Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sole Bonus Disc

This is a bonus CD that came free when you ordered Sole's Selling Live Water album from Sandbox. I'm pretty sure this stopped being a part of the package even before they had their virtual collapse; but it was available for a while.

The first track is a joint from The Babylonianz' unreleased second album, Da Boom Baptism called "Keep It Raw." The Babylonianz were a gangsta rap send-up group consisting of Sole and Pedestrian (a.k.a.
Blazefest & Whitefolk, respectively), following directly in the footsteps of Anticon's previous gangsta rap send-up group, Bludd 'N' Gutz. The album was never released because, well... I'll let Pedestrian explain it (from the forums), "we never released the second album, Da Boom Baptizm, because it wasn't that good. The title track, 'Da Boom Baptizm,' actually came out on an Amoeba compilation. The problem was basically this: between the first and second albums, the Babylonianz were saved by evangelicals and became very conservative politically. For instance,Why Murder [Why?'s Bludd 'N' Gutz alias] joined Whitefolks and Blazefest on 'Attack Iraq,' which was prophetically finished a few months before the war began. The hook: 'You want jihad, come and get it, boy!' anyway, the problem... because every Babylonianz song is drunkenly freestyled, we found it really difficult to stay in character. freestyling in the character of a once thug turned militantly conservative Christian was fucking confusing." Here's a taste of "Keep It Raw:"

"The Palestinian poet,
The Israeli bomber,
Call yo' momma, or Osama,
You better pick someone for drama.
Rappers don't want it 'cause they flaunt it and they gonna (trick!)
Get bent. When I broke it,
Leave a mic and represent 'cause I spoke it (Ch-ch!).
I'm too dope it;
You can't diagnose it.
You better take some Novocaine,
Get over my name: Whitefolk.
I came to Blazefest like a rhyming death threat,
The best bet since death! (What's next?)"

Next you've got two "serious" songs: both unreleased Sole duets with Why? (though "Idiot's Guide," later appeared on Sole's Songs That Went Tin compilation as "Idiot's Guide To the Universe"). These songs came just around the time Why? was moving out of rap and into his more alternative/pop rock singing style, which makes for an interesting mesh of styles when put up against Sole's strictly hip-hop rapping (though he leans towards Why?'s direction on "I'd Rather Broil"), since neither goes for the obvious "I'll rap and he can sing the chorus" formula.

There are no production credits given for any of the tracks, but we know from the Songs That Went Tin notes that "Idiot's Guide" - a pretty cool, mellow track - was produced by DJ Mayonnaise w/ Why?. The lyrics are reasonably solid and straight-forward here, but take a turn to the kind of abstractions which seem to drive non-Anticon enthusiasts up the wall on "I'd Rather Broil," as Why? sings, "I'm going to the movies with a pair of parakeets in my pocket, one of whom has its mouth sewn shut, the other one a whistler; oohhh... Ohhhhh my god, I'm going." while Sole goes on about "the Hillary Clinton foundation posing as lesbian activists, selling tickets." The track's got a cool, heavily distorted bassline and some live guitar... Thanks are due to W_e_s on the SoleOne forums for finding an archived page from the old Anticon site (where the song is titled "I'd Rather Boil") that gives us the production credits: "recorded dec '99. produced by odd nosdam. mixed by an intoxicated why? 'I liked how the bass sounded and we ate brownies, dude.' - why?"

Finally, you get a 36 minute interview, with Sole answering questions that were submitted through the old forums in front of a "studio audience" consisting of some sampled laughter and applause tracks, Odd Nosdam, Baillie, Passage, Alias, Pedestrian and Colin. As the hand-written note that came with the CD explains, "people asked the internet questions as absurd as possible, and I answered as straight as I could. ...We left in between dialogue, and my frustration with the questions in, to give people a more in depth view of what went into the CD." It makes for a pretty weird listening experience... first a question is asked in a funny voice, then Sole stumbles for a while on his writing process or the war in Iraq, while a laugh track is cut into every pause, and his label-mates snicker and interject comments like, "you said Jose One!" Fake questions (like "is my television staring at me?") are thrown in, too, and there's some human beat-boxing and very half-hearted freestyles. After about the twenty-minute mark, your brain starts to warp... and you're only halfway through it.

And these are the kinds of treasures you people are missing out on if you don't buy your music off the internet. You've taken a good first step by reading this blog... now go get a Paypal account!


  1. Your should provide your weblog with a mission statement, or an encouraging proverb at it's masthead, because I'm confused.

    I have to remind myself with each entry, - Despite it's presentation, this is *still* probably *not* an mp3 blog.

    That said, this is classic material on your part. And I wonder if you're still trading tapes.

  2. Thanks.  8)

    Heh heh  Yeah... I did write about that in my first, introductory post, but of course that's gotten pushed right down to the very bottom of the archives.  And I can see how this one looks an awful lot like an mp3 blog.

    But hopefully this blog will encourage people to go out and start diggin', and just generally be interesting and informative about records they don't already have in their collections (yet).  My favorite hip-hop blogs are the ones that write about records, not just rip 'em.

    If I wanted to be really mean, for a laugh, I could just put a little comment like, "if the mp3s are slow to download, please try again at another hour as the server can be a little slow" and then laugh sadistically to myself as people spend hours trying to figure out, "where the heck to I click for the mp3s?!"  Hehe

    But, nah.  I'm too nice to actually go put people through that.

    ...And, yeah.  Man, I haven't traded tapes since, like... the late 90's.  I *do* DL mp3s from time to time... but generally, I'm just not happy without the original 12" in my house... with the liner notes and everything.  Bad copies and mislabeled stuff is just too frustrating.