Thursday, January 28, 2010

3rd Bass 2000

3rd Bass has to be one of the most request - and promised - reunions in hip-hop history. Fans beg, the artists say they'll do it... but then nothing happens. I remember reading an interview in The Source where Serch was saying that they were finally reunited and that their long-awaited and unfortunately titled third album, Icabod's Cranium, was in the works. He asked us to be patient, however, because they were taking their time, indulging in the fact that a label wasn't pressuring them with deadlines, so they could take their time and do it right. I think now, in 2010, I can finally say that my cynicism was justified - it ain't coming.

A small run of one promo single did sneak out, though, in 2000, on Serch's own label, Serchlite Music. It was called "Hail To the Chief."

"Hail To the Chief" is not the incredible comeback song you might be hoping for. It's not up to par with the material on their previous albums. But it sorta wasn't meant to be - this is more of a mixtape teaser. It's a simple, concept-less track (except loosely that they're running for best the position of "street chiefs") with 3rd Bass kicking freestyle rhymes over a simple track. It's further tarnished with appearances by Stone Rivers (a mediocre MC Serch was managing at the time) and DJ Corey Hill. But fortunately, they're both relegated to just the hook and intro/outro.

So that's the downside.

But the upside is that it was a new 3rd Bass in a world where it seemed certain there would be no new 3rd Bass songs, the track isn't bad or anything, and the rhymes are solid. Damn it's good to hear new material from Pete Nice, and Serch is always nice with his. Daddy Rich doesn't seem to've been involved, though in interviews, they always said he'd be a part of Icabod's. Certainly his involvement could've helped this song enormously, but like I said... it's still good.

Serch comes with some humor: "yes, I inhaled and real deep. yes naked when I sleep - trust me, you don't wanna peep;" and manages once again to say something uncomfortably racist, "all my life, only rode between a pair of black thighs. Word to my sister and my mother, the only white lips I kissed. You should know before you vote I fuckin' hate white chicks. Not racist I just say this so your vote is not jaded." Well, gee, I guess if you say "not racist" afterward, nothing you say is racist? lol Meanwhile, as ever, Nice comes with the stylish, more abstract wordplay, "'ey yo, illuminatin' on your frequency: the high level and degree of the epitome. Master of the subterranean in your cranium; auditory outlets feelin' like a stadium. If ya got the fluid on the brain, I got a method to relieve it; unscrupulous minds aiming to deceive it. I’m mischievous, devious, hittin' never missin'; got a pocket full of nitroglycerin."

It comes in a sticker cover (above), and features five mixes: Album Version (what album? sigh...), Radio (which is about a full minute shorter), Instrumental, TV Track and Acapella. So it's just that one mix of that one song, but at least it comes fully loaded.

So that's about it. Eventually, in 2008 or so, MC Serch released an mp3 only album (he promised vinyl, but it never happened) of tracks he recorded for a second solo album that never got finished. As two bonus tracks, he included the only three songs (besides "Hail To the Chief") 3rd Bass got recorded for Icabod's Cranium, "Cats In the Cradle," "Commute" (a Serch solo track) and "Out the Back," two of which (the latter two) were released in part back in 2000 on a Serchlite snippet tape[pictured right]. Again, "Hail To the Chief"'s not the best, but it's respectable; and there's no use in holding out for anything more from them.

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