Thursday, February 22, 2007

Do What You Gotta Do!

There used to be a good interview with Freddie Foxxx on a Gangstarr/ DJ Premier website, which seems to no longer be online (if I'm wrong, let me know and I'll add a link to it in this article... but I've looked, and I'm really pretty certain it's gone). In it he talks about how, after Epic decided not to follow through with the release of his second album, Crazy Like Foxxx, he pressed up an independent 12", drove down to Atlanta (at least I think it was Atlanta... I'm trying to remember an interview I read a couple years ago), and sold it out the trunk of his car. That record turned up on a lot of DJ's wishlists after that.

Well, this is it. And it's pretty darn good. "Do What You Gotta Do!" - a single-sided 12" (if you've never seen one, nothing is cut into the other side at all) from '95, featuring only one version of one song. The self-produced instrumental is just what you'd want for a Freddie Foxxx record, a gritty drum track, a rumbling bassline and a very sparse (guitar?) sample. The hook is sung by an unnamed R&B group (an influence of his recent time spent at Epic, no doubt), but it's actually quite good and effectively matches the earnestness of Foxxx's delivery, and managing not to detract from the record's hardcore sensibility. Lyrically, Foxxx is in first-person narrative mode, telling about an ex-con who returns to his hometown...

"I go to check my moms,
nd notice that the neighborhood is so bad my old dad is bearin' arms.
He's got an uzi with a long clip,
And when I knocked on the door, papa dukes almost let it rip.
He told me that mom died last year."

...and gets caught back up in the crime life when he bumps into the dealer who snitched on his brother to the feds. A morality tale, of course (our narrator winds up murdered by crooked cops who were in it with the dealer he killed), with a message made palatable by Foxxx's imitable "believe me, I was there" style.

Freddie Foxxx has a new album coming out soon, by the way. At least that's the plan according to his myspace page (hey, man; you gotta update that discography you cut & pasted from my site - it's outta date now! hehe). Gotta love all the old school & underground MCs putting up myspace pages with new material when you thought they've disappeared from the scene. But, then again, Foxxx has a great knack for hanging in there and coming back where you least expect him (he was, after all, the best thing about Latifah's hi-jacked "Flavor Unit" 2.0); I don't think anyone ever expects him to really disappear from the scene.

1 comment:

  1. The State of New York is set to recognize 1520 Sedgwick Avenue as the birthplace of Hip-Hop and will be considered a landmark.

    Organizers will hold a press conference Monday July 23rd announcing New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation have approved a July 2nd application to make the site eligible to be considered a historic landmark. The office says the site "meets the eligibility criteria being that it is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history."

    1520 Sedgwick Avenue will be eligible to be recognized as a national historic landmark by the State and National Register of Historic Places.

    The press conference takes place 9:30 a.m. at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the South Bronx.

                                        Platinum Ice Records
    Tom Simjian  203-506-0388  Sedgwick & Cedar Records