Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Party, Party!

What's not to love about this record? This is Ice-T's epic Rhyme Syndicate posse cut from his album, Freedom Of Speech... Just Watch What You Say that dropped in 1990 on Warner Bros/ Sire Records. It's got an exclusive B-side remix, and as you can see it comes in a spiffy picture cover.

So yeah, the song is called "What Ya Wanna Do?" It's produced by Ice-T and Afrika Islam and is, as the back cover puts it, "CUT THE !&*!&%!! UP" by DJ Evil E. It features the full-length LP Version (a whopping 9 minutes) and the shorter Edit (the one they used for the video etc.). There's also an instrumental, which is a little bit longer than the radio edit, but shorter than the LP version.

It's a super fun joint, with a cracking break with hand-claps and a little Miami-style percussion, a deep groovy bassline and a funky guitar loop. It's a pretty simple but entirely effective beat that plays the background for a plethora of MCs to just drop freestyle rhymes. The entire line-up is: Randy Mac, Nat the Cat (with a sick fast rap style), The Syndicate sniper Donald D, who kicks the infamously fun rap about his rodent problem:

"There's a mouse in my house, so I bought a cat.
The cat ran away, 'cause now there's a rat.
I'm on the attack with my baseball bat...
That one rat brought many others back.
All through my house I set up traps;
It seem like the rats have a map.
But nowadays I don't know how to act,
So now I feed the rats crack."

...Bronx Style Bob ("Life ain't nothin' but a piece of existence"), Hen Gee, Shakell Shabazz, old school legend Toddy Tee, Everlast (who lazily recycles a verse from his single, "I Got the Knack"), MC Taste and Divine Styler. In the Edit, each MC kicks 1 verse (except Ice, who kicks 2), but in the full-length version, everyone comes back for a second verse (third in Ice's case). What's interesting is that the Edit doesn't just play the first "round" of verses or the second, but selectively picks what I guess they consider to be the best verse from each MC, so you get, for example, Randy Mac's first verse, then Nat the Cat's second and then Bronx Style Bob's first verse again.

Finally, we hit the exclusive remix, a Radio Remix of "The Girl Tried To Kill Me." Remember the over-the-top rock & roll style sex anthem Ice ended his album with? Well, this is that, but this remix was clearly made for the heads who thought the original wasn't hip-hop enough. This one still has some of the same guitar riffs (and a big solo finish), but the emphasis is much more on the drums and all than the album version, which was a pretty substantial genre cross-over. Which version you'll prefer will probably depend on how tolerant you are of rock music... the original probably lends itself more to the subject matter and Ice's yelly style, but this is definitely on a more head-nodding B-Boy tip. So I gotta go with the remix.

So, you know, if you've already got the album, then getting "What Ya Wanna Do?" isn't such a coup... the Instrumental is nice, but the Edit doesn't add much value, except maybe for historical purposes. But it's also got the remix of "Girl" and the pic cover and all, so it's a worthwhile crate staple considering it can usually be had for peanuts.

1 comment:

  1. I've been looking for more Nat the Cat, and an extra verse is better than nothing. $9 on Amazon for the vinyl.