Sunday, June 29, 2008
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,
Don't step to this
'Cause Unique's too treacherous
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
Treated like a bad cough
Step outta line, get chomped off
I write rhymes
The average battle rhyme
Try to bite a rhyme?
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. ;)
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I realize my blogging can be considered a little advanced (link joke!). I tend to just jump right into blogs about underground or old school artists that, realistically, most hip-hop fans today probably don't know a thing about. And I bypass their signature releases, and even their secondary albums, and go right to their obscure B-sides and indie comeback 12"'s.
Like, right off the bat, what percent of The Source's current readership (assuming anybody still reads magazines anymore... I don't know; do they?) knows who Spyder-D is? In 2008? I'd bet way less than 50%. And for my first blog about him, do I tell you guys about his underrated classics like "Placin' the Beat" and or "Big Apple Rappin'," or his role in the smerf dance craze? Do I even bother to rant about how "I Can't Wait (To Rock the Mic)" is easily one of my top ten stranded-on-a-desert-island songs? No, I jump right into a post about a single-sided promotional record from after his career had pretty much petered out (sorry, Spyder), which I suspect I may have the only copy in existence of.
And when I talk to my readers, a phrase pops up a lot. And I get e-mails with it, too. I get e-mails saying, "OMG! I've been looking for that song for 15 years! I need it! Please send me an mp3; I'll even pay! Name your price; how's $50?" And it's not even something that rare... Like, it'll be "Holy Intellect" by Poor Righteous Teachers. So, usually I'll spend 2 seconds to find a quick link for the 12" on gemm or EBay for like $5, like, "there ya go. Get the original with the picture cover, and I just saved ya $45 bucks." And that phrase comes back at me: "but I don't have a record player."
Well, anybody "advanced" enough to be reading this blog deserves to be caught up. Trust me; it'll change your life. It'll be like when you finally woke up that morning, said "to hell with this!" and got yourself a region free DVD player (you... do have one of those, don't you?). It just opens up your life to a whole new level of hip-hop love.
So all of that was just an incredibly long preamble to this:
Werner's Humble, Little Guide to Getting Yourself a Record Player
Here's something you should know right off the bat:
Pretty much any record player will do. Unless you're planning to dethrone The Invisibl Skratch Picklz in the next DMC Tournament, you don't need a Technic 1200. Unless you have a collection of obscure jazz records from the 20's and 30's, you don't need it to play 78's. You don't need a direct drive, you don't need fancy needles, and you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars.
Record players are still easy to find. Heck, just type "record player" into Amazon's search bar and you'll already have a bunch of options. If quick and easy is your buying strategy of choice, then you're done there. Just pick one for under maybe $70 and you'll be playing records in just a few business days.
But hey, you can actually get them way cheaper than that. For a start, search EBay for "record players." If you're more the "go out and shop" type instead of the "order online" type, you can get them used super cheap. Heck, record players are common at garage sales... get yourself one for fifty cents. Ask your relatives if you can pillage their attic or basement.
Again, if you're not a hardcore club DJ or planning to practice your crab and flare scratches, you don't need any of the pricier models. Only DJs who scratch really need to worry about belt drives snapping (if you're not back-cueing every thirty seconds, it won't ever snap in your lifetime) or scratch resistant needles (just use whatever already comes with the player). Only hip-hop producers and blend tape makers care if it has pitch control on it or any other feature you can think up.
About the only thing you will want to look for are outputs. RCAs (the round red and white plugs), headset- or microphone-jack plugs or whatever. It doesn't matter. Just something so you can hook it up to your stereo or computer. And even those aren't necessary if you just want to listen to your records (then it just has to have a built in speaker or speaker output - logically, there's no such thing as a record player that doesn't have some built in way for the sound to come out of it), but if you want to copy your vinyl recordings onto tape or mp3, or just have the sound coming out of your home stereo system, you'll need outputs. But don't sweat it, because every record player you come across will have outputs unless it's a crazy, old antique.
Seriously, if you love hip-hop music enough to be reading blogs like this one, there's no reason for you not to have a record player. Even if you don't have access to an essentially free one from a yard sale or older relative (and many of you probably would if you looked into it), they're still way cheaper than your ipods - and all your music doesn't disappear if your harddrive crashes ...instead it will take a great big, house fire! Ha ha!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
It starts out with its weakest segment, on Eve. She's interviewed, and we also get a few clips taken from interviews with other artists (DMC, Lyte, DJ Quik, and one of her producers) where they're asked about her. Well, we quickly find this film's Achilles heel: all the questions are soft-ball "is it hard being so talented"-type questions, and all anybody does is toss compliments back and forth about each other. Every time the doc shifts focus to another artist, we go to an interview clip where Iceman, our host, asks him to say what comes to mind when he says their name, and each time he only says, "queen!" Her producer says, "I remember back when Eve was signed to Aftermath," and I kinda woke up. Are we gonna talk about her time on Aftermath: why she switched labels, what it was like working with Dre, etc? Nope. That the fact he remembered when Eve was on Aftermath was all he had to say, and we move on. This entire segment is full of intercutting and jump cuts, trying to make something out of nothing, because nobody ever has anything to say.
It picks up a bit when we move on to Missy Elliot, if only because she has more than six words to share. She's interviewed on the set of one of her music videos, and one of the most fun parts is when they ask the little girls who dance in it about their experience working with Elliot. But again, it's like they only had five to ten minutes with anybody they interviewed and had to move on to let the next interviewer get in... you can even hear a manager yell at them, "you've gotta wrap it up!" during one of the questions.
So, yeah, they're clearly grabbing whoever they see at a few press spots, which kind of works... Spinderella is DJing at Lyte's show so she gives a few words, Vinnie of Naughty by Nature is at Latifah's party, Krs-One is at Lyte's event... Even Robin Leach and Steve Guttenburg(!) are available at one of the locations to briefly praise Latifah. ...Queen Latifah herself never gets in front of their cameras, though.
This film tries and occasionally succeeds - it helps that they ran into Lyte two different times, and even got a little concert footage of her to cut to (although they wind up taking it too far by cutting to the same single song WAY too many times). But for the most part it just proves that even with the best of intentions, you can't make a quality, substantive movie out of press junket interviews (which is what they are). A quick Youtube video? Sure. But a movie? These guys just never got the content.
So, that's it. Nice interview of another mediocre but not terrible hip-hop DVD, right? No! There's still another third of this movie to go. A third that has absolutely nothing to do with our female American rap stars. Heck, it's not even shot in America!
In one of the most shamelessly self indulgent turns I've ever seen in a film, our host Iceman makes the rest of the movie about himself and his rap career (apparently he has one). He's booked a show in Moscow, of all places, and suddenly this changes into an on-the-road tour doc about his show in Russia. There's not a lot to show, though... we see a little footage of him on stage, him flying first class, and he spends the rest of the time getting the locals to sell him cigars or freestyle for the camera in Russian. ...Weird!
So, if this write-up feels kind of sloppy and muddled to you, then you're beginning to get a sense of what the viewing experience is like. Bottom line: whatever you do, don't buy this DVD! But... if you're a big fan of Missy Elliot or MC Lyte specifically, it's worth clicking on for the instant view.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Now, anyone who's listened to X-Clan and fam knows they're fond of their house music. Heck, Isis's album was filled with house cuts. Unique and Dashan managed to limit it to only one song on their album, but unfortunately (but predictably), it wound up being their lead single. ...Really, their masterpiece was "Protected By the Red, Black and Green," and "Three the Hard Way" would've been another hot single (except the line, "I'm like a jew; my job is to gyp you" could've been a sticking point). But I'm sure Warlock made the call here.
Still, if you have to listen to a house song (and sometimes you do), nobody did it better than X-Clan. Unique is the fun, fast-rapping slick talker of the Clan, and it's a shame he wasn't utilized a little more on the Clan and Professor X albums... but on his own album, he definitely showed his skills in spades. And he proved that he could even handle the dancey, poppier track, "House Is Taking Over" with expertise.
