Thursday, June 25, 2009

Louie Louie Conveys!

You might remember me talking a bit about the early 90's Chicago group Ten Tray before, on my post about the underground Chicago posse cut, "Put Down Your Guns." Unlike some of the acts on that single (including its headliner, JG), Ten Tray did manage to put out an album of their own, titled Realm of Darkness on Smash Records in 1992.

Well, that album spawned this single, "I Convey!" It's a good choice, as it's one of the better album tracks... lead MC Crunch comes with a very hardcore, practically yelling flow, in his angrily righteous way ("The oppressor helped me intimidate; Martin Luther helped me articulate; Huey Newton helped me to protest; and Elijah helped me rise above the rest"), sort of like a prototypical Freddie Foxxx. And DJ X-Ray provides some nice cuts. The beat's pretty dope... nothing that'll make you say, "oh, I need that 12"!" but, you know, the sort of track you'd expect MMG or someone to rhyme over.

But the jewel of this single is the remix. They managed to enlist Priority One's Louie Louie (a.k.a. Luis "Phat Kat" Vega), The 45 King's right-hand man, and man does he do these guys a hell of a favor! The beat is funked up a little, and at its core, it's not too drastically different (essentially the same bassline and all), just a bit toned down. But then he lays on top of that a few vintage jazz loops... that come and go throughout the song. The second verse as some nice funk guitar licks, and the hook features a very chunky sax riff, that extends into a full-blown solo after the final verse, played in tandem with X-Ray's cuts. And everything marries perfectly together - nothing sounds tacked on.

If they had this level of production on Realm of Darkness, they'd have a really sought-after banger. As it is, at least we've got one seriously under-rated single, easily available super cheap 'cause it's entirely slept on.

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