Thursday, March 5, 2009

Snowed In With Lyte Week, Day 5: A Tisket, A Tasket, Yo, Fuck a Yellow Basket

"Stop, Look, Listen" was already one of the best track's on MC Lyte's second album, Eyes On This. A slow beat and atmospheric bassline provided an unusual but compelling backdrop for Lyte to kick some battle rhymes over: "I'm rhymin' and designin', also creatin'/ The dope, def rhyme that is always being taken/ By a sucker MC that wants to be like me/ No trait of originality" (note: the other half of the hook to "God Said Lyte;" also see my "Cha Cha Cha" write-up).

So they really didn't need to hit us with a new remix of such a stand-out track. But they did anyway. Wisely, the Audio Two's remix kept all the elements that made the original so strong: the slow beat and bassline, the subtle keyboard tones... they just add a bit more to funk it up and extend it. Some new drum-rolls, keyboards, vocal samples, a new breakdown. They also let the beat roll for a good minute or so at the end, and most notably, Lyte adds a fresh, new fourth verse:

Anyone who tries to stop me

From fulfillin' the ultimate, the ultimate goal.

Suckers takin' up room on the microphone.
I do not favor crowds; move over, stop starvin'(?) me;
I feel like I'm drowning in fans, and it's stompin' me.
Bigfoot, shield me from the uncivilized
And not-so-sane. I don't mean to criticize,
But Lyte and sweat? We don't go together,
Especially in the muggy and the rainy kinda weather."

But if you prefer the simpler, original version, that's on here too. Along with the original instrumental.

Finally, there's a hidden (it's not even mentioned on the back cover) bonus track, "Start It Up, Y'all." Like "Shut the Eff Up (Hoe)," this was at one time an amazing exclusive track that made the single a must-have, but later found its way onto an album... in this case Audio Two's I Don't Care: The Album. It's a really catchy up-tempo posse cut, with Milk Dee, Lyte and Positive K each spitting fun, freestyle verses over a pumping track that perfectly combines an ill horn sample with a dope bassline. This song would fit in a top ten list of any of the involved MC's works. But, yeah, it's no longer the special exclusive it first was in '89.

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