Looking at the track-listing, you might think you've got a couple exclusive remixes on hand here... the "Rare Groove Mix" and "City Beat Mix." But really "Rare Groove Mix" is the album version, and the "City Beat Mix" is just a shortened instrumental (the song is 3:42, the instrumental is 2:00). Oh, and the "Bassapella" version is exactly what it sounds like: the acapella vocals over nothing but the bassline.
The b-side is the album track, "Lumumba." In case you don't already know, Lumumba is Professor X's real name (Lumumba Carson, son of Sonny Carson, the... let's say "politically divisive" author and activist). In addition to being the front man of The X-Clan (sorry for the rhyme), he was also a manager for various hip-hop arttists including Pete Nice and Positive K, and this song is a fun, semi-throw-away ode to his management, done in a jokey reggae style - in fact, it's not even by Unique and Dashan. He's not credited on this 12", but the full-length album credits tell us it's performed by M.C. Buggs. Anyway, it's essentially decent album filler.
So, the single is a poor, probably label-driven choice - but still dope - released off of an even doper album. And for a long time, I'd always wondered what happened to Unique, who showed the raw talent and knack to be doing underground X-Clan records or be on MTV doing pop singles, but seemed to fall off the Earth after this album (he wasn't even featured on "Close the Crackhouse" for chrissakes!).
Tragically, DJ Dashan has passed on... and while I still can't really account for Unique's absence, I've found where he is now. Yes, he has a myspace page, with new music up. Apparently, he was starting his own label (Verbal Khemistry Records) and crew (Grimey All-Starz), but his "new single" is dated 2006 so I don't know if he's still pushing that anymore. To be honest, I hate the production, but if you watch his videos and pay close attention to his lyrics, you can see he's still got it as an MC. Hopefully someone in a position to do something about it will recognize the opportunities in putting this guy on with some quality beats... there's still a really nice album waiting to be made there, I believe.
Tags: Unique and Dashan
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
First up is a live 12" called "He's Coming" Live meaning in the "Party Rocker Vocal" version has been recorded before a live audience. He really captures the energy of his live shows as he leads an enthusiastic audience through a sea of old school choruses, shout and call responses and hooks. The beat constantly changes from old favorites to contemporary hits (well, contemporary for 2000 - i.e. Big Pun's "Still Not a Killer").
It's debatable how much this kind of thing translates to record. What must be a blast to experience live leaves me feeling a little like "I kinda wish he'd just rap already," and I'm not sure how often I'd revisit this record, though I'd me more likely to come back to the (not recorded live) Instrumental version on the B-side. But if you're gonna listen to a "It's Your Birthday"/DJ Kool-type song; there's no denying Doug E. is the master of it and this is one of the best (the fact that he's not shy about slipping into a hot beat-boxing solo sure helps).
Next up is "Come Again" (I'm really not sure which was released first... I'm just assuming from their titles that "He's Coming" precedes "Come Again"), another Live track. This time in instrumental is a consistent (and not bad) track, as opposed to a parade of crowd-pleasing loops and breaks, but other than that it's very much along the same lines as its predecessor.
What's much more compelling on this record though is the two new studio tracks. "I Could Make U Dance" (which we're helpfully alerted is his "Dirty South"-style record) really isn't bad. Doug's versatile enough to ride the Southern-style production and change his flow to match without putting on a cheesy accent or otherwise trying to "force" himself to blend with the genre unnaturally. A surprising guest verse from Lonnie B., of Virginia's Supafriendz crew, and both MCs shine with how quick and clever (without no reliance on punchlines) they can kick their raps (Krystal, who's also credited, is just doing back-up vocals on the hook). This should really suck, and it doesn't at all, which is impressive.
But the last song, "Throw It Up," is the real highlight for me... in no small part because it features Big Daddy Kane. The production is unexceptional, but it'll do for Kane to rip it with a hot verse, and while Doug tend to forgo straight rapping for all his party-type material, he holds his own spitting after Kane. My only complaint is that it's too short - one verse by Kane, followed by one from Fresh, then a couple of hooks (which is where the other credited MC, Damage, fits in) and it's all over. Cutting down the hook-age and throwing down two more verses by each MC would've been perfect, but I guess they figured why risk ruining a good thing when you've got it?
Like the last 12", this one ends with a not-live Instrumental version of its live track, too.
Today, Doug E Fresh of course has (say it with me) a myspace page; and he also has his own dot com at: dougefresh.com. There's an online store there promising a new CD single (called "Left Right Front Dance") and album (called Global Warming), but they're both listed as out of stock. Now, if you click on the Global Warming page, it says, "...will be available June 15th;" but that's actually what it said this time last year, too; so I don't think it's coming anytime soon. He DOES have a children's book that you can order from there, which includes a CD: "Rap and Read along with Doug E. Fresh;" so you seriously hardcore fans may want to pick that one up, I don't know.
Update 2/18/2010: Apparently, this is only half the story! He released two more 12"s, including a "Mayham Party Mix" of "He's Coming," around 2000. Check this post for full write-ups on those.
Also, I've been reading on discogs that apparently there's an alternate version of the "Come Again" 12". The other version doesn't include the song "Throw It Up," but instead features an additional instrumental of "I Could Make U Dance." Now, personally, I'd feel pretty let-down if I didn't get the song with Kane, since it's easily the highlight; but the fact that both versions exist is cool for collectors, as the other version at least gives you an exclusive instrumental. At least you can tell them apart, though. The version with "Throw It Up" is the one I've got pictured above, with the catalog number printed on the label and the song title labeled as "I Could Make U Dance." The one with the exclusive instrumental calls the song "Could I Make You Dance," and also lacks the catalog number.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
This interview was done about a year and a half after the Outsidaz and Bizarre interviews I recently posted. Eminem was working on his Marshall Mathers LP, and with the new-found power of Shady Records behind them, The Dirty Dozen were preparing their first release as a crew. Proof and Eminem were out in LA, but the rest of. the group came through to represent.
So, want to start off by running down the line-up of the Dirty Dozen?
Denine: First off, I'm gonna run it down like this. There's Slim Shady, Eminem. That's one person. Then you got Dirty Harry, Big Proof. That's two/ four people. I'm the Con Artist, Denine Porter. That's me, the producer.
Bizarre: I'm the idiotic Bizarre, and Peter S. Bizarre. That's six, plus him, is eight. Who else we got?
Swift: Swift or Swifty McVeigh. That's ten.
Von: And I'm Conniver, a.k.a. Von; and that makes twelve right there. D12. Dirty Dozen.
So, how did y'all come together? How did the Dirty Dozen form?
Denine: It all started back in Detroit. Em was trying to do his thing, and everybody else was doing their solo things. And Em came over my house one day 'cause he need some beats for his new album, Infinite. I was doing beats at the time, but I wasn't really rhyming that much. Then he came through, and he met Bizarre... And Proof already knew Em and me.
Bizarre: Proof kinda started the Dirty Dozen; he came up with the idea. We were in the car, driving back from New York, and he said he wanted to start this concept called the Dirty Dozen, where we all got alteregos. I remember we were all over my house, and Eminem came over and said, "Yo, I wanna start this Dirty Dozen thing; I wanna bring it on my new album and I'm gonna show you how raw I am," and he lifted up his shirt and he had "Slim Shady" on his arm. It was like, "Slim Shady? What's that mean?" He was like, "Slim Shady; that's my second character." 'Cause he was the only one who couldn't think of a character for a long time. And we just formed together and started droppin' songs in Eminem's basement, on the eight-track.
So, this is basically gonna be your first release now, on Shady Records, as a group...
I mean, you came together for some stuff with Re-Al, that didn't actually surface, right? What's the deal with...
Bizarre: Well, Re-Al Entertainment, I don't really wanna comment on...
Denine: It's not happening!
