Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's a(n Alternate) Force Thing

Ok, I have to start by saying that I'm surprised JVC Force released "Intro 2 Dance" (or "Introduction 2 Dance," as it's written on the album) as their first and only single off of their second LP, Force Field. It's the literal introduction to the album, and though it's the proper length, it feels more like an intro/skit kind of thing than a "full" song. They start of talking on it, while the DJ spins their classic instrumental, Strong Island." They reference some of their old lyrics ("Listen to the situation, my son. Ah yeah! You remember that, A? Remember back in them days?") and then freestyle over the beat, and then have a long shout-outs sequence. It's very cool on the album, but this was their choice for the single?

Well, regardless; that's how it went down, with Radio and Instrumental versions. But of far more interest, I believe, is the B-side.

We're given "It's a Force Thing," which, yes, is one of their two house songs. "An Intro and a house song... great," I can hear you say, but wait. First of all, I think the JVC Force did some of the very best house songs in hip-hop... their voices and styles sound funky over any type of beat, and so lend themselves much more to being laced over dance beats then most MCs (see their "Strong Island" remix single review). So, while it's house, it's still pretty dope, and comes in Radio, Club (which is really a dub, with just the back-up vocals on the track) and Instrumental mixes.

But what really makes this 12" worth having is the "A Force Thing" track. It's written as if it were a whole new song that just happens to be very similarly titled to the other song on this record, but really it's a remix. A not-at-all-house remix (which is always the best kind). In fact, they're rhyming over "Rapper's Delight" (not, not just the "Good Times" groove - there's even samples of Wonder Mike's voice, so they're definitely using "Rapper's Delight"). They do mix a few other records into the music, including some funky vintage horns; but basically it's JVC's ill flow over a super old school rhythm.

Now, I must point out that this 12" was released before the album (1989 and 1990, respectively). So there's that and the fact that some of the vocals that are repeated or otherwise played with on "It's a Force Thing" ("guys they beef with us, 'cause girls they rock for us... 'cause girls they rock for us... 'cause girls they rock for us.") are spit just normally on "A Force Thing." Both of these things make me think that "A Force Thing" is actually the original song they recorded, and "It's a Force Thing" is just a house remix that wound up being included on the album probably at the behest of the label.

But whether "A Force Thing" is the official, proper, original version of the song (as I believe it to be) or not, it's certainly the superior one. And that makes this 12" a must-have. Plus, hey, the other songs are still good, after all.

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