Saturday, June 9, 2007

No Brotherly Love Over Here

I first saw this one in Armand's Records in Philly on cassette around '95 or '96, in their clearance bin. At the time I didn't pick it up, and I've later regretted it and always wondered about it. I was beginning to question if I'd dreamt it (wouldn't be the first dope release that turned out only to exist in my subconscious); but I asked around at the Vinyl Exchange message boards and a couple people knew what I was talking about... turns out it's not even that hard to find; so pick it up if you're interested.

Steady B's "Bogardin'" came out on Feature Recording in 1994... For the record, that would make it post-CEB; and the last record he would release before being convicted of second degree murder and getting life without chance of parole. "Bogardin'" is probably Steady B at his hardcore grittiest. We're actually presented with the remix first, and on this version Steady is joined by Brom of Tainted Mindz (a pretty ill, underground Philly-based crew that released the singles "All In the Flip" and "Killidelphia"), who drops a quick verse. The production is simple but solid: a rumbling bassline, hard drum track, slow horn samples and a scratched in Method Man vocal sample for the hook. Steady drops lyrics like:

"Suckers tryin' to jump in my grave and get comfy;
But I bring the pain like the monthly,
And Bogard like Humphrey.
Suckers need to study,
Observe me;
I keep the tracks dirty,
Comin' out of Philly.
No brotherly love over here;
You get smacked by the nine milly."

Both the lyrics and instrumental are different on the original mix. The beat is switched up, though it's similar in tone... a little simpler without the horns; and the same sample is used for the hook. Unfortunately, only the radio edit is provided for this mix, with the curses covered up by an annoying electronic BRREHHPPP sound.

The B-side (Unfortunately also only presented in Radio Edit form) is a little different. "Let It Go" uses a very familiar loop (heard in Ahmad's "Back In the Day" amongst many others) to slow the pace and let Steady (who's voice still sounds harder than any of his past releases, though... almost like Kool Rock Ski here) introspect and reminisce about coming up in Philly. It's a fitting, albeit often painfully ironic, final song to commemorate a quality career:

"What happened to the good old days?
Can you tell me?
Passed on high school
When I knew they would've failed me.
Gotta blame it on the streets;
That's where they kicked it.
Now I gotta kick it,
'Cause I'm addicted.
I give ya what ya want,
'Cause them suckers can't give it.
Comin' with the real,
So don't get it twisted.
Time to throw on the timbos. When I wreck
Flava like this,
All I want is my 'spect.
You know me from a long time ago,
When I used to kick the 'Bring the Beat Back'
type of flow.
But now it's '94, and I can still get it up;
And I'm the same nigga
That don't give a fuck.
And I got some brothers that feel the same way;
So you best strap on your vest
When you come to play.
Who said I wouldn't slam?
It musta been a pig with a heart made of ham.
So all props due to Hip-Hop...
For keepin' me out of the pen
With the use of a pen.
Because sometimes I get evil with my thoughts:
Picturin' me slumpin' judges in court.
I think I better let it go.
(Can't let it go.)
The streets is in my heart
Like a double K.O."

Oh yeah. I was googling around trying to find any info on this record (again, there's essentially none... which is partially why I chose to write about this one), but I did find a tiny scan (from a Japanese online record store) of the original cassingle picture cover I'd seen over 10 years ago:

So, the answer to "where is he now?" is of course an easy one: in a Pennsylvania State correctional institution, and he ain't comin' out (and before anybody says "free Steady B," you might be interested to learn that the Philadelphia police officer who responded to the bank's silent alarm, Lauretha Vaird - a single, African American mother of two children - was the first female Philadelphia Police officer slain in the line of duty). He does still have a myspace page, though, which is maintained by his brother, MB McGlone... there's a great story of how Steady B wrote "I'll Take Your Radio" on there, so definitely have a look.

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