Bizarre: It's just not happening. The Dirty Dozen's been through a lot of phases. With Re-Al Entertainment, we were doing a little demo thing, we got on this little compilation album type of thing, but as we grew as a group, we moved on to bigger and better things.
Right; and now you got Shady Records, which is of course Eminem's label. And now you're doing an album for them, right?
Bizarre: Right. Interscope/ Shady Records.
Have you got a title for it yet?
Denine: No, no title. You can call it Sick. You can call it Foul, Nasty, Perverted, whatever you want to call it. I don't care, man. Whatever the name of the album is, you're gonna have your own name for it.
So what're some of the ideas behind the album and the tracks?
Denine: Just the darkest... sayin' what we wanna say. We don't care what everybody else is doing, we're just saying what we wanna say.
Bizarre: Concepts, ideas, sickness, skillfulness... it's all coming together as one. It's gonna be fresh; check it out.
So, do y'all have an estimated date for when this is coming out?
Bizarre: Basically, right now, we're all focused on Eminem's second album. We're all over there. D12 is all over the album: ad-libs, back-ups, hooks. Then, after we finish with the Eminem album, our album will drop shortly afterwards.
And the album's called Marshall Mathers, right?
Denine: Yeah, it's sick, sick. It's foul.
So, tell us about your solo projects you got coming out... I know you did the Attack of the Weirdos EP...
Bizarre: Yeah, I did Attack of the Weirdos, but right now I'm focusing on this Dirty Dozen thing, so my solo stuff is on hold. The whole crew's solo stuff is on hold to concentrate on this D12 album.
Swift: It's all about Dirty Dozen right now.
Is that the same with Proof? 'Cause I've been seeing all the ads for Proof with Maurice Malone management...
Denine: He's trying to get his porno career started, so he's doing his thing... We sign to labels and then we get dropped... And, this time, we're gonna do it for real. But all that other stuff is on hold while we focus on this.
Bizarre: Everything is on hold for D12. Proof is gonna be doing his thing with Maurice Malone later on, down the line, but right now, it's strictly D12.
You got any of this album recorded yet?
Bizarre: Yeah, we got a couple songs recorded. We're in the studio, droppin' it right now.
Denine: We can't ever have enough. We're always doing songs. We never get tired of doing songs.
You've got a bunch of projects coming out now, right? Like that Ruckus/ Paradime joint...
Bizarre: Well, you can catch us on the Tony Touch album, coming out within a month. Then we're on the new Soundbombing for Rawkus; that's coming out pretty soon. And we're on Eminem's new LP, Marshall Mathers. So, that's three things where you can catch the D12. And you can catch us right here!
And, also, you're part of The Outsidaz, who just put out an EP - Night Life - and they've got an LP coming out.
Bizarre: Yeah, The Outsidaz got an LP coming out. Big up to the Outsidaz; they're doing their thing.
So, are you gonna be on the LP?
Bizarre: Yeah, I'm on the LP; Outsidaz is our family. Denine's doing beats on the album.
Denine: We're gonna spread things out... we're just gonna hit everybody off; we don't care who it is. We'll gonna get on The Outsidaz' joint, we'll gonna get on Da Ruckus' joint. Whatever, we'll do it. You want us, come get us. If you want some sickness, come get us.
And you've got the new single you're doin' on Shady...
Bizarre: Yeah, we got an underground single about to drop. It's limited edition, classic, two vinyls. Gonna be very, very hard to get. It's gonna be in all the phat vinyl places; it's gonna be hot. Check it out.
Denine: Strictly for the DJs. Something new. Everything we do is gonna be on some next shit.
Bizarre: Slim Shady'll be all over it.
So, what do y'all think about the Detroit hip-hop scene in general? Of course, lately, it's been getting a lot of attention with Eminem, Kid Rock, etc. But it's been making noise for a long time...
Bizarre: What do we feel about it? Well... 1, 2, 3.
Dirty Dozen: (Singing) What happened to the Detroit hip-hop scene? WJOB talking about, "keep it clean."
Denine: It's dope, but it's the same way anywhere. You've got people hatin' on you, but we don't give a F, you know? Regardless of what anybody else does, we're doing our thing, and, when we try to help people out, sometimes they hate on you, and that's when they get their mouth blew out.
Bizarre: Detroit's coming up as a whole; the hip-hop scene's boomin'. You've got Slim Shady, you've got Royce the 5-9, you've got...
Swift: Slum Village.
Bizarre: I mean, look around, man. We've got at least seven or eight groups with major deals. It's gonna get better and better.
Von: There's a lot of talent in Detroit, too. It's just a little less, but there's much talent in Detroit. Much. But...
Denine: Some of 'em gotta get off that bull-tripping, like they're just better than anybody anyway.
Bizarre: But we love our dirty, stinking pothole.
Von: Nothin' like the D.
Well, now y'all are about to come out on a more international level, since Shady Records is gonna be bringing in some major distribution. Are you gonna change your styles at all to reach a broader audience?
Bizarre: Well, people are likin' our styles right now, so we're gonna keep it like that. If it works, it works. We've been to Milwaukee, Chicago, on the Lyricist Lounge tour, and they love us. So, we ain't changing. It's the same filthiness. Just think about Eminem, and the stuff he's kicking. It's to that degree, but even sicker. And he ain't even the sickest person in our clique. ...He can get sick, though.
Denine: You never know what to expect.
But some people might even say that Eminem's changed, especially with the production styles and all that... like the various remixes from the EP to the LP.
Bizarre: Well, I wouldn't say that he's changed; I'd say that he's grown as an artist. And, basically, he's workin' with the number one producer in the world. And Dre always knows how he wants stuff to sound. He's constantly in the studio with us, makin' sure our stuff is right, our vocals are right. And every "the" and "how" has to be done over 'till it's done right.
Swift: "Perfectionist," that's the term.
Denine: You gotta think, when you take a step, it's not you changing, it's a growth with every album. And some people tend to forget that. And if you don't grow, you won't sell anymore records. If you don't care about sellin' records, then you're gonna stay the way that you stay, but he's not changing; we're not changing. It's just what we've been doing, only getting better with time.
So, have you got any outside producers working on this album? And is Dre working on this?
Bizarre: Yeah, Dre is definitely gonna be involved on this album; make note of that. As far as outside MCs or whatever: not really, not yet. There's six of us, so it's gonna be hard for us to be on every song. As far as producers, we've got my man Denine Porter, DJ Head, and Eminem. They're the three producers we're mainly working with.
And, finally, have you got anything to say the readers now? With Eminem, you're getting an audience now, and you've finally gotten a chance to come up after a long time...
Denine: Uh, get off my dick, I'm in show business.
Von: Get prepared for the sickness. That's it. That's the bottom line, man. It's about to be sick. I bet, after this album, everybody's gonna try to come with some real sick, sick stuff.
Bizarre: Check out the album, and make sure you buy it, because, after this, I'll be in jail for rape.
Denine: Yeah, I've got a couple credit card schemes I'm about to pay for, anyway. So, I'm trying to finish this album before the feds catch up with me.
Swift: I've got a few record labels to grenade up.
Von: And I'm just gonna be the get away driver, man. I just gotta be everywhere, so that's just that.
Denine: And, also, we wanna make sure y'all know this. Proof and Eminem, right now, are in LA with Ron Jeremy, workin' on a new movie, called Dirty Dozen In the Booty. ...And Em ain't wear his briefs.
Bizarre: That is true, though. They are in LA...
Denine: Working on a movie.
Bizarre: Finally, we just wanna say peace to members that were close to our hearts. First, Bugz, a member of D12. Then, my man Slang Ton, of The Outsidaz; he just passed away, too.
Denine: They both were dope. In fact, we're gonna have Bugz on our album; you're gonna be able to hear Bugz.
Bizarre: As a matter of fact, he did a song with Slang that might be on the album.
