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Eric's "Rediscoveries" Pt. I (100-96)

by Eric C. on January 6, 2010



100.

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-LMNO & Madlib

Now, I REALLY started to, for lack of better wording, “dig” real underground, I mean…underground rap sh*t, back near the end of 2003.  “Head Lock” released as a 12″ only, along with it’s B-Side, “Commercial Rap” was one of the first tracks that I truly took a liking to during my early ventures into the underground.  Now, don’t get it twisted, I grew up on the Public Enemy’s, De La’s and Pete & C.L’s of the Hip Hop world, yet cats like LMNO and Madlib (whom I’d never truly heard until the release of “Madvilliany”, crazy right?) were somewhat new to me at that time.  “Head Lock” with it’s glaring production similarities to the RZA’s that can be found on the GZA-classic “Liquid Swords”, quickly became in instant favorite, and keyed me into the crazy lyrical styles and the choppy delivery of one LMNO.  Most importantly, “Head Lock” proved to be my first real encounter with the quirky production genius of Madlib.  Needless to say, after hearing this, it didn’t take too long for me to dive into Madlib’s production catalog head-first.

99. “Can U Feel Me”-Saafir

Produced by Jay-Z (uh uh, not that one, but rather Jay-Z of the Hobo Junction), “Can You Feel Me” hasn’t aged one bit since I picked up “Boxcar Sessions” from the local Camelot Music (yeah, remember them?) on cassette waay back in the winter of 1994. I’ve grown to love this CD more and more over the years, even though I copped the tape back in ‘94 strictly on the strength of dude’s appearance in “Menace”. Yet, over the last year or so, my take on much of the new music that’s dropping has been halted, much in part to the constant rotation of “Boxcar Sessions”.

While Saafir could have stood to trim down some of the meaningless skits on the album, it’s safe to say that there really isn’t one weak track on the album. Even though some may find Saafir’s rhymes to be on Keith Murray’s level of complexity, I feel that this is actually a more enjoyable listen than Mr. Murray’s debut. While, freestyling was nothin’ new in ‘94, Saafir found clever, interesting ways to boast about his rhyming skills and tore down emcees, head to toe. Whether it’s Saafir’s overall style or the jazzy, bass-heavy production, “Boxcar Sessions” was surprisingly refreshing, even today.

98.

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-INI

Synonymous with the name Pete Rock (who handled the album’s production) and recorded in 1995 shortly after the Pete & CL split, INI’s debut “Center Of Attention” was slated as the first official release on Pete Rock’s Soul Brother Records label. The debut single, “Fakin’ Jax” (which also featured Pete, and featured a CL-directed first verse from Mr. Phillips), garnered quite a bit of attention (no pun intended). Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, Rock’s distribution deal with Elektra Records fell through, and plans to release the albums were subsequently canceled due to issues over ownership of the masters. “Center Of Attention” did, however, find its way onto the underground market through heavy bootlegging and simply put is an “underground classic”.

My favorite cut from the album also served as it’s title cut, the very subtle, soulful grooves of “Center Of Attention”. Although, the loop that fuels this PR masterpiece wouldn’t grace my ears until a few years after the release of INI’s debut, via the intro to GangStarr’s “Rep Grows Bigga”, the added piano stabs that Pete sprinkles amongst the clever Jeff Beck sample truly pushes this track over the top and only adds to it’s elegance. A true “must-hear” for any Pete Rock fan, and sadly one of the Soul Brotha #1’s most overlooked gems to date.


97.

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-Mysterme & DJ 20/20

Ahhhh…there goes my beloved “Blind Alley” sample again!!  Taken from 1993′s “Let Me Explain”.  First of all, prior to this release, lemme’ me tell you just exactly what I know about Mysterme & DJ 20/20 right off the bat…..very little, next to nothing! After hearing “Unsolved Mysterme” on a mixtape that I found while searching the net’ for Chi Ali’s “No Surrender, No Retreat”(Primo Remix) earlier this week, I was once again, dumbfounded. “Why have I never heard this?” I asked myself. First of all, “Unsolved Mysterme” samples “Blind Alley” so if you’ve read any of my previous posts (sample appreciation) you already know what time it is. Kids, this is some dope ish! Released on Island Records/Gee Street (Hmmm…I think I just….yeah, I had an idea…stay tuned) in 93, “Let Me Explain” has that dope 93-94′ “flavor” that we all miss so dearly. While most of the hooks on the album are fairly simple, it’s just straight up dope hip hop and MC Mysterme’s voice is dope..almost a grimy, gravel-like D-Dot twist between his Two Kings In A Cipher days but not quite that of his Madd Rapper persona.

Seriously, you will fall in love with this album. If your like me, you may pick up a forgotten gem from “Bust The Facts” (major props to Dread and em’!, thanks for making my life easier!) and while it may have been that knock in the early 90’s, in present day your left like….ehhhhh? Well, I am extremely impressed with “Let Me Explain”, it’s just a crime that I didn’t pick this up in 93′. It would’ve been a major chapter music-wise during my high school days..or more like “daze”, that’s how dope “Let Me Explain” is! You’re gonna’ love this!

96.

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(Lord Finesse “Funkyman” Mix)-SWV


I randomly stumbled upon this remix late last week while going for a morning run.  I originally got my hands on this Lord Finesse remix via the “Underboss Files”, a compilation of much of Lord Finesse’s production wizardry compiled over four discs, by OhWord.  This remix of the SWV classic “Right Here” appeared as one of seven cuts on the UK-released “Right Here”  Maxi-single, which also featured remixes of the cut from Teddy Riley, a few anonymous “house” producers and raps by a then-unknown Pharrel Williams.  As big as a fan as I am of the “Human Nature” mix (accompanied by Michael Jackson’s vocals) of “Right Here”, this Lord Finesse re-working of the track damn near made me lose a lung on my run the other morning, as the “Funkyman” version isn’t just a throw-away beat for three “R & B chicks”, but rather one of the finest I’ve ever heard from the legendary producer.

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{ 3 comments }

Dart_Adams January 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

“Unsolved Mysterme” is one of my all time favorite jawns evar…

One.

Soul C January 6, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Damn… and another one.

This website is an invaluable resource for those of us who LOVE this culture.

scott January 7, 2010 at 5:27 pm

That Lord Finesse SWV joint is sick

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