Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Lost King of New York

Once again, I'm making a blog post in conjunction with an all new artist's page I've been working on. There's a lot of white labels and unofficial releases, so now I've made a page dedicated to sorting it out and celebrating his hip-hop career in general... ladies and gentlemen, Pudgee tha Phat Bastard.

After releasing a very underrated LP and 12" single on Giant Records, the label folded and Pudgee was set to come out on Perspective Records. He released a couple of dope singles ("On the Regular," "Money Don't Make Your World Stop," and a white labeled collabo with Biggie Smalls and Lord Tariq entitled, "Think Big"), but then that label folded, too. Bloody bad luck for a talented MC and song-writer.

Looking at the liner notes for "On the Regular," we can see that his second album was originally going to be titled Niguz fa Life, and then looking at the notes for his next single, we can see that proposed title was dropped in favor of King of New York. With three official singles (well, two official, and one more or less), we already have a good taste of that sadly never released album... apparently promo copies do exist, though; because it was reviewed. ...Yes, this also means a few people, at least, have copies! Collectors, tape traders, hip-hop bloggers... your mission is now laid before you. ;)

Anyway, a bunch of white label 12"s followed over the years, and it's unclear A) how much Pudgee had to do with their release and B) whether these are tracks originally intended for King of New York or if they were recorded later. The review I have mentions a few song titles by name: specifically including "Whatever," "For My Daughter," "Hustler's Anthem" and "Tha Hold Up" and neglects to mention any of the big-name guest stars featured on the white labels (including Digable Planets, DMX... look, just go to my new Pudgee page for the full & proper list), so presumably they were recorded later*. We can be sure, at least, that "Angel Dust" was recorded afterward, as it's a tribute to 2Pac, who was shot in September of 2006, and The Source had already reviewed KoNY in May of '06). So, I'm guessing most - probably all - of the white label releases are post-Perspective recordings.

So, that brings me to this particular one. I'm sticking with my notion of writing about records that there's next to no info online about... no blog posts, not on, etc. So here we have "Get Over" b/w "Money & Hoes" a white label release from 2000. as you can see from the scan, there's basically no information on the label, so I've no idea who produced either cut.

Despite it's R&Bish nature (relationship rap, girl singing the chorus, the whole nine... die hard Give 'Em the Finger fans might be disappointed, but I won't begrudge the man a little maturity), the A-side wins on this one. His delivery is still quick and tight, the lyrics are smart and engaging:

"I never considered the fact
I was breaking your heart.
Maybe when it happened,
I was high, I won't lie;
But you know I wanted to die
When you started to cry.
But you see,
I had to stop it before it got any deeper.
Said you never wanted to see me again;
And even then,
Ten minutes later you was New Edition
Singin' 'Is this the end?
Can we begin again?'
All you wanted was a chance,
Even if we was friends.
And I'm steady tryin' to think
How I'ma make this right;
Tryin' to make it less lonely,
On those endless nights."

The B-side, "Money & Hoes" is a little blander. It's another take on the subject matter of "Money Don't Make Your World Stop," ("Money don't make you; you make it," he says again) but not as good in any respect. It's not bad, mind you - with a downbeat bassline and slow, scratched-in drum track; and I don't think he's ever released a rap that won't make you listen closer to what he's saying - but it's not up to his usual standard; and the chorus is especially limp. It's the kind of song you'll listen to when you first get it, think, "eh, ok," and then file away in your collection and forget about forever.

Now, before I leave you, I've got one more Pudgee/ white label thing to talk to you guys about. An online catalog that seems to be very accurate (checking against their other detailed white label info they provide that I'm personally sure about), lists two other Pudgee white labels I've never seen or otherwise heard of. Specifically:

1) Pudgee "Say Goodbye" b/w "Can't Get Over You" (catalog #TS0009) 1998

2) Pudgee ft. Pretty Boy "Tell Me You Don't Care" (catalog # TS0013) 1999

I'm not sure if these were ever actually put out, and are just now super rare, or if they were intended for release but it never happened. I did ask Pudgee about them... at the time, I wasn't even sure if they were by him or possibly another artist with the same/similar name, like DJ Pudgee P, though the catalog numbers match up with some of his previous white labels. He apparently hadn't heard about these releases until I mentioned them to him, and answered, "Those are my records but i never released them...WEIRD!" So, I don't know if they in fact exist; but I'll definitely be keeping an eye out. And if anyone reading this has them or knows of any avenues one could run these releases down, I (and Pudgee) would really appreciate it. :)

So, where is he now? He does have a myspace page, and he was recently featured on an mp3-only (BOO!! Press it up, guys... at least on CDR) album by Grand Daddy IU called Long Island's Finest. Apparently he's working on a new album for a new label, called Seven and Seven Entertainment. They have a myspace page, too, but at the moment it's still sealed off as "Private" while it's under construction.

*Update 8/11/7: I just dug up the old Rap Pages review of this album (which gave it an 8 out of 10, by the way, and called it, "a solid, original work that's never afraid to go where less royal MCs fear to tread"). They also don't mention any of the white label song titles or guest stars, and do mention the following song titles: "King of New York," "Talk Behind Your Back," "Whatever," "Make Em Die," "Things Ain't Changed," "Hustler's Anthem," "For My Daughter" and "Money Don't Make Your World Stop."

1 comment:

  1. Joe Fatal had some....err...."interesting" things to say about Pudgee: