album. HOLD UP!!!! We’re leaking yet another track off Marco Polo & Torae’s “Double Barrel” album in stores June 2nd. HOLD UP!!! Vinyl heads can purchase the “Double Barrel” single today at Fat Beats featuring “Double Barrel” b/w “Hold Up” & “Combat Drills.”
Download “Hold Up” featuring Sean Price & Masta Ace:
Link to Purchase Marco Polo & Torae’s “Double Barrel” Single Vinyl at FatBeats:
Link to Pre-Order Marco Polo & Torae’s ‘Double Barrel’ album at Duck Down’s Store:


I have to believe this will happen sooner rather than later. Yes, there has been plenty written on the subject already. Most of us that have any interest in the subject have read most of the material that has been dropped on the subject. Several books that deal with Dre’s history (Have Gun, Will Travel and others) and his role in NWA, but it’d be nice to hear from Ren and Yella about the subject. Even Cube hasn’t really dropped a lot of knowledge via books on the subject. It’d be nice to read some of the more insider knowledge from the various cats that were around during the time. I’d love to know more about that NWA & The Posse album that dropped before NWA beginning their gangsta rap rule. I’d like to hear about some of the obscure groups and artists that appear on it.

Eazy is already lost, a full fledged written history about one of the more important groups in hip hop history (both positively and negatively) needs to be done, and like yesterday.

KRS-One/Boogie Down Productions

From homelessness to being one of the top three MCs our generation has ever seen? Tell me that’s not some straight up book/movie shit right there! Again, a lot has this topic has been covered already and KRS isn’t shy to talk about it, but it’d be great to have him get really in depth with it. I’m sure more light can be shed on who Scott LaRock was. Yes, I’ve read a bunch of stuff printed about him, but I’m sure there is more.

Those years, ’84-’86 are just real interesting time for hip hop in general. Then to top it off, you have one of the greatest battles in hip hop history, with the Bridge Wars. To have that time period thoroughly documented would only be a blessing for future generations in this genre. There is also those days of kicking it in the legendary hip hop hot spots, such as the Roxy, Danceteria, Latin Quarters and others that I could read about all day if I had to.

Kris’ career spans over three decades (soon to be four, doesn’t look like he is slowing down), the things dude has seen, is probably not rivaled by very many other MCs out there. Of course, you’d probably want someone else writing this, KRS doing it, it might be a little to far out there. Other than that, the dude is walking treasure trove of knowledge, no matter what you think of him as a person or as an artist, it would be great to tap that mind and drain the knowledge.


Just the taste you got from their chapter in Brian Coleman’s “Check The Technique” book, was more than I had ever read on the pair from Long Island. They have an interesting story on how they came together and started making records. I’m sure it could have been even more in depth than what was covered in Coleman’s book (which is a great read none the less and should be read by anyone that considers themselves a hip hop head). They done the tours with the likes of LL Cool J, Public Enemy, NWA, Run DMC, they’ve seen the road in their early years and they saw great success for a hip hop group back then.

Of course all that took a dive, when one of the more bizarre stories in hip hop history took place. At the root of most hip hop beefs, money. But you usually don’t hire thugs to go rob your own partner. That’s supposedly what happened between Erick and Parrish, with E (allegedly) sending some goons to collect. The crazy thing was Parrish still stuck around AFTER this all went down to finish the tour. How would it be to be a fly on the wall on some of those backstage after shows parties?

The story is still going strong. Reading about how they brought it back together would be interesting, although they have never had the same chemistry that they had before. Get this done, like yesterday.

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