And they replace B-Real with new host Ice-T. Some of the lines he spits are pretty corny (he starts the film off by pointing out, "now we know that the first four letters of reality are real."), but he really comes off like he knows what he's saying and why he's there. He does also occasionally imply that he was on location with C-Murder during the filming when he clearly wasn't, but he's easily an infinitely more qualified host than B-Real was.
The film is pretty simple (and short again, 47 minutes including credits): C-Murder visits the projects in CP3 where he grew up and then drops by some other relevant spots in New Orleans: his studio, a Mardi Gras party, which really just plays like a shameless attempt to show some topless girl footage, but what the heck) and a record store where he got his start. He talks with pretty much whoever he comes across (several of whom get R.I.P. notices for being killed by gunfire after the filming).
There aren't a lot of celebrity cameos from even his No Limit family like you might expect (Master P is his brother, for gosh sake!), though Soulja Slim puts in an appearance for a minute towards the end. Unlike the M.O.P. movie, this one doesn't feel drawn out at all; it's pretty compelling (at one point they even have to leave the scene of an interview when gunshots break out).
So even coming in as a non-C-Murder fan, this one's worth checking out. Another sequel is due out this year starring Trick Daddy (no word on who the host will be), so I'm hoping Netflix will pick it up and offer it for Instant Viewing once it drops, too.
This film seems to be designed to explain hip-hop, and everything connected to it, to people who presumably are just hearing about it now for the first time. If you know much about hip-hop, you're not gonna discover a lot of new information (especially in the first half of the film). That's why they have this host character, to speak for us to the audience, who are presumably outsiders.
The fact that this film tries to cover ALL of hip-hop in less than ninety minutes, means topics like break-dancing and graffiti are done in a flash. And this documentary clearly has made its own, unique decisions about which subjects are most worth its time (corporate sponsorship in rap music, hip-hop clothing design and links between hip-hop and pornography get the most attention). It also means people who are interviewed get about 30 seconds of screentime.
But this movie has a lot of positives going for it. First of all, it has interviews with a bazillion people. Granted, that means someone like Special Ed will just pop up to say, "yeah, I like records" and then he's out, never to be seen again. But it also means whenever the film has a point to make on the subject, whoever has something relevant to say on the subject will be there. There's a billion and one rappers, plus label execs, Stephen Baldwin(!), and porn stars for the pornography segment.
Overall, it's not a great movie... and as I said, that host will really drive you nuts. But if you can past the movie that could have been (you're in a room with Marley Marl and the only thing you ask him about is if he's seen R. Kelly's porn tape? This movie is a cavalcade of wasted opportunity), you'll find it worth watching: an interesting look at how hip-hop has infiltrated mainstream society on all fronts, with almost everybody involved on board - not to buy or anything, but a fair Instant View if you're bored. Be sure and use the slider bar to skip past the first third, though.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
CNN is now apparently catching onto the vinyl resurgence story, too - have a look at this article they posted on Tuesday. The whole thing is totally relevant, but check out the bit towards the end, where they quote Cathy Hagen, manager at 2nd Avenue Records in Portland, "People have been buying vinyl all along. There was a fairly good supply from independent labels on vinyl all these years. As far as a resurgence, the major labels are just pressing more now."
Based on the first few months' sales, Neilsen Soundscan project LPsales to be up 60% in 2008. And that's just LPs - we all know inhip-hop it's all about the 12" singles, 'ey?
Even the major labels are catching on again. Vinyl is coming back strong. Everyone knows this except... hip-hop.
In a discussion on the SoleOne.org forums, Sage Francis (who's no longer just looking at the sales of his own music, but his entire label's) said that the new B. Dolan and Prolyphic & Reanimator EPs would probably be the last vinyl releases he'd be putting out, explaining, "Some people talk about how vinyl sales are up due to CDs becoming obsolete due to digital downloads, but that's not true according to me and other people I've spoken with in the industry. Vinyl sales are hurting."
Hip-hop fans, it's on us. For decades, we've been championing the format while everyone else thought vinyl was dead and buried. I know... I talked all about that in the last article. Now look, the top vinyl sellers (according to Amazon's new Vinyl Records section) are Madonna's latest album, Coldplay's and Mars Volta - no hip-hop artists are anywhere on their list.
I'm not saying you've gotta buy all these $80 limited EPs and slit your wrists out of guilt for ever visiting CratesOfAG, BustTheFacts or ColdRockDaSpot (the best hip-hop mp3 blogs around - say word), but fucking A - at least buy a 12" and your favorite album every couple of months. In this world, you vote with your dollar, and I know the economy is in the crapper right now (don't look at me, gang - I was against Bush both times), but we're about to be the ONLY musical genre without vinyl representation. Drop by UGHH right now before they become the next Sandbox.
As hip-hop lovers, let's at least be able to look these progressive rock fans in the eye.
P.s. - A small, related bit of news. I just heard back from K-Def. I asked him about his fantastic EP with Dacapo, which was at one time supposed to be released on vinyl on May 2nd, and he said, "No hard copies of that EP... Beats from the 90's will be released at the end of this month on RedLine Dist." So, give up hope on that one, guys. =(
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Pace Won & Mr. Green - The Only Color That Matters Is Green
As I mentioned at the introduction to my necro'd Outsidaz interview, this album just arrived in the mail the other day. I haven't seen this around many (any?) of the usual online spots, but I got it direct from Pace's myspace page. Twelve songs, no skits. Hardly any guests (just a couple unknowns on one track)... only one talented MC and a producer who provides consistently solid beats. The songs you haven't heard are definitely up to par with the ones they've already leaked onto myspace, youtube, etc. A must have. ...I got a free compilation CD of his label's roster with my order, too.
Invincible - Shapeshifters
God damn; it took long enough! But Invincible is one of the very, very few artists who was a hot indie artist in the 90's to come back and be just as good - even better - than she was when she got underground heads into her in the first place. Anomolies represent on a posse cut, and there are a few other guest spots on songs that manage to be ill in a battle-type way and socially consciously message driven at the same time. I think the proper release date for this one is still a week or two coming, but it's already available direct from her site, EmergenceMusic.net. Be sure to watch the 12 minute music video/ documentary on urban gentrification featured on this disc as well. And vinyl heads be sure to cop the 3 song (plus instrumentals) 12" single.
Josh Martinez - Skulldruggery EP
For a while Josh was promoting this online but it was only available for digital (mp3) download. So I asked him about it, and he answered, "physical copies are in manufacturing. they will be available at cd baby, our webstore (www.camobear.ca) and other weird locations...i'm trying to get them into vinyl format by the summer... hopefully... the album itself (The World Famous Sex Buffet) will be on double vinyl. release date is aug 14/08./...thanks for reaching out." Well, sure enough, very shortly after CD copies of this 4-song EP (+ instrumentals) are already available from his online store. Hopefully the vinyl's still coming, but this EP is so hot I couldn't wait to pick it up. "Bobby Loveable" has to be in the running for best hip-hop song of the year.
Buck 65 - Heck
This is a tour-only CD that 's been picked up by Sage Francis' online store (since they're distributing his latest official album). You can tell why it's tour-only as opposed to a proper album: it features some previously released tracks (off the Dirk Thornton 7"'s), remixes of older songs (though after releasing multiple versions of "Kennedy Killed the Hat," I think he's finally hit on the definitively best version here), and covers (The Jungle Brothers' "I'm Gonna Do Ya" and Barnes and Barnes' "Fish Heads"), which will only appeal to the most die-hard completists who'll want to recapture their memories of hearing him perform these live at a show. In fact, this whole album might be more of a "for completists only" venture, but Buck is talented enough that we should all be completists. Besides, there are some dope completely unreleased songs here - including the last ever Sebutones' song, "Sebutones Is Dead?"
