Thursday, October 11, 2007

Old School Friday - Riding Dirty

Class, we got a special treat for you today. Much like the President, I'm a giver. So I decided to let SML try his hand at programming Old School Friday. SML is a cool cat. He hails from Nueva York and rocks a pair of old school Penny's from time to time, so you know he's keeping it real. At any rate, make him feel at home. As always, drink lots of alcohol and act responsibly this weekend.

What up? SML here, posting a special guest edition. As tempted as I was to just post my favorite old skool joints, and just take you back to the bomber era, the triple fat goose era, the flight jacket (reversible!) era - hitting ya with the I Know You Got Soul, Hey Young World, Ain't No Half Steppin', Call Me D-Nice - but nah, couldn't do it. I wanted to be professional about it, so I picked a theme, like they do here every single Friday. Today's theme is old skool songs about your "Ride".

Yeah (Yeah) SML finally up in this piece... peace to my mans that put me on... Gang-ster D....

Lost Boyz - Jeeps, Lex, Coups, Bimaz & Benz

My first selection is from '95, from South Jamaica. My favorite Lost Boys moment - true story: I was listening to Hot 97 late one night, and a caller is on the phone with whoever the host was, talking about The Lost Boyz.
"Okay, here's my question", the caller said. "You got Mr. Cheeks, right? He's the emcee. So is Pretty Lou... he drops a few verses here and there. And Spin Nice? He's the DJ, right?"
"Yeah, I'm with ya", said the host.
"So what exactly does Freaky Tah do, besides repeated what everyone else just said?!?"

He's only one of the greatest hype men in the biz ever.

Dr. Dre - Let Me Ride

Classic underappreciated video from The Chronic. Highly enjoyable video, actually. Some great moments include Dr. picking up the chick at the bus stop, then realizing he picked up a brat. That look towards the camera was priceless. Ice Cube's cameo also warrants mentioning. And the breakdown (not included in this clip, unfortunately) at the end of the video, with Parliment footage playing, is a nice touch. The video is money.

This is where I would have put Born To Roll by Masta Ace if I could have found the video. It's worth it just for the thongs. In leiu of that, let's move on:

(Not so fast, I got your back pimpin)

War - Low Rider

All my friends know the low rider. Speaking of friends... why can't we be friends? I mean, seriously... I've seen you walking down in Chinatown. I called your name, but you could not look around. Why can't we be friends?

This is where Prince (Little Red Corvette, of course) would go, if again, You Tube didn't ban it. Sorry kids. Having failed miserably at this theme, I'm just going to post a few random songs now:

Gangstarr - Mass Appeal

It makes sense because I can't think of a better song to bump in a car. It has to be a top-5 car song overall, right? Plus isn't this really what the blog game is about? Wouldn't you all sell your soul to have mass appeal? Suckas be playing themselves to have mass appeal...

Gravediggaz - 1-800 Suicide

Um, how about some horrorcore next? With the horror your brain has become stained! Prince Paul + The Rza = one of the greatest collaborations ever, on paper. It didn't quite live up to the high expectations, but I really enjoyed a good chunk of their first album (6 Feet Deep). And the Grym Reaper stole like every song he rhymed on. One last note: I just realized that I don't know the words to the any of the verses in the video... it's not the album version (not even close), probably because the album version is a lot too graphic and had too much cussing. So this version of the song = totally new to me:

LL Cool J - I Shot Ya (Remix)

Finally, a few weeks ago the theme was "posse" cuts. This didn't make the cut. I'm correcting that... this is one of the best posse cuts of all time. Even if LL Cool J, to quote Joey from Straight Bangin' "It seems like every 18 months, LL Cool J reemerges with a reinvented persona that seizes upon the zeitgeist. He puts out some songs (get that head sprung!) and then recedes into relative irrelevance again."

Some notes on each verse:
Keith Murray: "Haaaa". Best intro to a song? It's up there with Eric Sermon's "I make a million BUCKS..." intro to "Da Joint". "I'll leave you holier than the Bible" might be the top line in the entire cut.

Prodigy: "You get backslapped so hard make your nose bleed" became a common threat in school after this came out. By the way, my GF hates that I still use "conversate" instead of "converse". Undeniably true.

Oh, and that "I'm staying incognate" line? Very common habit among QB rappers to drop the last syllable to make a rhyme. See Nas "pushing the Q45 Infinite".

Fat Joe: Two signs that Raekwon was really ghostwriting Fat Joe's lyrics on this track: One, Fat Joe went from the simplistic rhymes of "Flow Joe" (and his debut album was no better) to the highly sophisicated rhymes here. That seems improbable, especially since most rappers spend years preparing to release their first album, and often blow all their best rhymes on it, quickly getting worse as they release albums. Joe got better. Plus, secondly... he mispronounces Keyser Soze's name at the end of his rhyme. How doesn't he know what he's rhyming about?

Foxy Brown: Proof of what I just wrote. She wasted her entire stock of good rhymes on cameos on everyone's remixes, and her first album. She never had a good verse after that.

LL Cool J: People often forget what a good battle emcee he was. Thankfully, he humbly reminds us how he crushed Kool Moe Dee, Hammer, and Ice T's girl, among others. He specifically wrote this for Cannibus, I believe. He's still crushing emcees, 20 years after his debut. What's the secret to his longevity? It's the steroids, dummy.


Gangsta D said...

Very nuce debut SML.

I totally blanked on the I Shot Ya Remix. I never knew that Rae was rumored to have ghost written for Joe. Interesting...

After Dwyck, Mass Appeal is my favorite Gangstarr track. Just hypnotic.

TJ said...

Best intro ever? It's GOT to be Biggie from Flava In Ya Ear Remix.
"Niggas is mad I get more butt than ash trays,
Fuck a fair one, I get mines the fast way,
The ski mask way..."

Other than that, good job. And nice observations on Fat Joe and Foxy. I always wondered what the hell happened with her.

stopmikelupica said...

Let me clarify: that's a great line - one of Biggie's best, but it's not what I mean as an "intro" - I meant prior to the beat dropping. The "intro" on Flava In Ya Ear would therefore be Puffy's "baaaad boys, come out and play..." portion.

To The Commish: Thanks ya'll, for letting me play guest DJ. And props for digging out that Masta Ace video after all. Nice mining.

Great Waldini said...

People tend to forget the musical genius of Dre. He transformed his 80s sound from sampling old Motown and James Brown joints to the 90s stuff featuring Parliament, Bootsy, and other funk classics

"Bodies being found on green leaves, with they heads chopped off, Muthaf***a I'm DRE!"

stopmikelupica said...

Ahem... you mean the entity that is "Dre". Whether "working" with Eazy-E back in NWA, or Warren G. on the "G-funk" era, or later with Scorch on the Dre 2001, Eminem, and 50 stuff, the entity know as Dre as been quite successful.

Entity or not, though, "Dre" is a top-5 producer in hip-hop history. My list: Eric Sermon, Marly Marl, Rza, Dre, Prince Paul. To be added later: The Neptunes if they comeback, and maybe Timba if he can drop another real hip hop album.

Gangsta D said...

My jedi powers detect a backhanded compliment in there somewhere. Just remember that only two people have maintained or increased their stature after "working" with Dre. Cube and Storch.

Everyone else either fell off or never regained that magic. Ren, Eazy, Snoop, Above The Law, Dogg Pound, The Game, Xzhibit, etc. They never quite got back to the same mountain top as they did with Dre.

Don't get me started on defending Dre. Most of my energy is devoted to defending TO and Kobe:)

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