Monday, July 2, 2007

All Brooklyn Hard Rocks Go 'Round the Outside

Frog Style is one of six underground/demo tapes that Thirstin Howl III sold me when I met him in '99. Most of the tracks on all six later found their way onto his "official" CD debut, Skillionaire; but each tape has at least one nice exclusive, too.

This one opens with what's still one of my all-time favorite Thirstin songs, "Still Live With My Moms," an anthem for every rapper who's music career isn't paying the bills for an Ice-T-style LA mansion. Surely you remember the interviews with Ice sitting at his home office desk showing off his grenade in front of a giant glass water tank with a shark swimming in it; then cutting to King Tee and the Rhyme Syndicate playing full arcade games in his basement. Well, there's certainly been enough hip-hop songs touting that lifestyle, but this is a song, with a little help from Master Fuol, representing those of us still living a little less glamorously... with Thirstin ripping LL Cool J's classic "Big Ol' Butt" instrumental:

"I always say
I'll move out next year,
But it'll be sooner
If welfare finds out I live here.
Yo, it's cheap by my place...
I ain't scared to open bills,
'Cause ain't none of them in my name.
Got kicked out,
But my mom said I can move back
If I can prove that
I didn't steal my sister's food stamps.
So I throw out the garbage,
And wash the dishes;
And I can't go outside
Without my mom's permission.
Even though my flow
Is uncomparable,
I'm an Unsigned Hype
With nowhere else to go."

"Frogstyle," is another banger, a showcase for some of Thirstin's best craziest rhymes and punchlines, with Rack-Lo on the George Clinton-inspired hook. And "Guess On the Mix" is a Thirstin Howl (backed up, as ever, by Unique London) mix-tape freestyle over the infamous (and overused... but this was one of the earlier ones, and Howl really makes it his own) "Tried By 12" beat.

But it's the next track that's the real jewel of this tape. "Brooklyn Hard Rock" - of course a song I'm sure even the most casual Thirstin Howl fan is familiar with... but this is the pre-Rawkus remix that's never since been released. It features DJ Spinna mixing up the "Buffalo Gals" instrumental (though most, if not all, of the dope scratches you hear are just from the original Supreme Team's track) and Thirstin spitting what became his signature record. Don't get me wrong, the remix is definitely nice, with some very cool, period jazz samples that's pretty impossible to resist, but this totally uncleared version is still the way "Brooklyn Hard Rocks" was meant to be heard. Perhaps an even greater, if more subtle, reason this is really the one definitive version is because, though the lyrics are the same, Thirstin redid the vocals for the remix; and clearly the strongest performance is here. It also helps that he didn't give his strongest punchlines to Unique, which you wouldn't realize how much that undercuts them until you hear the way he does them himself.

The tape rounds out with the song "Bad Things" and a "Morning Show Promo" (originally recorded for Hot 97), both of which are the same as would turn up on his Skillionaire disc (on the CD, it's "Morning Show Part 1"). But, yeah. It's all about the O.G. "Brooklyn Hard Rock"... the song that immediately comes to mind anytime Thirstin's name comes up.

And that's the end of this blog entry which means, yes, it's MYSPACE TIME! Of course Thirstin has one, and here it is - there's a crapload of Thirstin Howl CDs and DVDs you can order from there, and some new songs. Pretty much everyone in his crew(s) has their own myspace, too; but they're all linked in his Top Friends, so I'm not going to hurt myself trying to link every single one of them. He also has his own, official website at:, which is pretty much just a store. But you won't be disappointed by how much product he's got to offer, that's for sure. ;)

1 comment:

  1. Is there any way to get to download this? I am a Lo Life fan and I would be really happy.