Friday, February 5, 2010

Cuttin Gets the Paper, Heltah Skeltah Still Gets the Props

This is one of Heltah Skeltah's nicest and most slept on singles. It came out in 2000 on Blahzay Music, a small label owned by PF Cuttin, the former DJ/producer of Blahzay Blahzay (hence the label name). This is BLAH002. BLAH001 was an indie comeback track by Blahzay Blahzay and BLAH003 was another pairing with Sean Price. I'm pretty sure that's the label's full run.

So, yeah, this is Heltah Skeltah's first comeback 12" after their run on Priority... It took them 'till 2008 to come out with their comeback full-length. And by that time, I guess they figured the material'd been out for too long, 'cause these songs didn't wind up being on it. So they're only on this 12", meaning most people missed out on 'em, which is a shame.

The A-side, "The Crab Inn" is just some fun raps about girls over the Kool G Rap's "Truly Yours" instrumental, being stuttered and mixed up a bit by Cuttin, who produced both songs on here. It's light hearted material, kinda amusing... you can't go wrong with classic Juice Crew beats... but the real highlight is the interplay between the two MCs. They're not just each kicking one verse with a hook in between them, but constantly passing the mic back and forth, like a dirty Kid 'N' Play with street cred.

But the real stand out here is the B-side, "Caca Gosa Vixen (Fuck All Y'all Niggas)." The beat is hardcore, but funky as hell. The drums are rugged and there's a cool violin sample, but it's all about the ultra-head nodding bassline. And Ruck and Rock just go back and forth (I think there's like nine or ten verses total) kicking crazy, semi-battle freestyle rhymes, along with their frequent collaborator, an uncredited Illa Noyz.

"Break North! ...When the Ruck rippin' the stage;
My nickel gauge rip your face off like Nicholas Cage.
Fuck the front page, nigga; I need the main article,
On how me and my crew blew niggas' brains into particles.
So don't start if you can't ...finish,
'Cause I will be sure to end it - whatever you created.
I hate it when the MC blow up like a helium balloon,
But soon to be deflated, 'cause my niggas ain't feeling your tunes."

There's no hook, and a lot of adlibbing by the MC's who aren't rapping at the moment. It has that unique blend of playfulness and ruggedness that really brings to mind "Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka" ...which frankly, is what I think we're all always hoping for but only occasionally find in any BCC-related record.

Both tracks come in Clean, Dirty and Instrumental versions and comes in a nice sticker cover. This is a real gem, and fortunately isn't rare at all. I picked up my copy for 99¢, which just goes to show that cost and value aren't nearly the same thing. Happy days.

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