Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Missing Piece from Several Puzzles

The internet is awesome for finding things. Things like great music that's been lost for a decade and a half. And that's what I've just found on the internet. Five pieces (plus five more snippets) of great, unreleased music that tragically sank on the same ship: Perspective Records.

Janet Jackson left Perspective Records, and the label was done. Despite having signed a killer line-up of hip-hop acts who all recorded complete, excellent albums, which to this day remain unreleased. And this promo tape, the '96 College Rap Sampler, features nothing but unreleased gems from that line-up, one complete song and one snippet per artist.

The first artist is probably the least interesting, only because his shelved album was at least released in a mediocre-quality dub that's spread well through the tape-trading and internet circles over the years. So let's start there. Young Zee. Most of you have heard it already, so I'll just briefly state that the full unreleased song on here is "Tonsil Check," featuring Yah Lovah... and I have to say, hearing it in proper quality has increased my appreciation of this slick sex rap. The snippet is one of my favorites from the album, "Electric Chair."

Next up are The Black Spooks. These guys made a name for themselves as Digital Underground affiliates (a good legacy there!), and a couple of them went solo after their album was swallowed up by Perspective. I have an underground 12" or two by these guys, but I have to say, the tracks here feature some solid production but also really display some ill lyricism I hadn't properly credited these guys for in the past. The song is "Mad Black Spooks" and the snippet is "Make Up Your Mind," neither of which seem to've been included on any of their subsequent post-Perspective releases. Until I heard these, I can't say I was too disappointed their album never dropped, but now I am.

Now we get to the really exciting stuff. How about some lost material from Pudgee's King of New York album? If you read my 'The Lost King of New York' post on the subject, you know I had found an old catalog title of a song called "Say Goodbye." When I asked Pudgee about it, he said he never released it. Well, I just found out it was a song intended for the Perspective album, 'cause here's a snippet of it on the sampler. The full length song is also mentioned briefly in that past blog entry, where I list some song titles mentioned in a King Of New York album review in The Source. The tape has no production credits unfortunately, but from a line in the intro, I gather this one was produced by The Beatminerz. It has a very similar feel to his single, "On the Regular."

Next is the highly under-rated artist The Almighty Arrogant. It doesn't help that his absolute weakest joint, "Lay Tight," was the only song Perspective ever put out by him. The tracks here are much better... he's like a west coast Young Zee, with a bugged out song called "Toxic Urb," which is about just that. The snippet is called "Arrogant Wayz (Remix)" and is pretty hot, too. Man, I just want to shake the Perspective tree and have all his material fall out already!

Finally comes Rufus Blaq. Now, if you're clever, you might point out that unlike the other four artists you've covered, Perspective did put Blaq's album out. And that's true, but for whatever reason, these two songs aren't on it. The full song is called "NRG" and the snippet is "Make It Last," and both show Blaq as a more rugged yet punch-liney MC than I remember him being. I like these tracks... I may have to go pick up his album which I never copped. If it's as good as these songs, I'll be happy.

It's great to have these songs, but it just makes me wish even harder that someone would give these albums their proper releases already. That way everybody can hear these tracks, and all the other ones still unheard; and the artists can finally get their due. So, I gotta thank the internet for a nice treat, but that's what really needs to happen. Sigh. ...If only hip-hop fans still bought music.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Werner,
    great information as always!
    would you mind sharing some more information on your 12" singles you mentioned by the "Black Spooks"? i never heard of them having put out something on wax. any info would be appreciated.