Sole - Desert Eagle
With the pending arrival of his widely distributed album, Sole and The Skyrider Band (and the very limited Exhile EP if you were hip enough to pre-order it direct from his site), Sole was announcing plans for a return to traditional hip-hop with his next, limited album, Desert Eagle. Listening to it now that it's available (from his online store), it clearly didn't turn out the way he intended - this is even artsier and sketchier than his collaboration with that rock band, with all of the music provided by himself and his wife. But if you're courageous (or stoned) enough to take a little creativity and experimentation with your rap, this is actually pretty fresh. My favorite song is "Sedona;" possibly because I've lived in Arizona myself and know exactly what he's talking about when the hook goes, "this place is called Sedona; Hopi Indians used to fish twenty feet from my house. Now there's art galleries on every corner, filled with Indian art made by white women. And it'll cost you thirty quartz crystals here to get a proper psychic healing."
Fun Fact: a short, untitled instrumental track in the middle of the album throws the track-listing on the disc and artwork off. Check my DPD page for the fixed track-listing.
Moka Only has finally released all three of his crazy, fun low-fi Christmas albums onto CD through Legendary Entertainment (I guess he never recorded one in '05). You'll definitely want to pick them up. But you'll surely be confused when you pop in MX2004 and the guest verses by Aceyalone, Josh Martinez and Psy don't turn up... in fact all of the song titles seem way off-base. Well, It turns out the track-listing is completely wrong! Like, not out of order... the songs listed just ain't on here! I asked Moka about this and he got back to me, "crazy.. yo.. mustve mixed it up cus THAT is the 2006 martian xmas." Yup, all pressings of the 2004 album are wrong and feature the track-listing for the 2006. Here's the correct track-listing for 2004, so those who get it can have it:
2. Touch the Sky
3. Ho, Ho, Ho
5. Upside Down Dayz
6. Ring Them Bells
7. Save Us (Just Try)
9. Green & Blue
11. Could Of Been...
12. The Signal
16. Make It Work
19. Season Shopping w/ Innocent Bystanders
21. Little Furry Friends
22. Walkin In the Snow w/ Emotionz
23. All The Things
...At any rate, they're all cool, so get 'em all. In this early summer heat, a little Christmas spirit will really brighten you up. =)
Tags: Pace Won, Invincible, Josh Martinez, Buck 65, Sole, Moka Only
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
So, following up that lengthy interview with The Outz (continued from part 3), I reached out to talk with Bizarre who came in from Detroit to answer some more questions and tell us about his EP which was just coming out then.
First of all, how'd you hook up with Eminem?
With Eminem, Hip Hop Shop. It's this little clothing shop out in Detroit. They got open mic there. So we just met up there.
Ok. And then, how did both of you get with the Outsidaz?
Well, I met Young Zee about four years ago. He was on tour with the Fugees. When he had the first album. Young Zee, you know what I'm sayin'. We was freestylin' afterwards; just chillin'. And every time I came up to New York, I hooked up with him. And every time he came up to Detroit, he hooked up with me, so we just clicked. I just became an Outsida. Then I introduced him to Eminem, and they clicked. So Outsidaz is just worldwide.
Cool. So now you've got this new EP out now, right? Attack of the Weirdos?
Tell me about that.
Attack of the Weirdos: It's just some new hip-hop for everybody. All type of flavors. Anything you want on there. Hardcore, commercial, underground... Just hittin' 'em with everything; something different. Attack of the Weirdos. Go get it. It's on Federation Records. Independent label.
And I think I can kinda tell by listening to your album, but why do they call you Bizarre, man?
(Laughs) Man, the real reason they call me Bizarre 'cause I was younger in school... You know how all rappers be thinking of rhymes to they selves? Well, I always used to be thinkin' of rhymes to myself. And people just thought I was talkin' to myself. So everybody just started calling me bizarre, weird and all that. So one day the name just kinda stuck like that. So I just used it.
So what kinda production've you got on this album now? I think you've got Ummah doing one of the tracks?
Yeah, I got Ummah doin' some tracks. DJ Head; he did most of Eminem's album. So I got DJ Head on production, Denaun; he also did stuff on Eminem's album. And basically that's who we're working with, our little team.
Did he do the cuttin' on "OverReact?" 'Cause that was nice.
Nah, he ain't do it. My homeboy Lenn Swann did the cuttin' on that. Lenn Swann; he outta Detroit, too. He did some of the cuttin' on Eminem's stuff, too.
And what other projects have you been on? I know you were on that SUN album.
Yeah, I'm on Sun's album. I'm on Eminem's album. I'm on MOB's album. I'm on this compilation tape... I'ma be on, on the west coast I'm about to do with Xzibit and Rasco. I'm on the Outsidaz Unit stuff comin' out. I'm everywhere, just everywhere.
So you're definitely gonna be on the Outsidaz album when that comes out, right?
Word. Definitely. Me and Eminem are just all over there.
Ay-ight, so you got anything else you wanna say to the people checking this out online?
Keep lookin' out for the Outsidaz '98, comin' to a theatre near you. A record store near you. Outsidaz in '98, baby.
Monday, June 9, 2008
...continued from part 2.
So what's up with you guys and The Dirty Dozen? Is Em still down with them?
Pace Won: Oh, the Dirty Dozen? Well, I don't really know about The Dirty D... The last time I talked to them, they said they were havin' a little trouble. But they're probably still together. It's probably cool. They're just slow recordin' 'cause Em went out west, and they live in Detroit, so it's a little hard recordin'; so they had cooled it for a minute. But I think, as of now, it's back in service.
Who do you think is gonna do solo projects after Em and the projects people know about now? Who've you got lined up next?
Pace Won: Uhmm... I'd say Slang Ton, Dee You gonna do his project, and Azzizz. And the No Brain Class. They're not solo, but that's a group in the Outz: Young Zee, Yah Lova, DJ Muhammed.
And now when's your first single coming out? What's your first single gonna be again?
Pace Won: "I Declare War", and the b-side "Step Up." It's coming in like a week, for the end of the month. A week, ten days... Do me, do me good. Do me right, know I mean? Don't make me come in here blazin' nothin'. I'll blaze this bitch, believe me. Don't play with me.
Well, before anybody sneaks outta here, is there anything anybody wants to say to people who maybe don't know y'all yet?
Slang Ton: Look for our subsidiary group, the Outslangaz.
Pace Won: Ahhh! (laughs) The Outslangaz, yes. I'd just like to say, I know it's been a long time. You've probably been hearin' about us for a while. I'd just like to say the politics is a bitch you know what I mean? But we're still comin', we still do our hip-hop every day, it's still true to us. We're not sellin' out. Let's keep it real. The politics still holdin' us back. Thank you.
Young Zee: Yeah, this is Young Zee. I wanna say, you know, we work out of our studio in Newark. It's called Outhouse Productions. You know, we got 22-tracks, whatever. Y'all can call, if you want to. Book a session. It's all g. It's Young Zee. I'm on Pace Won's project, The Pace Won Effect...
Pace Won:"Nobody" & "Keep On."
Young Zee: ...I'm on Krs-One's new album, so you can check that comin' out. I'm on Busta's new solo album, so you can check that out. Rah Digga, my wife, you know, I'm on her joint. It's all g.
And Digga was on that "Temple of Hip-Hop", right?
Young Zee: Yeah, most definitely. So, y'all can check for me. And all y'all ladies, who want a date or something, you know I'm saying? I can't do it. I got my girl. It's all g, though.
Pace Won: You know what I mean?
Young Zee: But Pace don't got no girl!
Pace Won: Don't say that, don't say that... I got a wonderful woman at home. (Laughs) Gave my girl a plug.
And how would y'all describe the Outsidaz to those who haven't heard y'all yet?
Young Zee: Playful. Jokey. Everybody joke too much. Everybody laugh. It's all a game to us. It's real, but, as a personality. We don't let nothin' stop us from having fun, you know what I'm sayin'? It's all g.
Pace Won: I'd just like to say that the clique is innovative, you know what I'm sayin'? Freestyle type rappers... Story-tellers, some of us.
