Monday, October 12, 2009

Dead Wrong Dubplate

Remember dubplates? They were all over the place in the 90's. Cheap, vinyl compilation EPs that were definitely bootlegs, but instead of duplicating an actual, rare release or putting out some unreleased music like most bootlegs, they were just compilations of previously available stuff. They would include rare, indie 12" tracks, harder to find old school tracks, or just whatever was big at the time. They were often just really random, putting The Fugees, Biz Markie and The B-Boys all on one EP or something. They were cheap, full of typos, had goofy titles and all the underground vinyl spots had a bunch of 'em.

So this is one of those.

There's no date (it's not like they could print a copyright... though they did have the nerve to write "all rights of the manufacturer and of the owner of the recorded work reserved" on the label's small print), but this would've come out in about 1999, the same time as the music they're jacking. It's called The Killah Kuts, and I kinda like this one, because it's more like a proper 12" than a random EP assortment of songs.

The A-side is a complete rip of Biggie Smalls' "Dead Wrong" 12" A-side. Club Mix (which they call the Main Mix), Radio Mix and even the Instrumental. The label's slightly incorrect, in that they switch the order of the Main and Radio Mixes around; but, hey, it's a dubplate. But the B-side ditches the original B-side (Club, Radio and Instrumentals of "Real Niggas") in favor of compiling the two, rare "Dead Wrong" remixes. Remix #1 is the one with Busta Rhymes and Eminem from the Unreleased Joints EP, and Remix #2 is the one with just Eminem from the Unreleased and Unleashed double LP, both of which were promo-only releases that are typically pretty hard to come by (Remix #2 later found its way onto the Born Again album, making it considerably less rare).

So if you've somehow forgotten, "Dead Wrong" is Biggie's where he raps about hitting underage girls, beating women, robbing them, stabbing a gay guy with an ice pick, etc. Essentially it's him kicking raps that are "dead wrong:"

"Biggie Smalls for mayor, the rap slayer,
The hooker layer. Motherfucker, say your prayers:
'Hail Mary, full of grace.' Smack the bitch in the face,
Take her Gucci bag and her North Face
Off her back, jab her if she act
Funny with the money. Oh you got me mistaken, honey.
I don't wanna rape ya, I just want the paper,
The Visa, capiche-a? I'm out like 'The Vapors.'
Who's the one you call Mr. Macho, the head honcho?
Swift fist like Camacho. I got so
Much style I should be down with the Stylistics.
'Make up to break up,' niggas need to wake up,
Smell the Indonesia. Beat you to a seizure
Then fuck your moms, hit the skins 'till amnesia.
She don't remember shit; Just the two hits:
Her hittin' the floor and me hittin' the clit."

...and it's the ideal track to bring Slim Shady in for an extra verse:

"There's several different levels to devil worshippin'.
Horse's heads, human sacrifices, cannibalism, candles and exorcism,
Animals: havin' sex with 'em: camels, mammals and rabbits;
But I don't get into that; I kicked the habit. I just
Beat you to death with weapons and eat through the flesh;
And I never eat you unless the fuckin' meat looks fresh.
I got a line in my pocket. I'm lyin'. I got a nine in my pocket,
And, baby, I'm just dyin' to cock 'im.
He's ready for war, I'm ready for war;
I got machetes and swords for any faggot that said he was raw.
My uzi's heavy as yours. Yeah, you met me before;
I just didn't have this large an arsenal of weapons before.
Marshall'll step in the door, I'll lay your head on the floor,
With your body spread on the bedspread: red on the wall,
Red on the ceiling, red on the floor. Get a new whore;
Met on the second, wed on the third,
Then she's dead on the fourth. I'm dead wrong."

And while Busta Rhymes does come with lyrics on par with the first two, he proves surprisingly willing to play along for his guest verse:

"Watch him die slow and his skin start to change color.
My goons made a flood, leavin' you layin', droppin' blood,
Then ended up finger-fuckin' your mother at a strip club!
We dead wrong for how we gutter like Howard and Stutterin'
Fascinatin' how all of this street shit be straight butter.
Fuck it. We thug rugged to the tenth power,
Like we was listenin' to 'Gimme the Loot' for the past ten hours!"

