Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's Just Pure Dynamite

This is just a simple post to recognize a really dope 12". A lot of you guys are probably pretty familiar with this one already, and a lot of people have probably never heard of it. This is "Pure Dynamite" b/w "Axe Maniac" by Unique, which came out on New Day Records (a spin-off label of Sugarhill Records, when they wanted a more contemporary image) in 1989.

He recorded a full album (you can see right there on the label, it says "from the forthcoming album DIE HARD"), which was tragically shelved - though most of the tracks were finally released as a limited EP from DWG, which I already talked about some time ago, here. But this was one of only two singles (and even one of those was a very limited, pretty much promo-only release) that actually came out. So there's a good chance you've never heard Unique, but those who have know why his records tend to hit the triple-digits on the Bay.

Unique's just a dope, no gimmicks MC from NJ (word up!)... from the school of Big Daddy Kane R-A-W-type rapping. He raps fast - not Tung Twista fast - just steady, short, rapid fire, clearly-enunciated freestyle rhymes over some perfect beats. On "Pure Dynamite" you've got a smooth, funk guitar riff over a break beat and finger snaps, with just a classic 45 King-style horn sample for a hook - a track he produced himself. It's not that the lyrics are deep at all, super clever, or next level "advanced," they're just fresh freestyle flows - an art that's almost been lost in the 2000's.

"Bubble gum rappers,
Young whipper-snappers
Don't step to this
'Cause Unique's too treacherous
Eatin' competitors
Up like The Predator
A plan of attack on the wack rap editor
Save the handicap raps
And take a long nap
When I snap
My brain's like a rap trap
Foes are wiped out
Erased like White-Out
I won't take a break
I take 'em right out
Suckers are bumped off
Knocked off
Treated like a bad cough
Step outta line, get chomped off
I write rhymes
That'll outshine
The average battle rhyme
Try to bite a rhyme?
It's wartime
Enemies face
The rage of a nut case
Twenty-two's the age
And Newark: the birthplace"

The B-side, "Axe Maniac" is a short tribute to his DJ, Godfather D, and as you'd expect, features some hot scratching. It's co-produced by Unique, Godfather D, and K.G. of Naughty By Nature (Unique was one of their Legion of Doom posse). It's a faster beat here, with single horn stabs to keep your head bobbing to the rhymes and cuts. It's definitely a hot track you'll revisit again and again, but "Pure Dynamite" is the real masterpiece if you ask me.

Long story short, as the hardcore collectors've known for years, it's a must-have. Anytime you come across this in your digging, snatch it up. And if you come across "I'm Untouchable," send it to me. ;)


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