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Eric's "Rediscoveries" (85-81)

by Eric C. on January 16, 2010

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Yeah, um, as you may recall the critics had a field day with the Large Professor-produced “I Luh Her”.  In a nutshell, Akinyele wasn’t looking forward to becoming a new dad whatsoever, peep a few of the Ak’s controversial lyrics below:

“So ax that talk about MARRAGE
Miss, you must of misunderstood, I want you to have a MISCARRAGE
I’m fed up, and sorry that I’ve done it
I’m ready to set her up and have my little man kick her in the stomach
Or punch my fist through that naval
Cause I’ll be damned if this be the hand that rocks the cradle
Or push her down a flight of steps
I don’t care or give a heck
About the people under the stairs
I’m all about a home made ABORTMENT”

As you can see, the “proud pappa” button didn’t sit to well with this native New Yorker.   For some peculiar reason, the album’s most disturbing track “I Luh Her” has always been the centerpiece of “Vagina Diner” for me. On “I Luh Her”, Akinyele’s disturbing (well..not at the time but nowadays rappin’ about “killin’ babies with coat hangers wouldn’t go over with the public too well) lyrics are virtually subdued by Large Pro’s masterful production yet again. Overall, “Vagina Diner” has always been a fun, lighthearted listen…I mean, c’mon…..Who else would make a song about hating to work out as Aknell did with “Exercixe”??? Plus, other than Main Source’s “Breaking Atoms” and Large Pro’s “The Lp” & “First Class” where else are you gonna’ find an album with beats produced 100% by the legendary Extra P?

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-Brand Nubian

For starters, admittedly, due to the fact that I purchased Brand Nubian’s third album (and follow-up to “In God We Trust”, Lord J and Sadat’s second effort sans Grand Puba) on the same day as Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “The Main Ingredient”, it’s a pretty fair statement to say that “Everything Is Everything” didn’t receive too many plays in the…aheem…Geo Tracker (!).  One track over the years that’s really seemed to stick to my ribs was the Lord Jamar solo outing on the album, “Return Of The Dread”.

Borrowing two vocal samples from Scarface (“It’s the return of the muthafu*kin’ dreadlock” and “anyway you come, I’m in your muthafu*kin’ sh*t man” (maine), Lord J (who also produced the track) does one of my favorite samples of all-time (the Emotions’ infamous “Blind Alley”) justice.  With a super-thick bassline and hard drums, Lord Jamar unleashes verbal fury over a track that suits his persona to a tee.  Even though, Jamar exercises his usual “Kill Whitey” theme hear, it’s hard not to love the strongest track on the last dope album we’d hear from Brand Nubian.

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“-D’Angelo f. Kool G Rap

Even though it would take me nearly 8 (!) years since it’s release to first hear this track, it’s safe to say that the Beatminerz reworking of the D’Angelo classic, “Brown Sugar”, will go down not only as one of my favorite Beatminerz’ remixes of all-time, but one of my top three Beatminerz’ beats ever!  Improving on an already classic track by the time “Cruisin” (D’Angelo’s third single released from the album, also titled “Brown Sugar”) is not an easy task, but the production team of the Beatminerz did it with such ease that it’s not far fetched to say that the remix hits harder than it’s predecessor.

Also, let’s not forget that this remix also featured a VERY nice sixteen from the legendary Kool G Rap.  Talk about an odd pairing?  However, believe it or not, it works masterfully.  Da Beatminerz creating somewhat of an airy feel (damn those bells are slick!) to match D’Angelo’s silky smooth vocals (pause).  Also, as far as I’m concerned, the Kool G Rap verse is without a doubt one of the best verses he’s laid on wax…and there’s been a plethora of them to choose from!  Yes, I’m aware that this doesn’t necessarily qualify as “Hip Hop”, but gotdamn it’s hard to front on this Beatminerz CLASSIC.

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-Down South

Now, this is some feel good hip hop right here! I usually like to listen to an album to refresh my memory a night or so before I post the album or single. I’ll tell you this much, after listening to “Lost In Brooklyn” this past weekend I’ve had it in constant rotation ever since. The beats carry this debut disc from Down South, while the majority of the production sounds exactly like The Beatnuts (who produced “Open Sesame”, “Around The Clock” and the title cut) which is always a good thing. Of course my favorite, as well as mostly everyone’s who’s ever heard “Lost In Brooklyn” has to be “Southern Comfort” which featured production from the legendary Stretch Armstrong.

Lyrically, it’s enough to keep you entertained but again..I’m all about the beats, you could be spitting the most nonsensical lyrics but if the beat knocks I’m all in! Be sure to check for the 1:18 instrumental “Departure” that sounds like a Beatminerz banger. While we’re on the subject of “all too short instrumentals”, nothing pisses me off more when an MC wastes a perfectly dope beat by utilizing it for an album break or whatever..God, that kills me!! Still, please do yourself a favor and give this one another listen I promise you be glad you did.

“Street Life” (Return Of The Life Remix)

Tragedy aka Intelligent Hoodlum always seemed to deliver when you where in dire need of a break from the monotony that cornered much of Hip Hop during Trag’s heyday.  As he has done throughout much of his stint as an underground force, Tragedy really delivered (quite possibly with his biggest single to date) a detailed collection of descriptive and contemplative lyrics titled “Street Life”.  To make the reward even sweeter, the superb K-Def reworking of the track titled “Return Of The Life” took the listener straight to the heart of the ghetto as Tragedy’s vivid tales of the poverty and self-destruction that nearly lead to a generation’s entire demise paired perfectly over the soft, mournful keys and a piercing synthesizer wail courtesy of K-Def (also 1/2 of Real Live).

Aside from a handful of artists, few have delivered the informed social commentary that Tragedy displayed on his first two albums, so whether it was the original version of “Steet Life” which appeared on “Saga Of A Hoodlum” or the K-Def remix you couldn’t lose message-wise nor with the outstanding production.

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Dart_Adams January 16, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Kierna Mayo’s scathing editorial about his songs “I Luh Huh” & “No Exit” off of “Vagina Diner” really put his name out there. He was signed to Interscope hella early & he got out of his deal by putting out “Put It In Your Mouth” as a white label causing a bidding war for his contract based on that song & his guest appearances on Funkmaster Flex’s 1st mixtape.

Time flies, man…


Peter January 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Eric, thanks for yet another great “Rediscoveries” post. I’m a fellow 30-something, so you’re bringing back a lot of memories with these. A few of the tracks you’ve posted so far are personal faves (Ak’s I Luh Her being one of them), some I haven’t heard in a looong time and a few I’ve managed to miss altogether. I’ve really enjoyed your posts so far and I am looking forward to the rest of this countdown!

DANJ! February 6, 2010 at 6:41 pm

“I Luh Huh” was one of my favs from the Vagina Diner album… really, no one can ever lose with that Don Covay sample. I like every song I’ve heard that uses that record, haha

I’ve been searching high and low for an mp3 of ‘Southern Comfort’… definitely got a nice run in the tape deck in ’94.

That ‘Brown Sugar’ remix is one that flew under my radar as well- strange because I was a fan of D’Angelo, Kool G, AND Da Beatminerz at the time it came out… and I was always keeping up on all the new music. But like you, I didn’t hear it until some years back, and it’s one of my fav. Beatminerz tracks too.

Good entry here, all of these are some good underacknowledge joints… although I’m still hard-pressed to feel one way or another about that Brand Nubian album.


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