Slang Ton: Battle rappers, punch lines...
Pace Won: Battle rappers... talkin' about versatile rappers, you know I'm sayin'?
Young Zee: We don't let nothin' hold us back! We don't really care, you know I'm saying?
Pace Won: Original hip-hop type shit. We just kept doin' it. A little tricky lyrics and hardcore beats.
Young Zee: I don't care if my album don't never drop, I'ma still be waxin' mc's asses.
Pace Won: Basically.
Young Zee: That's just how it goes.
Pace Won: That's just how we feel about it.
Dee You: Chris Tucker, mother fucker.
Young Zee: Chris Tucker, mother fucker!
On the flip side, what kind of hip-hop... what's the worst thing you think is going on in hip-hop right now? What kinda styles...
Slang Ton: The worst thing right now is the remakin'. Because, to me, the audience in hip-hop, the fans... Whatever's popular is what they jump on to. It's not necessarily who's fresher no more. Like whatever's popular. If you hear a song a million times on Hot 97, you're gonna start liking that shit, and that's wrong. And it kinda makes the audience lean towards garbage.
Pace Won: And, also, the bad flip side to me is the politics. Behind the scenes, how much publishing these companies is trying to get you for. The little weak-ass advances they're trying to give people, you know I'm sayin'? This is our livin'! I expect to make at least minimum wage, God dammit. More than that! So alla that bad politics needs to stop. They need to stop that right there. I don't know who controls it, or whatever they're thinking up there, but they need to stop that. The contracts is too in-depth right now. I'll tell you, right now, I signed November 3rd 1997. I looked at my contract goin' "What the fuck is this?" A whole bunch of "forth"'s and "thou shalt"'s. I thought it was the bible out this motherfucker. They should be like, "You record. You make such and such. Ass blank. Sign it." Leave that shit out! It be too much motherfucking politics.
And you've got a video coming out for your new joint?
Pace Won: Yup. My white label joint. I be shootin' it next month. I don't got the date for it, yet, but October. "I Declare War" and "Step Up". I'll probably do a conjunction video, you know? Two videos in one. That's what we gonna talk about. Just get the little effect ready! Dee You's album called, The Brown Hornet.
Dee You: The World is Flat!
Pace Won: The World is Flat. My bad. He updates it like every other day. Now the world is flat and shit. Nah, The World is Flat, know what I mean? Slang Ton?
Slang Ton: Pork.
Pace Won: Young Zee, what you doin'? NBC album, what's the name?
Young Zee: What's the name of it? No Brain Class.
Pace Won: ...Self-titled debut album. Mine'll be The Pace Won Effect.
Young Zee: Young Zee album: Paranoia! Coming soon...
Pace Won: I-ight. Zee comin' with a solo, AND a group AND another group! He just can't stop. It won't stop...
Slang Ton: The Big Slang Theory.
Pace Won: All the Slangs got together... BOW!!
Slang Ton: Made the Slang universe.
Pace Won: The Big Slang Theory instead of the big bang theory.
Yo, if you could work with somebody now, who you haven't worked with before...
Pace Won: Yo, my man asked me this yesterday. And, totell the truth, Nas. I'm not kiddin'. I would work with Nas... Either Nas, or... if I could pick somebody else... maybe Meth. Nas or Meth. I met 'em both, they're real cool brothers. I ain't never stepped to 'em on that tip, but if I could, I would. ...I did, like, three songs with Meth - excuse me - with Red, before, you know I'm sayin'? With the Outsidaz.
Is that gonna be on one of y'all's albums?
Pace Won: Not on his album, but on our album... He's got, like, two joints on there. ...Ok, let's bust it. (knockin' beat on table) Ok, ok... I can't rap and do it at the same time, sorry fellas.
Dee You: I hate niggas that can do that!
Young Zee: (Knockin'.) One for the money/ two for the time/ I know Slang Ton/ I know Busta Rhymes. Come on. That's the easiest thing in the world.
Slang Ton: (Knockin'.) Yo/ I kill you/
Slang Ton: Drill you/ spill through... I don't know.
How do you feel about off-the-head rhyming? Do you think you really gotta freestyle off the head to be a good MC?
Young Zee: Well, yeah. It'll help.
Pace Won: It'll help. 'Cause, like, from my personal experience, sometimes I'll be on stage, and I might mess up. And that's when freestylin' kicks in like, "Hit that, split that, get back before I kick raps!"
Dee You: Some of the rhymes we come up with, just freestylin'. You don't even know it.
Pace Won: And, plus, when you just got a hot beat, and then your crew comes together, and you start cypherin' a little freestyle, the hook, everything..
Dee You: The concept of the song.
Young Zee: All the time you talkin', Zee's still readin' about this drug shit goin' on, ya know?
Pace Won: I-ight. ...That drug life's got his interest, you see? He started readin' it.
Young Zee: Shit's crazy, yo.
Slang Ton: He love that drug game.
Dee You: If you write rhymes, you should be able to freestyle, yo. It should come natural.
Slang Ton: If they can think of it...
Pace Won: They don't, but they probably can, though. Even though... they might not be good at it.
Dee You: If they can't freestyle, don't do it!
Pace Won: Everybody can freestyle. I know people that don't rap that be freestylin'.
DeeYou: If you're not a good freestyler, don't freestyle then. I'd rather just hear your writtens.
Pace Won: Niggas just come out like, "Yo! Yo/ Joe/ Schmoe... Yo!"
Dee You: Yo, we 'bout to bounce, boy. We ain't got all day with these internet people.
Pace Won: For real, I do gotta run to the label. 'Cause "I Declare War" might be comin' back today. Gotta go check, boy! I feel giddy like a little kid 'cause I've been waitin' for a long time to just put out a song, you know? I've been rapping since I was like 12. I started rapping after I heard, "La Di Da Di." I always liked rap before that, but "La Di Da Di" got me like, "Yo, I can bust this... That shit he talkin' about right there, I can sing slicker! Slicker than the Ricker," know what I mean? So, I started busting rhymes. Me and Dee You was in our basement. "Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo!" You know how that goes. Just tappin' and recordin'. I always waited to drop this single.... Just a single, an album, you know, just see how the public responds to it. Yeah, I'm excited. And for my Outsidaz clique, too, 'cause now it's like contracts are on the table for us, so I'm real excited to see what could turn out of this event, this experience I've been going through.
The Outsidaz have of course since broken up, but most of them are still doing music, sometimes even other. Hopefully maybe they can reform some day soon. Here're the links to their myspaces: Young Zee, Pace Won, Rah Digga, Az Izz, Eminem, Muhammad, Yah Yah, Bizarre and D.U.
...continued from part 1.
So what's up with Musical Meltdown now? Is that never coming out?
Young Zee: It's, like, you know. Out with the old, in with the new.
Pace Won: BUT, we might put out the bootleg version.
Slang Ton: Word up.
'Cause I know a lot of people were waitin' for that album... It got reviewed and all that, then it never came out.
Young Zee: We do so much joints, it don't really matter. I did my album in like, what? Two months?
Pace Won: Word up.
Young Zee: Pace did his album in like, what? Two months?
Pace Won: Three months.
Young Zee: It's too easy. There's a million of us. There's like competition in between us. This what we do everyday.
Pace Won: This our 9 to 5; this is what we do. We rap. That's is our career. We take it seriously.
Young Zee: I don't wanna give no other magazine props, but you heard about the battle, like...?
Young Zee: We do that everyday.
Pace Won: Schoolin' MC's.
Young Zee: See, you gotta understand, we got a studio in Newark. So that means that everybody in Newark, or around Irvington, East Orange, whatever... All the MC's from Red all the way down come through our studio. And they always tryin' to show they ass. See if they can be fresher than us or whatever. But... It don't never happen. But it always prepare us for when somebody else come. It be like friendly battles in Newark. If you ain't from Newark, it ain't really a friendly battle. But it's all g. ...We got Rah Digga, take all the females. All the Outz is like warriors, when we trying to go out for battle, we out for blood.
