Monday, May 24, 2010

Big L & G Rap Double Up

Q: How many records have Kool G Rap and Big L done together?

A: Not enough!

Okay, I guess I shouldn't put that question in your heads and leave it at that. lol The real answer, by my count, is two. One is "Fall Back," a song off Big L's The Big Picture, his posthumous album on Rawkus. And the other one is this nice, oft-overlooked track by Royal Flush on Offical Jointz. There's no year on this 12", and the catalog numbers are a little confusing, but thanks to the fact that I've been documenting Kool G Rap's discography for years now, I can confidently say that this dropped in late 2003/early 2004.

So yeah, it's just the one song, "Double Up," in Clean, Dirty and Instrumental versions (the B-side duplicates the same three mixes). The uncredited production is decent but unexceptional - it sounds like a billion other mixtape-type tracks these cats were rhyming over around that time. It's got one of those "epic" film soundtrack loops with a little pitched-up vocal sample that Canibus seems to be madly in love with. Really, you'll be expecting Whookid, J Love or some other asshole to start shouting their fool name over the song at any second. Fortunately, though, this is a proper 12" and there's none of that here.

But getting these two giants together makes this a must-have:

"How I'm livin': swell;
You can't scar L.
Head of the cartel,
Sellin' more cakes than Carvel.
Now I'm labeled a kind thug;
Police got my line bugged;
Hope I see the grave from old age,
And not a nine slug.
I'm quick to bust a mean nut
In some teen slut;
Big L is clean cut,
with more jewels than King Tut."

Kool G Rap's verse is even sicker. But disappointingly, it's another case of him recycling his bars from another guest verse: Canibus' "Allied Meta-Forces" from his Mic Club - The Curriculum album that had dropped earlier in the year. But I think for a lot of G rap fans, this 12" will be the preferable way to have those rhymes in their collection, anyway. So yeah, G Rap's verse is recycled... and if those Big L lines seemed a little too familiar... yup. They're from his guest verse on Gang Starr's "Work" off their Moment of Truth album. So this is one of those tracks that seems to've been stitched together from old acapellas. But in L's case, at lease, you had to expect that considering this came out well after his passing.

Anyway, Royal Flush's verse seems to be original (as far as I know... there's a lot of Royal Flush singles I haven't got), and he holds his own pretty nicely as well ("Feds wanna challenge us/ Off balance with silencers/ Locked up with calendars"). And of course you can't take G Rap anywhere without Ma Barker tagging along. But it could be worse - he could've married Charli Baltimore. Besides, the presence of Barker at least suggests that G Rap was actually knowingly involved with this recording, even if he was spitting old material.

I don't know how rare this is. Curiously, it isn't on discogs yet, and a quick google search doesn't return much... but I didn't think anything on Official Jointz was really that limited. Anyway, I wouldn't expect to have to pay a lot for it, but I recommend picking one up when you see it.


  1. The production here was done by Domingo and Big L's verse on Work is itself originally a blend of the track Work is Never Done (by N.O.T.S. Click). -- The Big Sleep

  2. Domingo? Yeah, I could see this being his kinda track. Does he mention this in an interview or something?

  3. I'm not sure, but DJ Mike Nice confirmed it for me. It's listed on his MySpace and on though for what it's worth. I can't find much information about it online.

  4. ...what TROY said - the acapella was used on a bootleg of "Work", not the official / original version.
    This blog is TIGHT though. Props.