Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Return of Tricky Nikki

Following up my recent post on the rare Tricky Nikki/ L'Trimm 12", is this... the follow-up (and final) single from Tricki Nikki. Looking at the title and the year (1990) should probably tell you what this record is - an answer to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This."

This is the promo version, by the way. The only difference between the promo version and the retail is that the promo label is black and white and the retail comes in the Time-X's standard orange on yellow.

The beat for this song uses the same "Superfreak" sample as the Hammer joint, of course, but it cuts the bassline a little bit differently, and doesn't use the male chorus vocal sample ("oh ohh-oh"). It adds some new elements, though, from a Rick James vocal sample ("Super freaky!") to, most notably, a great sax solo!

Tricky Nikki has essentially the same voice, flow and attitude as her previous single, though she sounds (slightly) less like Tigra or Bunny D. Nikki's got the right spirit for this upbeat answer record... she's not dissing Hammer, just playfully teasing him ("Stop! ....Tricky rhyme.") and constantly pointing out that it's summer break between verses. She even gets lyric specific with her variation, with Hammer's fast-rap take on his own name towards the end of the song goes from this:

"I'm known around the world,
From London to LA.
It's Hammer,
Go Hammer,
MC Hammer,
Yo Hammer,
...And the rest can go and play."

to this:

"I'm one fly girl,
And I mean what I say.
I'm tricky, yeah,
Tricky Nikki,
Nikki Tricky,
...Now let my record play."

If you pick up the CD single instead of the 12"...

(Despite what it says on the cover there, I really doubt this CD plays at 45 rpm.) get a unique b-side song, "Jammed In the USA" by Girls With Attitudes. Time-X also released this as a separate single on vinyl. It's an answer to The 2 Live Crew's "Banned In the USA," and I believe it's the only song they've ever put out. Which is fine, because they're not all that great.

Unlike the 2 Live Crew, they don't use the signature Springsteen sample... they actually take their chorus from Cyndi Lauper ("Girls, we wanna have fuh-un; you know that girls just wanna have fun"). The beat's ok, hitting pretty hard and fairly layered with different elements, though you'll surely feel embarrassed for them when they play the national anthem on keyboard at the end. They have more than their share of contrived rhymes, and their style of rhyming in unison is kinda lame. Lyrically, it's essentially supporting the 2 Live Crew version, talking about their rights to be x-rated (which they claim to be, but they don't curse at all on this, their only song):

"Freedom of expression,
That's what we perceive.
Free to do what we do,
That's what we're lead to believe.
Then comes another,
Tells us we're wrong.
Tells us what we can and can't say
In our hip-hop song."

In closing, I have to say... the neatest thing about writing an informative hip-hop blog like this is that it still helps me learn stuff for myself. Check out the comments section for my A-B-C, 1-2-3 post for a really informative reply about the history of Tricky Nikki and how she met L'Trimm. I didn't know any of that. 8) Cheers, everybody, 'till next time.

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