Wednesday, 23 June 2010
random nineties 12" number 10-Mos Def - Universal Magnetic
I remember buying this record in Deal Real Record in London's West End, just off Oxford Street. They played the track for me and I immediately had to buy it. It was so refreshing and new, the beat was reminiscent of Tribe and the lyrics reminded me of De La Soul in that they were light hearted and humorous. This was my first introduction to Mos Def and I was very impressed. I went on to follow Mos's career closely and just months after buying this 12" I saw him do a live in store with Kweli at Deal Real and he was dope but more importantly a regular nice guy. A year or so later I saw him perform with Kweli and Co Flow at Subterania and his freestyle skills were very impressive. Mos was at the time so innovative and charismatic whilst not taking the whole indie backpack scene to serious, I have to say that I don't feel the direction he's taken of late is'nt my kinda thing but this is about 1997 not 2010.
The A-Side is produced by Sean J Period and uses the drums from Dennis Coffey's Scorpio and bits & pieces from Planet rock. sean J chops them up nicely and Mos's lyrics work well over the bouncy beat. This track was one of the most important tracks of the mid nineties indie movement along with Co Flow's Vital Nerve,Street Smarts's Metal Thangz, Rasco's Unassisted and Dilated's Work the Angles. It is a great track that along with the tracks mentioned about and a whole lot of others it showed the wider hip hop audience that there was dope shit coming out without major label backing. Most of the real headz already knew this but with tracks like this we started to see this sort of hip hop in the HMV's and Virgin Megastores.
The B-Side is the fantastic If You Can Huh You Can Hear which again is produced by Sean J Period and this time he samples a Roy Ayers track called Maiden Voyage but played by Brian Auger's Oblivion Express from the album Live Oblivion Vol. 2. Its another dope track with a mellow Tribe like beat with Mos spitting some atypical Mos Def lyrics. It was perfect for the summer it came out and fitted nicely alongside the Reflection eternal debut 12" Fortified Live which I'll be covering next week.
Check the Link below for the rip.
I grab the Microphone and emcee