Thursday, May 3, 2007

Unreleased Slick Rick, Epilogue

So, that's about it. Though, if you're keeping score, you probably noticed that still leaves a handful of undiscovered "Unreleased" Slick Rick tracks. Specifically:

1) "Captain Caveman" - I've yet to find this one, which is a shame because it's a fun one; but bbatson on the DWG forums reckons, "i remember one at armands in philly years ago. It had sleazy on one side and captain caveman on the flip and was just titled Ricky D." Considering the version of "Sleazy Gynecologist" on the "Lost Tracks" 12" is specifcially dubbed the "Triple X Version," could that mean there's also another version of "Sleazy" out there? A clean version, maybe? Perhaps this was an earlier 12" which only had access to a radio edit. Who knows. When I find it, I'll make a post all about it. :)

2) "He Kills" - (shrug) Still lookin'.

3) "I Own America (Unreleased Version)" - A mix different than either version included on his The Art of Storytelling album. I made a post about this on the Vinyl Exchange boards a few years ago... sadly, that post is long gone (thanks a lot, spam botters!), but someone replied remembering they used to hear it on UK radio... or something. Sadly, my memory is pretty vague, but radio shows winding up with exclusive DATs isn't so unheard of in hip-hop (for example, the Godfather Don tracks that Bobbito had, which were finally just released as the Slaves of New York EP about 10 years later... or Ahmad's "Ahmad is Like" - one of his best songs, and the only copy is a master DAT in the hands of the Wake Up Show guys)... Still, in the case of a soon-to-be-album track of a major label artist like Slick Rick, it's hard to imagine Def Jam didn't keep copies as well, and probably distribute them to various people.

Of course, J-Love went about this quest the easy way. It's my understanding he just goes to the artists (or their management)and gets all this exclusive material handed to him (and guess who keeps 100% of the profits). As he explained himself in an interview on his site, "Shit, I mean some artists, if it wasn’t for the mixtapes they would be dead. The radio only plays like 30 to 40 songs a day; in 24 hours you gonna hear the same 30 to 40 songs – so that means that’s 30 to 35 artists, depending if a certain artist has two songs in rotation. So what can the rest do? They have to look for other outlets and mixtapes supply that avenue. The music game is very corny right now so a lot of artists are stuck and don’t know what to do."* It is a sad state. Hopefully someday, artists like Slick Rick will take their profits into their own hands and put out proper releases of their own music, and we won't have to listen to DJs without the talent or inclination to make creative or original mixes (see my Prologue) keep saying their names over our favorite songs.

*Before I sign off, let me just leave you with more fun (if you enjoy irony) quote from J-Love (also from an interview on his site), describing the current mix-tape scene, "DISGUSTING ....... EVERYONE IS A FOLLOWER OR JUST DOING WHATEVER TO GET MONEY... NO ONE ( EXCLUDING MYSELF) TAKES TIME AND CARES HOW THERE CDS COME TOGETHER JUST ABOUT MAKING A QUICK NAME OR BUCK FOR THEM SELEVS ALOT OF THEM CATS PLAIN OUT SUCK AND LEAVE ME DISGUSTED."

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