Sunday, June 17, 2007

Junction Funk part 2

This is the prerelease version of Saafir's second album, The Hit List, that was sent out promotionally a year before the official release. Now, The Hit List was certainly no Boxcar Sessions, but it still had its moments. And this promo version is notable (and worth tracking down) because it features three songs songs with fellow Hobo Junction members that aren't included on the '99 retail version. The first track is "I've Been Through It" with Eyecue and Mahasin. A slow, addictive piano loop provides the backdrop as each MC puts it down for a verse on their "victories through [their] trials and tribulees" over a smooth track.

Secondly, there's "Ridin' Hot," featuring The D.A. aka Daarina and Poke Martian. It's a bumping, faster track to go with the subject matter: "Ridin' hot, with heat between your thigh and the seat. With choppers in the trunk and the car four-deep. All you coke snortin' hoes and you ghetto freaks; ride hot, then, if you 'bout it... but don't sleep."

Finally, there's a nice duet with Eyecue called "Lost In Space." For all the critics who complained that Saafir was hanging up his creativity in favor of mainstream, gangsta rap cliches in order to appeal to a broader audience; this is exactly the kind of track they were missing. Broken flows, hard beats, sci-fi sound effects and off-the-wall metaphorical lyrics like:

Of how niggas is lost in space-
Ships with no stamina
In their retina
Parameter: amateurs who try to reverse
The game,
But can't play in the same direction.
Hoes keepin' their marks limp,
While they're constantly chasin' erections into my jurisdiction:
Which leads to instant friction;
Runnin' the diction
To you blind cats stuck with sea sickness.
You think you're running shit,
But you've lost the race.
You think the world is yours,
But you lost in space."

Four skits were also removed from the initial version... be thankful for that, at least. For the record, they're entitled: "Straight Slangin' Them," "Imagine That" (this one's actually kinda funny on the first listen), "Funkin' Wit Yo Broad" and "Socked Up."

On the other hand,Saafir did add a couple songs to the final version as well. There's the Clark Kent produced "A Dog's Master," which has some clever lyrics, "Pokerface," which is pretty decent, and most notably, his duet with Chino XL, "Not Fa' Nuthin'," which even wound up being released as a single. To be honest, all three of the new songs are pretty good, too; so I can't declare the promo copy as the *definitive* Hit List.

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