Dee You: Plus, the freshest white boy on the planet.
Pace Won: What?
Gino: have you heard of him?
Yeah, I heard the Slim Shady EP & Infinite...
Gino: You liked it?
Yeah, it was ill. Definitely.
Pace Won: The EP's HOT.
Gino: You heard the Bizarre EP?
Nah, I haven't heard that.
Gino: Bizarre's got an EP, too.
Dee You: Somebody stole my Bizarre EP!
Pace Won: Yo, we on it. A song called, "Get the Dick." Bizarre's our solo artist from Detroit.
What'd he put that out on? His own label, or?
Pace Won: Yeah, Web Entertainment. They tryin' to make it hot. The same people that put out the Slim Shady EP.
And are y'all gonna be on Eminem's album, too, on Aftermath? 'Cause that's a prety big deal right there.
Dee You: Yes, sir. Well, I recorded a couple joints for him. Whether Dr. Dre pick 'em or not is something different. But, yeah, we have songs with Emzy. We have mad songs. He's on our first real single. It's called, "Mama, I Said." He on there. Me, Slang, Eminem, and Zee.
And when's that comin' out? What's up with that?
Dee You: Well, that's comin' out after we get our deal. But our first single is "Brick City"/ "Murderah" or something along those lines.
So how did Rah Digga hook up with Flipmode?
Pace Won: Well, Zee, once again... He was on Perspective. He did a remix for one of his singles, "Get High" with Q-Tip. And Tip met Digga and liked her, ya know I'm sayin'. But you Tip was doin' some other stuff with some other rapper... What's his name? Consequence. So he was goin' through all that. So, Busta was getting' ready to do his album, and he was like, "Yo, let me get Diggy," and she went over and did it. She got with them.
Young Zee: So, what's the flava? ...What's up with The Source? When y'all comin' out with the compilation album?
What do you mean? The Source puts out collective hits like, Source album, Source Pioneers... You mean like new material?
Pace Won: That was supposed to have BEEN come out, The Unsigned Hype album, right?
Slang Ton: They used to write it, like, way back. When you win this, they gonna put you in the compilation... They were always talkin' about ten months, and that shit never came out.
Pace Won: Source be frontin'... Source be frontin'.
Dee You: Write us as Unsigned Hype.
Pace Won: Why not? Here go our demo, I mean, here go our bio. There's our demo. Un...signed... Hype...for the month... of... Oc...tober.
But, you're about to be signed.
Pace Won: Sign us before we get the deal, ok? Sign us before we get the deal. Unsigned Hype.
Young Zee: Who hyper than us right now?
Slang Ton: Tell 'em Fugees, "Cowboys." People were lovin' it.
Pace Won: Debuted number 7, BET's Rap City. Thank you.
And, yeah, you also had a single out with Lauryn Hill, right?
Young Zee: Yeah.
Kobie: That was on the album. That was never a single.
Who would y'all say are your favorite rappers?
Pace Won: LL! ...Biggie, Jay-Z, & Nas! (laughs)
Young Zee: Right now, who's tearin' it down? Big Pun. I like Big Pun.
Slang Ton: It depends on my mind state... 'Cause when I feel like tearin' somebody's skull off, I like some DMX.
Pace Won: It's gotta be like, some... maybe Busta, you know what I'm sayin'? KRS, Red, Nas, Biggie, and Meth...
Young Zee: I'm talkin' about who's lyrically killin' it right now.
Pace Won: The niggas I just named!
Slang Ton: I said DMX.
And have y'all got any shows comin' up?
Dee You: Yeah, we're gonna be at the Coliseum on the 15th, then we'll be at the Paramount on the 23rd...
Slang Ton: The Meadowlands!
Pace Won: We're at Union Square on the 18th...
Pace Won: Nah, right now, we've just been talkin'.
Kobie: Just negotiations. That's stressful.
So Zee, have you got any plans to do another solo project, or are you holdin' off on that right now?
Young Zee: I'm negotiatin' that now... Right now, they've got a contingent upon the Outsida project. So, you know, just tryin' to smooth out all the edges. Then we gonna sign that damn thing, get this money, do this album. You know what I'm sayin'? We're gonna go away to do the album.
DJ Muhammed: Who's your favorite rap performer?
Dee You: Fuck you think this is? MTV?
DJ Muhammed: Come on. Y'all keep laughin', he's not gonna answer the question.
I don't know... Just before you came, I was watching a video of The X-Men...
DJ Muhammed: The X-Men?
Yeah, the DJ's...
Young Zee: Ay-ight.
DJ Muhammed: The Outz is one of the top performers. A lot of rappers can make songs, but they can't perform. But the Outz got stage presence.
Y'all do a lot of live DJ'ing and shit? 'Cause lately...
Young Zee: That's our live DJ!
Slang Ton: We got like 4 DJ's... DJ Muhammed, 3rd Rail...
And what's this Kid Capri you're coming out on?
Pace Won: I did a song with John Forte, Nature, and Rock from So-So Def, it's called, "Columbians."
That's gonna be on The Soundtrack to the Streets album?
Pace Won: That's gonna be on the b-side to the single.
To be continued immediately...
I just got Pace Won's new CD in the mail today (more on that next post), so in honor of that, I'm necro'ing my Outsidaz interview from the late 90's. Around this time, Eminem's Slim Shady EP exploded and word had just got out that he was signing with Dr. Dre, Pace Won was coming out on Roc-A-Blok Records, Rah Digga had become a member of Busta Rhymes' Flipmode Squad; and they were all setting to come with their debut family album.
What's up with the Outsidaz right now? What've you got coming out? The last I heard was "Rain or Shine"...
Pace Won: Yup. Our next white label, we've been discussing it.... So far it looks like it's either gonna be "Brick City" or a song called "Murderah," y'know I'm sayin'? Keepin' it hot. Pace Won, Young Zee, Slang Ton, Dee You, Gino from Family Affair Management, Kobie from Proceed Entertainment, and we all in here just... doin' nothin'.
Young Zee: Outsidaz is just, right now we underground, you know. We always been underground. We tryin' to take it over the level, though. We just gotta wait 'till it's our time. Pace Won comin', Zee's comin', Digga's comin', Eminem's comin'. We all comin'. But right now it's just Pace, Digga, & Eminem with their name on the line. We got a couple offers on the line, but you know...
Slang Ton: We still negotiatin'.
Young Zee: We don't like to talk to much until it's happened, though, really. Once we come, then we can start runnin' our mouth.
Pace Won: Our last white label was called, "Rain or Shine." It's on Outhouse/ Proceed. That's the white label we got. Featuring Yah Lova, Axe, Pace Won, and Young Zee.
So, is "Outhouse" your label?
Pace Won: Yup. So far, it's our production company, tryin' to make it become a label, you know what I mean?
Where are y'all producing out of?
Pace Won: We got a little studio, it's called the Outhouse. It's off 20th Street & Springfield Avenue in Irvington. Our management group's down there, too. It's called Family Affairs; one floor below our studio.
Cool; yeah... so if y'all just wanna go down the line with... like, I know Young Zee had that album out on Perspective... Rah Digga...
Young Zee: Actually, I ain't have no album on Perspective. It was only, uh... they put a couple singles out, but they ain't do it the right way, anyway.
Pace Won: He was supposed to have a LP...
Music Meltdown, right?
Young Zee: I recorded it, but they ain't never release it.
Pace Won: Ok, Outsidaz: Young Zee, Pace Won, Yah Lova, Rah Digga, Denzy, Azzizz, Dee You, Loon One, Slang Ton, you know I mean? That's our members. In the Outsidaz we got the No Brain Class. That's Young Zee, his brother Yah Lova, and his DJ, Mudd. I'm a soloist, Pace Won. Rah Digga a soloist. We got another group called The Doepliss: Loon One and Slang Ton, Azzizz - he's a soloist, Slim Shady - he's a soloist on Aftermath: Dr. Dre's label; you know that's hot, We got Dee You, Denzy - Denzy's the youngest, you know, he's upcoming. And we got another group of Outsidaz in Detroit, you know I'm sayin'? Big up Proof, Bizarre, you know I'm sayin'? And Denyne.
