Sunday, 17 May 2009

Dodgy Bootlegs Number 13-Mobb Deep-Know the Game & Rampage, Heltah Skeltah and Doo Wop-Feel the vibe

It has been a little while since I dropped a Dodgy bootleg on y'all so heres a dope little mid nineties East Coast gem for you to savour. Back in 1996 the seminal DJ / Producer, Frankie Cutlass dropped a dope little compilation album called Politics and Bullshit. Frankie handled the production and had some dope emcees on board; Kool G Rap, Mobb Deep, M.O.P., Lost Boys, Heltah Skeltah, Craig G, Fat Joe, Busta, Sadat X and BIz Markie to name a few. A few months before the first single from this album dropped the phenomenal Mobb Deep, Kool G Rap and M.O.P. track Know the game started making noise on Mixtapes and getting play from people like Westwood and 279.
The track is a 100% classic that often gets overlooked when people mention Mobb Deep and Kool G Rap other duets. Not only does this track have Mobb Deep and Kool G Rap, both QB legends but it has Billy Danze and Lil' Fame on the hook, what more could you ask for? Well a dope beat would good and Frankie Cutlass does his best Havoc impression and serves up a nicely ominous beat that could of come straight off Hell on Earth. Its stripped beat with limited samples but it serves as the perfect backdrop to the crime laden rhymes of this QB trio and the over enthusiastic shouts from the Brownsville clapperz. As would be expected Kool G and the two lil trouble-starters drop typically threatening rhymes. Kool G drops the following verse which is just classic Kool G Rap;

Yo, I'll leave your whole body twisted when you get lifted
And police'll have to fist balistcs on a bisket,
another statistic
I try to chill but you insisted coming all in my district
I don't know why the fuck you risk it
I be more deep, walking the streets, packing the heat
Bring the cowmeat, you'll get lifted off your feet
and leave you sleeping on the concrete
Get blown at home or whatever is on your bone
Get to flown to your dome, blow chromosones out your flesh and bones
Hitman for hire, who's the next one to expire
Shoot it up in black attire, hit you wit the rapid fire
The stainless bisket will leave your brain smoking
Your whole frame broken and clothes soaken, head blown the fuck open
Try to step inside my fort and get caught
Wit the trey pound shorter left on the sidewalks of New York
The decompose, blood flows are holes in your clothes, eyes closed
Body be frozed, posing for pictures with a rose
Head to your toes, look like you got wetted with a hose
The road you choose got your brain drain through your nose, nigga
So who be commiting crimes, dangerous minds, put two to your spine
Lay you behind enemy lines
When we cross it and leave you like a broken faucet
The underworld production family can reinforce it

I mean I like a nice bit of Mobb and I think that when it comes to threatening crime rhymes their pretty good but Kool G just steals the show here with a superb verse which is quite reminiscent of Big Pun's Deep Cover verse. I love this vwerse, classic Kool G Rap.
The B Side features Rampage the last Boy Scout, Doo Wop and Heltah Skeltah. Its a fun joint with all three dropping humorous rhymes over a a bouncy beat that at the time got a little club play. As expected Heltah Skeltah are the main event on this track. The album however when it dropped never got the recognition it deserved. The beats were stronger than a lot of other albums out at the time and it certainly featured talented lyricists but maybe for some reason the album never got the promotion it deserved, which is a shame because it was dope. Check the link below for the bootleg rip including instrumentals.

Times is hard, visons blurred kid, I can't see far

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Gza and Willie Mitchell are Groovin'

Its late 1995 and although the year clearly belonged to the East Coast in particular the Wu Tang Clan no one was ready for the lyrical and musical onslaught that two cousins from Staten Island was about to release on the hip-hop world. Not only had Rza shown us the grimy underbelly of Staten Island's sound with the original Wu Tang album but he had gone on to smack the hip hop world in the head with amazing albums by Method Man, Old Dirty and of course Raekwon. But so far nothing had prepared us the the lyrical genius that was Liquid Swords. Without a doubt my favorite Wu solo album. We had heard rumors and comments from various Clan members about Gza's complex lyrical skills but nothing could have prepared everyone for the immense and complex lyrics that we were to hear on the Liquid Swords LP. Not to mention the dark, sample heavy, intrictae production supplied by the Abbot, Rza.

The first 12" from the album was the title track Liquids swords with the double A side Labels. I remember hearing Liquid Swords on the radio, probably Westwoood or maybe 279 and thinking what the fuck is this. It struck me as something totally different and at first I found myself waiting for the rest of the beat to come in only to realize that this was the whole beat once Gza and Rza started to say the hook. Then Gza starts dropping his lyrics over this off key guitar loop, with dope lines like; Lyrics are weak like clock radio speakers, I'm low key like sea shells, wide entrance small exit like a funnel so deep its picked up on radios in tunnels. This was intricacy the like of which we had'nt heard before. Sure Nas had a great flow, Slick Rick could tell a dope story and Rakim dropped knowledge but these were metaphors and similes that you had to hear a number of times before they clicked and this combined with dope storytelling too.

I heard the 12" and bought just as soon as I could from the legendary Deal Real Records took it home and proceeded rinse the tune out for months. Until the album dropped and then that album pretty much stayed on my 1200s for months and the Mini Disc copy I made of it never left my MD player whenever I went out. Its an amazing album that has stood the test of time so much so in fact that when Gza toured a couple of years back he did it off the strength of that album. Performing the whole album from start to finish to sold out venues. I saw him in early 1995 and again in 2007 and the album sounded just as good live in 2007 as it did in 1996.

Moving over to the breaks side of things, Rza taps a Willie Mirchell song for Liquid Swords. The track is called Groovin' and is taken from the Solid Soul album released in 1969 on Willie's own Hi Records label. Willie Mitchell is a serious musician as who dropped numerous albums of funky soulful music. In addition to these albums he also produced music for Al Green, Syl Johnson, O.V. Wright and Ann Peebles (other people Rza often sampled). Willie Known at the recording studio as "Papa Willie," Mitchell earned his nickname by taking over the reins of Hi Records in 1970 and guiding it through its most successful period. Mitchell's productions have been much noted for featuring a hard-hitting kick drum sound (usually played by pioneering Memphis drummer Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. and the MG's). Rza chopped up the intro to the track Groovin' taking the guitar riff from about 5 seconds into the song and turning it into a tremendous track for Gza to drop his gems over.

But the track Groovin is in itself a damn funky joint featuring dope organ's, sick drums and wicked guitar riffs. However Willie is most well known for his work behind the boards, he produced Al Green's lets stay together, Ann Peebles' I Can't Stand The Rain, Syl Johnson's Diamond In The Rough and the underrated Stax released Jimmy McCracklin's Yesterday Is Gone. To call Willie Mitchell a musical genius would be an understatement. He gave Al Green the music to accompany Al's perfect voice.
Check the link below for the 12" rip and the sample. Support both Gza and Willie by buying their albums, any self respecting music fan should have at least one of each in their collection.

I'm low key like seashells