Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Dream Team... Posse?

Ok, to appreciate this one, you'll need to know the history of The LA Dream Team; so let me break that down real quick to start with. The Dream Team consisted of two guys, Rudy Pardee and Snake Puppy, who started putting out catchy hip-hop club records in 1985 on their own label, Dream Team Records, which was distributed by Macola (their label also put out some other early West coast artists). On the strength of their hits like "Rockberry Jam" and "Calling On th Dream Team," they got signed to MCA Records. There they put out a couple full-lengths and a bunch of singles, which are generally critically frowned on by the hip-hop community... They were like light, kid-friendly, with very pop-music production sensibilities. I think they're fun records, but it's all definitely dollar bin material.

Finally, in 1989, MCA dropped them, and that was the end of the LA Dream Team. Snake Puppy quit, and Pardee continued to perform solo as The Dream Team for a little while, but that was it. Pardee tragically died in a scuba diving accident in the 90's and there were never anymore records. Except there was. This one.

In 1990, Dream Team Records (and Macola again) released its final record, "The Bounce" by Dream Team Posse featuring Rudy Pardee. I'm not entirely sure who the "Posse" is in reference to, since this song is written, produced and performed by Rudy Pardee. He does credit a DJ for the scratches though, Black Caesar, so I guess he's one.

Anyway, you'll probably be surprised to hear that this record is actually good. I mean, if you hate everything from the Dream Team including their early stuff, this isn't gonna convince ya. But if you like their brand of old school west coast hip-hop, this is a solid entry. It's obviously a simple dance track, but Rudy steps up his lyricism as much as he was ever going to, and with a slightly harder delivery than usual. The track uses some fairly common (one might even say cliche) old school samples, but layers a bunch of them, combining the familiar into something new you haven't heard before. And it all fits; it never feels like a jumbled wall of disparate noises. The aforementioned scratches are about as barely here, there's only one or two little ones during the breakdown, but they do add to it all.

Given the chance to craft full verses on his own (with no back and forth, etc), Rudy shines here. And it makes me wonder what a full Pardee solo album would've sounded like. But, maybe this one single is enough.

I'm showing the cassette single here, but the 12" uses the same cover art. Both the tape and the 12" feature just the one version of the one song, no instrumentals or anything, on both sides. Don't put this at the top of your wish lists or anything, but if you're looking for an old school west coast single that you haven't already heard before and you can pick up on the cheap... you could do a lot worse than "The Bounce."

2 comments:

  1. I'm the DJ, Black Caesar, on the track. Lyrics were from MC DKA. We were the posse! We sent in a tape to him, and he asked us to come help on this record. We are from San Diego, CA. We had a great time making this, and thanks for the kind write-up. We worked really hard on this song, and getting Rudy to flow like that wasn't easy, but he pulled it off. One love. Blackcaez888@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, that's dope! Thanks for solving the mystery.

      Delete