95. “Krunchtime”-Terminator X f. Melquan
“Super Bad” was the second and final solo album by Public Enemy DJ, Terminator X. The album, released as Terminator X and “The Godfathers Of Threat” (to include: Chuck D, Joe Sinistr, Punk Barbarians, Bonnie N’ Clyde, Melquan, etc.) dropped during the summer months of 1994 on Def Jam. Produced by Terminator X, Kool DJ Herc, Grandmaster Flash and Russell Simmons, “Super Bad“ was only a tepid success, making it to #189 on the Billboard 200 and #38 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Two singles were released, the Joe Sinistr (and The Source “Sure Shot Single”) featured-”Under the Sun” and “It All Comes Down to the Money”, the latter of which made it to the top quarter on the Hot Rap Singles charts.
Yet, when I think of “Super Bad“, only one track…well, maybe two, Joe Sinistr showed hella’ promise on “Under The Sun” (Trav, you find him yet?), the Skull-Snaps sampled, Melquan-blessed “Krunch Time”. It’s only right that this WhenTheyReminisce favorite was backed by the infamous Skull Snaps, because that’s exactly what the production on this joint made you do…damn near “snap your skull”. However, it wasn’t all about the beats on “Krunch Time” as Melquan gave you such a performance, one would have thought he was well on his way to becoming the second-coming of Kool G Rap. Just whatever happened to this cat anyway? This sh*t still comes off fresher than a dozen Krispy Kremes, even a decad and a half later!
Also, can someone please verify if this was the same Melquan that appeared alongside Jesse West on The Genius’ (GZA) “Come Do Me” Remix back in ’91?
94. “Ingredients To Time Travel”-Artifacts
More important than what the ‘Facts brought to their music with 1997’s “That’s Them” was what they actually choose to leave out, which in turn made “That’s Them” such a refreshingly easy listen. Void of gaudy “bling” references or illegal narcotic distribution tales, instead there was just straight emcee bravado with a hint of inebriated B-Boy wit. The Brand Nubian assisted “Collaboration Of Mics” and the Run-DMC sampled “This Is Da Way” found the Artifacts unleashing a lyrical onslaught aimed at fake ass, doo-doo rappers over bonkers production courtesy of Lord Finesse (”Collabortion…”) and the Mighty V.I.C. (”This Is Da Way”). But the true “oh shit!” moment on “That’s Them” is delivered via the spacey and progressive “Ingredients To Time Travel”.
On “..Time Travel”, Tame seemed to be experimenting with a new and hypnotic time-delay style over an equally mystical beat that was produced by a little-known producer who went by the name of Gruff Rhino. To truly witness the depth of “Time Travel” you’ve gotta’ bump it in your headphones… even a well assembled car stereo or a boombox just doesn’t give the track it’s due as the track fades from right to left within your ear candy. If I was to do a non-2009, “Most Played For The Week” post, this track would have the #1 spot on lock, no question! And the lyrical wordplay on this joint is strictly “rewind” material!! Truly one of my personal sleepers EVER!
93. “Rough”-Queen Latifah f. Heavy D, KRS-One & Treach (Naughty By Nature)
“Black Reign” was the third studio album by Queen Latifah, released as a follow up to the somewhat dissapointing “Nature Of A Sista” (at least, it paled in comparison to her debut, “All Hail The Queen”) in the middle of November,1993. Matter of fact, I can vividly remember picking this up along with the like of Snoop’s debut, Das Efx’ “Straight Up Sewaside” and Del’s sophomore album “No Need For Alarm”. When compared to La’s previous efforts, “Black Reign” was relatively her most successful album up to that, garnering Gold status. You can almost chalk up the album sales to the astounding success of “U.N.I.T.Y.” and the humbling, “Just Another Day”.
One of the album’s biggest smashes and most often overlooked tracks was the outstanding posse cut, “Rough”. With production from Tony Dofat, “Rough” featured a rumbling bassline sprinkled with a signature “mid-nineties” horn loop that was almost too easy on your ears. With venoumous verses from Treach (who nearly steals the show), the Blastmaster, Diddley D and Latifah included, “Rough” is often unfairly omitted when mentioning the “best posse cuts” of all-time.
When CRU’s “Da Dirty 30″ was released in 1997, not a single soul, fans and industry-experts alike, could have imagined a better “package” to run with than the one CRU had to offer: They had sort of a hit with “Just Another Case”, Flex was pumping that ish like crazy, Def Jam was on top of their game, Chris Lighty’s Violator was the management and the inexplicably simple logo of the group was something you would never forget! Obviously, nothing could go wrong. But then again, if Def Jam releases an album in August (that’s when “Da Dirty 30″ came out), they’re probably paving the way for all their heavy-hitters who are about to penetrate the “game” with their “fourth-quarter-madness” (see 2006) and you shouldn’t expect any promotional machinery, right? Right! So between the monthly Wu-Related-Releases, the Ja-Rules and DMXs barking back and forth and Jay having “sunshine” written all over his face, the CRU faded away to the no-man’s-land and by the beginning of the following year, the world forgot they had ever existed and so did I.
However, if I had to pick maybe 20 or so albums that define the backbone to Bloggerhouse (at least my 1/3) Cru’s “Da Dirty 30″ would be floating around the top quarter of that list! As the B-Side to the album’s biggest smash, the aforementioned “Just Another Case”, “Bubblin” the Yogi-produced (1/3 of the CRU) neck-breaker “Bubblin” still evokes the vivid imagery of Nissan Pathfinders rolling by the basketball courts where I regularly hooped, shaking the block with this bass-heavy gem blaring out of two 12″ Rockford Fosgate sub-woofers.
91. “Busted Loop”-Yaggfu Front
Ya’ know, MANY of my favorite tracks of all-time seem to feature the oft-sampled “Blind Alley” loop, yet looking back at it, I never even knew many of the tracks incorporated the sample until I compiled my “Blind Alley” Sample Appreciation a few years back. This was one of those LPs that just grew and grew on me. Back in 1994 when Yaggfu’s debut “Action Packed Adventure” dropped, I thought the album was just mediocre. I mean, I enjoyed the production, but this North Carolina trio was just “meh” to me. Yet, after several listens, this album quickly became one of the obscure favorites in my collection. Yaggfu Front was much like De La back in their “Daisy Age” era; silly, but yet dope and mildly enjoyable at the same time. Now, I wouldn’t part ways with this album, much like how I would never lose any of my Pete & CL albums.
My favorite from “Action Packed..”, the Yaggfu-produced, Diamond D-sampled “Busted Loop”, always seems to get my blood pressure shooting through the roof. This cut was just a feel-good, carefree gem that featured a cleverly placed vocal sample from one of the “best producers on the mic”.