Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Unclean Flip

(If you've been following me on Twitter, you know I've just finished re-organizing all of my cassette singles... which pretty well explains why the cassingle update posts yesterday and today. But I think I've selected good ones to hold your interest. :) )

The Tainted Mindz were a tight little crew from Philly at the height of the indie hip-hop movement. They only actually released two singles (as far as I know... I sure wouldn't mind being hipped to another release I haven't heard of), but they were pretty plugged into the scene, putting in production and appearances on Lux's classic The Man They Call Lux EP, and Steady B's last single, "Bogardin'." Who knows? Maybe if Steady and Cool had left their nines at home and stuck to making records, all these guys could've blown up and made some noise outside of PA.

But it is what it is, and we've got what we got, which in today's case is "All In the Flip," Tainted Mindz' second single on Aphillyated Records, following up their underground hit "Killidelphia." You'll notice it makes a point of proclaiming the "Killidelphia Remix" on the cover, there. There's no date on this one, but "Killidelphia" dropped in 1995, so that would make this '95 or '96.

So, the A side is "All In the Flip," and features 55th Amendment, whoever that is. Now, as you can see, this is the cassette tape version. The 12" has the same track-listing, except (and the label doesn't mention this), it's only the clean edit. Only this cassette seems to have the original, unedited version, which is damn annoying for vinyl heads. It also has a (sort of) picture cover. Interestingly, the liner notes credit a photographer (Antione Stewart), even though there is clearly no photograph used in the artwork here. Oh, anyway, the song... almost forgot. It's dope! It's kind of slow, street level shit but with a super smooth, addictive violin loop and a simple but catchy hook. All their stuff is self-produced, and vocally these guys are definitely influenced by early Wu; and that of course can only be a good thing.

Ok, so now we flip['cause it's all in the flip, get it? huh, huh? "Flip" like the song! Bah ha ha!!] it over to the B-side for "Killidelphia (Remix)." They actually include the original here, too (but if you don't have it, you still need it, 'cause it features two exclusive B-side songs), which is good, because the original "Killidelphia" single only featured the radio edit. So even though it comes up second, let's cover that one first.

The beat is banging, it's a much harder track with more flat-out freestyle rhymes. It's got deep, horror movie style piano chords, snaps and even like a theramin sound. The format of the song is interesting... three or four MCs kick a sick verse before they drop the hook, which uses a Master Ace vocal sample from "Crooklyn Dodgers, "my mentality is gettin' iller, killer." One of the verses is an ill reggae verse that starts out sung, then twists into a flavored rap.

Then the remix takes roughly the same beat, but just alters it, with a deeper, distorted bassline and grittier samples. It's a vocal remix, too, with all new lyrics, though in the same format. The Master Ace line is still there, but now they use a classic Wu vocal sample on the hook too ("from the badlands of the killa" which winds up pulling in the piano chords from the original Wu record with it). Like the A-side, though, the "Killidelphia (Remix)" on the 12" is censored (and kinda heavily, since they go pretty hard on this song). Again, the cassette version has our backs, though, with the original unedited version instead.

So, yeah. Definitely a hot single by any standards. Unfortunately the 12" version kinda screws you over with radio edits, so fans should be happy to learn that unedited versions do exist, if only on cassette. Otherwise, the track-listings are identical (both also include instrumentals for "All In the Flip" and "Killidelphia Remix"... the original "Killidelphia" instrumental was on the first 12"). The only really sad part is that this was apparently the final chapter in the Tainted Mindz' saga.

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