Friday, 14 May 2010

Random nineties 12" number 7-El Da Sensei featuring FT, Mike Zoot, Pharoah Monche & Prince Po - Frontline / All Rise

Back with a new design and some more dope tunes for you all to savour. Kicking off the new site is a return to the Random Nineties 12" series with part 7 coming from one of the late nineties underground stars El da Sensei along with a whole gang of indie emcees including; FT, Mike Zoot and fan favourites Pharoah Monche & Prince Po (also known as the legendary Organized Konfusion).
For those who are unfamiliar with El Da Sensei he is a talented Newark, New Jersey emcee who was one half of the influential mid nineties group the Artifacts along with Tame One. The Artifacts' most popular single "Wrong Side of Da Tracks" paid special homage to graffiti art, as they were graffiti artists themselves. They released two albums; Between a Rock and a Hard place (1994) and Thats Them (1997) both on Big Beat (Atlantic). They split up shortly after their second album although they did release a dope 12" on Rawkus under the name Brick City Kids. Following on from his success in The Artifacts El Da Sensei did release a number of solo albums; 2003: Relax, Relate, Release (Seven Heads), 2006: The Unusual (Fat Beats), 2008: Unheard Of, 2008: Global Takeover - The Beginning (with Polish hip hop duo The Returners (Little & DJ ChwiaƂ)) and 2009: Shining Shadow Presents... The Immortals Project (Shining Shadow Recordings). Despite all being good strong albums none of them were as commercially or critically well received as either of his Artifacts albums. But in between the Split from Tame One he did release a number of indie 12"s and also appear on a number of other indie artists songs too before embarking on his solo career.
On of the better 12"s he release during that period was this 12" Frontline/All rise which was released on Guesswhyld. A label that at the time was released dope vinyl on a regular basis featuring dope artists and producers like Shawn J period and Tommy Tee. This 12" was released in 1998 or 1999 I can't remember to be honest and it doesn't say on the sleeve or record label. The A-side is produced Shawn J Period and producer who at the time was churning out dope tribe influenced beat by the pound however Shawn became a born again Christian and abandoned hip hop as he felt it went against some of his Christian beliefs. I hope he is happy now but hip hop certainly lost a rising star when he moved on. The lyricists on this track read like a whose who of the late nineties East Coast Hip Hop underground; Mike Zoot FT, Pharoah Monche & Prince Po. All three drop impressive lyrics but as an be expected Monch steals the show with some sick lines and metaphors like 'Achieve a Mil like Cecile B'. The beat is in the same vein that Shawn J became known for, upbeat and bouncy with a Tribe vibe to it.
The B-side is an El Da Sensei solo joint called All Rise, produced by a guy called P-Original who doesn't seem to have done much else other than this. The beat is a mellow joint with some sporadic horns that fit in quite nicely and El's lyrics up pretty much up to par but the generic chorus doesn't make this a stand out joint. But with such a stellar A-side its not a big problem that the B-side doesn't shine as bright. The 12" is nicely packaged as you would expect from Guesswhyld with a dope cover by Malik "Porno" Griffin whose art reminds me of early Rob Leefield. Check the link below for the vinyl rip and check back next week for some more dope tunes.
One, two, three...

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