Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Before Marrying Kool G Rap...

Before she married Kool G. Rap and changed her name to Ma Barker of the 5 Family Click, Satina Pearce was known as Shaqueen. I first heard of her through Shabazz the Disciple in '96-'97. In fact, when I interviewed him in '97, he brought her with him, hyped up her upcoming album (which didn't come out) and hit me up with a copy of her first single.

Sadly, a lot of that interview has been lost, but I do have a portion of it, which I'll probably post as a Necro one of these days. In the meantime, here's a small excerpt where he answers when I ask if Shaqueen will be involved with the Celestial Souljahz - him, Freestyle, Killah Priest and some others he was down with - collaborative album he was working on (which also didn't come out... the indie hip-hop scene is full of disappointment, I tells ya): "Well, she's gonna be involved... I mean, we're all involved. I just started working with them [Shaqueen and another MC they were down with, named Omen]. And, on the new album, Omen is featured on the same song I'm featured on. So, we're all touring together, we got tight. We networked. And then, you know, my man Baby J's album is coming out. You know, I asked him to be on that and bring Shaqueen, 'cause I always loved her stuff. The family's just getting tighter. The links... It's just all links in a chain."

So this is that single. "Just Because" b/w "Shaqueen Rules" on Mighty Music. The A-side is a pretty blah attempt at a crossover radio hit. The hook is a play off of DJ Quik's "Mo' Pussy" changing "just because I didn't say that I wanted to fuck, don't mean that I don't want to... Just cause you didn't say, that you wanted to suck don't mean that you don't want to," to "Just because I got a man and I'm not your boo, doesn't mean that I don't want you. Just because you got a girl and she's your boo, don't mean that I can't run through." It sounds better on paper, though - the delivery of this hook is definitely nowhere near as fun as 2nd II None's hook for Quik, and the R&B singer she has echoing her lines doesn't help much. Omen comes in to drop the perfunctory "male perspective" verse (look what you started, Positive K!), but it doesn't liven up the proceedings too much. In fact, since Shaqueen's material is better written, another verse from her would've been preferable.

But it doesn't really matter, because once you listen to the B-side, you'll never play the A again, anyway. It's just Shaqueen spitting hardcore freestyle rhymes over an unassuming beat. Omen (and The Death Tribe!) appears again to spit the hook, but fortunately he stays out of her way for each verse. There's also a nice little bit of scratching, cutting up a Slick Rick vocal sample. Her lyrics are tight and her delivery is vicious - this is still probably the best record she's ever done.

Both tracks were produced by Tony T, who did some production for late-era Cold Chillin' releases by artists like Kool G Rap and Roxanne Shanté. He was no Large Professor, but I think his work is a little underrated. Each song features clean, dirty, instrumental and dirty acapella versions; and as you can see in the scan, the original sleeve is a sticker cover. So it's a quality little release.

Shaqueen put out a few more guest verses (appearing on the Baby J album Shabazz mentioned with Omen, Big Daddy Kane's Veteranz' Day and even a Gerald Levert album) before getting down with Kool G Rap, and doing a lot of collaborations with him under her new name. A couple years ago she announced an album titled Wife Of a Don: Unforgiven Sins, to be released 4th quarter of 2006. That didn't happen (maybe she was too distracted by the drama with G Rap's ex and her book), but she still has a myspace with tracks up, including a diss track to said ex/author.

1 comment:

  1. She also appeared on the Main Source 2nd album on the same track where Jadakiss and Sheek had their first appearances.