Monday, May 21, 2007

Bust My Style - Get Wild!

I first heard this song on 7L's '96 mixtape The Sure Shot, back when he was going by the name of G-Swift. The classic Rebel Alliance LP was out, the buzz about alla those guys was crazy, and everyone was searching Napster for "that song with the Transformers sample." When I contacted Esoteric in the late 90's about writing about them for The Source, and I asked about this song, he was shocked I'd heard of it.

A lot of people get confused about this record since it's clearly marked with a 1995 copyright on the label. That's when the song was recorded, but this 7" record was actually pressed and released in 2002. It was a freebie Brick Records made for (back when they sold vinyl), for anyone who ordered $25 or more. Here's the write-up they posted in May of '02 (the same month God Complex member and Brick Records' graphic designer Karma released his solo debut 12", "Art of War" on the Australian label, Nuff Said Records):

"Laid down way back in 1995, these are previously unreleased recordings from the God Complex trio of 7L, Esoteric and Karma, produced by Fresno aka Madsol-Desar (best known for his work with Laster and Last Emperor). Only 500 copies were made of this release (numbered BRK000 - pre-Rebel Alliance!) and the artists have selected Sandbox to be the primary distributor of this highly collectable[sic.] 'big-hole' 45. While we can't guarantee 100% that this will be the only place that will have this record, we can at least say that a) it is not likely you will see this record available anywhere else anytime soon, if ever and b) even if you manage to locate it elsewhere, it is not likely that it will be FREE with only a $25 purchase like our copies are. Once these are gone, well, you know..."
After a quick sound byte from the movie Wild Style, "Bust My Style (Remix)" kicks into one of the hardest, catchiest beats from the God Complex catalog (we know this because Brick Records released an mp3-only album collecting all their material, entitled The Strontium 90 Years, which I believe was meant at one time to get a proper release, but sadly, it never happened). The original version was cool, too... more of a mellow, "intellectual" head nodder, with completely different lyrics... but this remix, with the harder beats and more intense scratching of some Kool Keith vocal samples, is clearly the crowd-pleaser of the two. The MCs go back and forth, with Esoteric (then known as Seamus the God Awful) kicking the complex, SAT word-heavy verses we know and love him for:

"My mind activates
To eradicate
A rapper's fate;
Done at a rate
You cannot calculate.
Sea captivates
Mental states.
Vocals penetrate
And multiply.
Result is:
Skulls get pulverized."

...While Karma kicks something a little simpler and more traditional:

"What's your mentality?
I wonder how you think
You see us when we bust;
Sweat our shit like calories.
You can't challenge me;
It's all a fallacy.
My talents be
Pervertin' your reality.
You can't retort
Once the punks get taught.
It just ain't for show,
Head to toe in the Lo, sport.
I fuck up kids like a pedophile.
All those who sweat a style,
Bust mine!"

The b-side is "Seek & Destroy," another bid for the more mainstream underground crowd (freebie for Sandbox... makes sense), using a deep bassline, piano loop and slow horn sample on the hook. 7L is scratching between verses again, but this time it's mixed lower, placing it more subtlety in the background of the driving bass and piano lines. The MCs are back to kicking more hardcore battle raps (as opposed to their more lyrically creative output, with more sci-references and what-not, a la "Strontium 90" or "Secret Wars"):

"Seamus is back in line,
Crackin' spines,
Wrackin' minds.
Attack the rap track;
Crabs get waxed from behind.
Hearts palpitate
At accelerated rates,
When I calculate
And take scalps of fakes,
I evaluate: They're faulty.
And the God Awful's more disorderly.
A judge stormed on me.
My style's crooked like deformities.
I'm chokin' raps with ropes,
Leavin' kids roped with slit throats,
Quotin' me; I'm schoolin' them like Cliffs Notes.
Rip folks out their cherished whip,
And tell them they will perish quick
From the terror stick of the heretic."

Today, Karma seems to have put his rapping behind him, but he's still down with Brick Records and doing graphic design for a lot of hip-hop artists. Here's his myspace page... and while we're at it, here's Brick Records' myspace, and here's their official (but woefully out-of-date) site: 7L & Esoteric have their own website, which is fairly substantive and definitely worth a look (though also out-of-date), at:, as well as the obligatory myspace page. And finally, producer Fresno has a myspace page, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment