Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sally Got a Four Track 12"

Anything off of Diamond D's first album shouldn't need much by way of introduction. I'm sure you all remember this second single off his first solo outing... "Sally Got a One Track Mind" followed a common theme in hip-hop in the early days: warning against women being too materialistic in their relationships. The only thing hip-hop heads were warned against more than money chasing women by their favorite musicians were sucker MCs. But Diamond's expert production, highlighted by the slow, soft flute sample, gave the song a feeling of sincere maturity: a wise grandfather pointing out a flaw in our social fabric rather than a sexually threatened young man trying to demonize womens' sexual freedom. This cause was furthered by Diamond's smart lyrical structure, too: each verse visits the same character at a different stage in her life. First verse she's underage, next she's 18 and finally she's a young mother with an expanding consciousness. The tone's a little different than Poison Clan's "The Bitch That I Hate," even if it's ultimately the same message.

So that track in a picture cover already makes this 12" a crate staple, but this single shines with some nice B-sides. First up is the Remix by Showbiz. This track is ferocious; and belongs right at the top of any DITC greatest beats list. Fast drums, squealing trumpets. deep bass... it's really only the light piano(?) notes that make this fit the "Sally" song as opposed to some Percee-P and Big L fast rap bonanza.

Then we get the album track, "Check One, Two." Diamond kicks some fun, arbitrary freestyle rhymes over a very cool, jazzy track which was co-produced by The 45 King. There's some nice references to his first group, The Ultimate Force (in fact, he even samples a brief moment from "I'm Not Playing" when he brags about how he flipped a blues loop for that track (and he should brag; that song was incredible). But it makes you a little sad that there would be no more Ultimate Force records.

Finally, we come back for another pass at "Sally," this time with the Two Track Beat Down, again produced by Diamond D. This is more stripped down; just a big, fast drum break. It's definitely dope, but is even further removed from the tone of "Sally" than Showbiz's mix. So much so, that it really doesn't fit. It's cool and worth checking out, but this beat should've been used for a battle rap, not Diamond's reminiscent morality tale. It's a misstep, still worth a listen for DITC fans; but that's about where it ends.

Anyway, it doesn't matter how screwy the last track is, the Showbiz mix already makes this a must-own. And like I said, even if it was nothing album track, I'm sure this single would be pretty popular. But if you've passed on it 'cause you didn't know what else was on here, I can assure you it's worth your time. I mean, some instrumentals would've been nice; but you can't have everything.

1 comment:

  1. First off, thank you for your blog. Anyone who is willing to show their love for Hip-Hop and teach these young whippersnappers about the best music of our culture needs to be celebrated.

    I came through and read your review of "Sally Got A One Track Mind" and wanted to mention a couple of things about it.

    1. The "Two Track Beat Down" remix was produced by Showbiz. The title is apropos because it consists of the drum track from the "Remix by Showbiz" version.

    2. Try to get your hands on the 12" promo of "Sally Got A One Track Mind." Not only does it have instrumentals (more like dubs) of the LP and "Remix by Showbiz" versions but the star of the show is the "Not For Airplay" remix of "Best Kept Secret." It was co-produced by The 45 King. Coincidentally, Diamond D used the same Kool and The Gang "N.T." horns for his remix of Cypress Hill's "When The Sh-- Goes Down" the same year. It's a strange record because it's supposed to be meant for radio but the instrumentals have words that were edited from the clean versions. Not only that but the "Best Kept Secret" remix uses the "Radio Edit" vocals but the Big Daddy Kane "Mortal Combat" sample is explicit. I guess that's the reason for the "Not For Airplay" title but why not just use the explicit LP vocals instead?

    If you've never heard the 12", let me know and I will send you the MP3s.