Now to make room for both Emzy's and Busta's verses on Remix 1, they removed Biggie's second verse from that version. And since Biggie > Busta, that's a real step down. Remix 2 with just Eminem & B.I.G. keeps both of Biggie's verses and just adds the third. So to me, that's the ideal/definitive version. But it's fun to spin Remix 1 once in a while, just as an alternative.

Anyway, the beat's essentially the classic Al Green drum break that's been used a bajillion times in hip-hop ("Lyte As a Rock," etc) paired with a slow, thumping horn/bass loop dominating the whole track. Because it was Bad Boy, though, three producers wound up sharing credit (Chucky Thompson, Mario Winans and, of course, Sean "Diddy" Combs). And the instrumental is the same for all of the remixes.

So the sound quality's pretty good, and it makes for a handy little, completist "Dead Wrong" 12". Too bad it's a bootleg, 'cause otherwise it's a better release than the official 12".


  1. this isnt a dubplate dude. its just a bootleg. dubplates are one-off acetate pressings.

    either way, nice post. I picked up a bunch of these Killah Kut 12"s not too long ago.

  2. Oh yeah; I don't mean like those acetates. But we used to call all those bootleg EPs with the pink and orange labels and all them dubplates. Guess it was just a handful of us local yokel Jerseyians grossly misusing the term. lol

  3. i believe they are called "white labels" and are pressed up for promotion.

  4. Well, I was trying to draw the distinction in my blog between types of white labels/boots.

    It's definitely a bootleg, and I call it one in my blog - Bad Boy didn't have anything to do with this 12" (except that whoever DID put it out jacked the music from their releases).

    It's at least a white label in the sense that it doesn't credit any actual record company on its label.

    But I was trying to single out a specific TYPE of white label bootleg that was issued a lot in the 90's... I guess you could say Word of Mouth and a few others have kept the tradition alive into the 2000's, but they have more of an "official bootleg" (lol @ that notion) sense to them.

    Like, this would be another example of what I was trying to describe at the beginning of my post that we would've referred to as dubplates back in my day (again though; not the traditional acetates that the term was originally meant to describe, as Step already pointed out):

    Some record stores even used to have a separate section for these, though other kinds of white labels and bootlegs would've just been filed in the regular A-Z listings of the artist.

  5. i'd definitely like to know more of the backstory on these things though. Back in the day labels like Killah Kuts, Crib Underground, Buckshot etc used to be a great source of upfront music for those of us that couldnt get the official promo hook-up.quality was pretty good on most of em which makes me think they had access to DATs and stuff.
    For example, the only place I've ever seen Biggie's 'Real Niggaz' (the one with all the Death Row beats) is on a Crib Underground 12"

  6. @step one: Real Niggaz is also on a Bad Boy promo EP "Unreleased And Unleashed"

    And yes, I also would like to know more about these "white label labels"

  7. i think i've seen that Bad Boy release but it looked like a bootleg that dropped after Biggie died. is there a version the came out in 95?

  8. I bought that record around '97, '98, it looks like an official Bad Boy promo, but I'm not quite sure, also because it features Cunt Renaissance which actually was recorded for Jive

  9. Werner - Top blog thankyou.

    I recall putting a pausemixtape together for a pal during the 90s and then discovering one of the tracks [an unreleased promo] on a bootleg months later.

    Someone had taken the track and put it on vinyl [without a care for the quality, or music, as theyd left an edit from the pausemix on the vinyl] !?!

    In London, there was one owner of a record label that bootlegged repeatedly for years, probably still does.

    The concept was simple, and follows the same format today for torrents/ ftp/ day one releases; industry insiders have the product way ahead of time, for review/ broadcast purposes etc. They are probably embedded within the culture and know what tracks/ albums are creating the buzz - They reproduce it for a larger and [more importantly to them] impatient audience and hey presto, bootlegs of the highest order...