So are they recording separately from you guys? Like, out there in Detroit, they have their own studio? That kinda thing?
Pace Won: Yup, yup. But we stay in touch.
Dee You: We send vocals on dats to 'em.
Young Zee: We go out there and record in their studio, too, and then they come over in the Outhouse studio, so it's all g.
Pace Won: And we use mail, and phone... alla that. Keep it tight. (Holds up a photo) This is Rah Digga, she's in Flipmode. She's representing the Outsidaz and Flipmode. And she's on Elektra... On Flipmode/ Elektra, that's Busta's label.
And that album's coming out in September, right?
Pace Won: Yup, yup. We all do something on it. She's currently on the Smokin' Grooves Tour, ya know I mean? She's out there making it HOT for us, hot...
Young Zee: Pace Won album about to come, you know... his white label about to come. Everybody pay attention for that. It's called, "Step Up," and the other joint's called, uhm... What's the joint called?
Pace Won: "I Declare War."
Young Zee: Yeah, "I Declare War." They be changing the white label all the time, you know, but that's the one that's comin' so be prepared.
Pace Won: It's comin' at the end of the month.
Young Zee: Yeah.
Pace Won: Late September...
And that's with Roc-A-Blok, right?
Young Zee: Right.
Pace Won: Uh-huh, yup.
Young Zee: Check me and Pace out when we do shows... we be whylin'. And me an' Digga... And all the Outsidaz, you know I'm sayin'? It's all g. Newark!
So how'd everybody here hook up with the Outsidaz? How'd y'all get together, all that?
Pace Won: Well, at first it was just me and Dee You. We used to rap together, you know I'm sayin'... We wasn't called the Outsidaz yet. We was called PNS - that's Prepared, Never Scared, you know I mean? Then we got Slang and Loon...
Young Zee: No y'all didn't!
Pace Won: In PNS we did.
Young Zee: Ohh...
Pace Won: And then we went out...
Young Zee: There wasn't no Outsidaz before me!
Pace Won: And then, when we went out, we met Zee. And we formed the Outsidaz. After that, Zee brought in Rah Digga. I went out to Detroit and got with Eminem, you know I'm sayin'? We made it tight. We just became a family. Azzizz got down from... He Yah lova's friend. He was around us, he was real fresh on the rap tip.
Young Zee: Basically, when I came along, you know I'm sayin'... (Laughs)
Slang Ton: (holds up magazine) Yo, there goes Digga right here; she in The Source.
Young Zee: Yeah, Digga up in there... she up in there with the, uhm... Flipmode Tour, and the, uhm, Smokin' Grooves Tour, too.
Pace Won: That's the new one?
Slang Ton: Yeah.
They've got a review of the album in the back, too.
Pace Won: The Flipmode? Their album is hot, though.
Slang Ton: Yeah, word up.
Dee You: That'll be good when the album's out...
Pace Won: My labelmates, The Sporty Thievez just got 3 1/2 in the last Source, you know... They're out there, makin' it hot right now. Roc-A-Blok, ya know I mean? All my peoples is hot. Big up Redman, Roz Noble, The Govna... He was reviewed in Independants Day last month.
Right. Y'all were just on that...
Pace Won: Right. Redman, Roz, Runt Dog, Tame One from the Artifacts, ya know I mean? tryin' to make it hot.
Young Zee: Most definitely... So, you know, Outsidaz comin' with they album, and then we got a spin-off of a whole bunch of solo artists, you know I'm sayin'? Such as myself, we got Slang Ton, Dee You, Azzizz... We got the artists that's out there, now, and then we got some new ones coming. So just be prepared that when we got our feet all the way in, we ain't never stopping. It's coming.
So that collective Outsidaz album; is that gonna be like a white label, or are y'all waitin' to get signed?
Young Zee: Nah. We gonna do that on the label. We not gonna do...
Slang Ton: With a budget.
Pace Won: Big budget. Big, big, big budget.
Young Zee: We're negotiating some joints now, but you know... If anything else come along, we're gonna entertain that, too.
So what've you got... Like, I know I heard a song called "Hard Act to Follow"...
Young Zee: Yeah. That's with me, Slang, Yah, Digga, Eminem, and Azzizz... So, that's hot. Eminem's got his joint comin' out called, "Hi, My Name Is."
Kobie: Eminem's single is "Brain Damage" and "Just Don't Give a Fuck." His lawyer called and said that's the one that Interscope is servin'.
Young Zee: I got a tape for you, too. You know what I mean? Some hot Outsidaz stuff... Joints you can listen to, check it out. There's a joint on there called "Brick City," you might wanna throw that on the internet.
Pace Won: That's probably our next white label... that slash "Murderah!" If I ain't already plug it, let me plug it, again.
Do you have a date on for The Pace Won Effect?
Pace Won: Uhmm... early 9-9. January 9-9. 'Cause I got two singles comin' right now. That's "I Declare War"/ "Step Up" then I'll be doing something else... I did a song with Wyclef; that's gonna be next.
You've already worked with the Fugees before, right?
Pace Won: Me, Young Zee, and Rah. Called "Cowboys."
Young Zee: We did a song with Kurupt off Pace album, too.
Pace Won: And John Forte. ...And my group the Outsidaz.
Young Zee: Nowadays, MC's think, in order to win, they gotta have a whole bunch of famous MC's that's already on, on their album. It's not about expressing yourself no more. We got close personal friends in the industry like Busta, Keith... a couple people... Red. If we have a couple people like that on the album... You know, it's gonna be crazy. 'Cause madd people got a million people on the album. And we really wanna just do us and let a couple of our friends come rap.
Pace Won: The lyrical ones, ya know I'm sayin'?
Young Zee: Don't look for a million MC's that's already out to be on our joint.
It's like that with the Outsidaz, anyway, 'cause people already know half your members...
Young Zee: Yeah, you know I'm sayin'... And all our solo joints, too. You're gonna hear a lot of solos.
Dee You: A lot of solo mc's. You know how they do compilation albums, they wanna make sure they sell records now. It becomes like routine.
Pace Won: I got with 'Clef and Kurupt and, uhm, John Forte 'cause I like them. I'm a fan of theirs. So, of course, hookin' up with them was like natural.
Young Zee: We're gonna come with mad shit. You gonna see. Everybody's gonna see. On their solo joints, niggas gonna excel. And then the Outsidaz joint's just gonna take it above the rim.
What's the science behind the title: The Pace Won Effect?
Pace Won: Pace Won, my name, is like the cause. Pace Won represents hip-hop. When you hear my name, i want you to think, like, good hip-hop. And every cause got an effect, so it's The Pace Won Effect. My life, what I witnessed, how I rap, how it is in my hood. Just basic stuff, ya know I mean? With some creamy beats! Like Ski, Govna, Wyclef, Eyewitness, Young Zee, the Outhouse. And I'm gonna try to take it over. Thank you.
Young Zee: Pace Won's joint opened up a lot of doors for everybody. Everybody got a chance.
Pace Won: So did Young Zee's album. I met Ski through Zee, when he was Perspective. You know, Ski did "Problems," "you don't want no problems." After that, Ski was like, "I'm messin' with y'all."
Young Zee: Our only problem is, with signing, with the labels we're negotiating with, is we need to make sure our label can keep up with us, you know I'm saying?
Pace Won: Make sure the label's tryin' to win, you know I'm sayin'? Some labels just be throwing acts out, see what they can do. My label's Columbia. They're winners. So I got complete confidence in them. And we're trying to get the Outsidaz on a label like that. That's really trying to win.
To be continued immediately...