Saturday, April 28, 2007

Unreleased Slick Rick, Chapter Three

Well, I already had the first version of J-Love's mix CD, but when I saw the second one had a track called, "VANESSA WILLIAMS ( UNRELEASED )," I had to hear the second version as well. I'd never heard of that one!
Upon hearing it (thanks, chr!s), I discovered it actually wasn't anything I didn't already have in my collection. See, back in the early 90's, a guy named Gregory Moore used to advertise in the "Tapes" section of The Source magazine. He sold 60 and 90 minute cassettes of old school live performances... here's a scan from the August, 1994 issue:

You sent away for the list and he had, I dunno.... maybe 50 live tapes (he later added almost a hundred more), of live performances like DJ Hollywood performing classic raps and mixes at Club 371 in 1976, the entire infamous Kool Moe Dee vs. Busy Bee battle (the full show, including performances by the Cold Crush, Force MC's, and even the separate amateur battle event that came first), or a tape of LL Cool J's birthday party, with performances by Ultramagnetic MCs and Afrika Islam. Dude had everything.

Eventually, in 1996, a commercial album was released (on Sounds of Urban London Records, co-produced by Moore) of his tapes, entitled Rap Archives vol. 1, which was made pretty widely available (I got mine on cassette at the Wiz here in my NJ hometown). It featured clips of performances by Run DMC, Master Don, Biz Markie & Big Daddy Kane, and a whole bunch more. One of the performances was Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh at the Lincoln Project, NY 1984, performing "La Di Da Di" and "The Show."

Now, the highlight of this performance is when, at the end of "La Di Da Di" as we all know it, they announce they're going to "finish it," and Slick Rick bursts into an all new verse about what happens next in the song. And that's what "Vanessa Williams" on the Legends mix is - just a short (1 minute and 15 seconds) snippet of that exclusive verse.

J-Love's listeners might've found it a bit confusing, since he has it come randomly after "Captain Caveman." So, they didn't hear it in the context of the rest "La Di Da Di," where it makes considerably more sense. Here's the end of the classic verse we all know and love...

"I said, 'Cheer up!' and I gave her a kiss.
I said, 'You can't have me; I'm too young for you, miss.'
She said, 'No, you're not,' and then she starts crying.
I says, 'I'm nineteen...' she says, 'stop lying!'
I said, 'I am - go ask my mother.
And with your wrinkled pussy, I can't be your lover!'

And now the new material begins:
"She didn't hear, 'cause I said it kinda low;
And then I broke out because I really had to go.
I saw Miss America - she got millions!
Talkin' about that ho named Vanessa Williams.
She saw me, MC Ricky D.
She came up close and she grabbed my body..."

Unfortunately, I don't believe Mr. Moore is selling tapes from his catalog anymore, but at least Rap Archives vol. 1 is still pretty easily found on CD... Amazon has a couple copies up for about $7. Sadly, there was never a vol. 2.

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