Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do the Fila and the PeeWee Dance

This is a great, early single from Steady B... back before he was Steady B, and instead had one of the most unfortunate rapper names this side of Shorty Shitstain, MC Boob. It's not his first single... he'd already released a couple 12"s as MC Boob. So he might've went with the name MC Boob here because this is sort of a tongue-in-cheek record. But Boob is a nickname he kept indefinitely (he even refers to himself as Boob on some CEB tracks), so I can't really say why he used that alias specifically for this. Maybe it was a Pop Art contract thing, since he released this on a separate label.

Anyway, the record is called "Do the Fila and the PeeWee Dance" and it dates all the way back to 1986 on Three Way Records, the label's only release. He later shortened the title to just "Do the Fila" (probably for legal reasons, but maybe also to make it more his own), but this is the O.G. 12" with the original full-length title. And if you hadn't already guessed, this was Steady's answer record to the surprise it, "Pee-Wee's Dance" by Joeski Love. That song was an ode to the goofy dance Pee Wee Herman used to do on his kids' show... but apparently, this dance is slightly different. In this song, Steady actually shares an account of how he met Joeski Love (not that I believe it's actually a true story) and they compared dances:

"He moved his hands
In the air like this,
Then I tried to do it
'Cause I couldn't resist.
I said, 'it ain't like that.'
And he said 'why?'
'Cause I'm doing this dance
Called the Fila!"

And by the various descriptions of the dance in the song ("then I bent my legs like I was 90 years old"), I think Steady is saying that "The Fila" is exactly the same dance as "The Pee Wee," except you call it "The Fila" if you're wearing Filas when you do it. At any rate, he wants us to know that he's the master of both, so you shouldn't fret about the distinction.

The music is credited to the mysterious J&S Productions. I assume that's just an alias for Lawrence Goodman, for reasons I'll get to later; but hey, who knows? On the surface, you might say it doesn't matter much anyway, because they're just jacking Joeski Love's beat. But this isn't strictly true. It does use that same, signature "ba bop bah-bah bah-bah bah buh, ba bop bah-bah bah-bah bah bop!" sample, plus that bugged out instrumentation on the breakdown, but the rest of the music is markedly different. The drums are much rawer and harder... The down beats are much deeper and have some really nice echo. honestly, I'm a big fan of the original, but to play them back-to-back makes Joeski's sound like something made with a toy tin drum set.

So with a much bigger bang to the instrumental, and a thematic shift from a kids' show to fly sneakers, this is definitely the version for the streets. There's nothing else on this 12" except the instrumental on the flip. What's interesting is that when Steady put out his first full-length, the self-titled Steady B, later the same year on Pop Art, this wasn't on there. But when the Jive Records later picked it up and gave it international distribution under the new title, Bring The Beat Back, they added this song. And on that album, all production credit goes to Lawrence Goodman (except the one Marley Marl track)... so that tells me J&S Productions was almost certainly an LG alias; and if it wasn't, then he wound up with the credit anyway. ;)


  1. Really dope record, I have a copy I got for really cheap, its pretty rare I think. Steady B was also called "Safir, the brother with patience". Really like the blog, the Twin Hype video was hilarious, you and you twin brother! hahahah!
    All the best,
    Peace fromThe Kool Skool

  2. Werner, according to Discogs, which im fully aware is not exactly the most informed web-site on the planet, J & S Productions is listed as Joeski & his wife Sil-la.

    Thankyou for plantin that nugget in my head, my curiosity got the better of me after reading your piece

    I like a good label typo too, and this one's great, Warren McGlove, a distant relative of Chris The Glove? - anyhoops, I always wondered why he was known as Steady B, if his born name was Warren Sabir McGlone?

    Regardless, top work as ever fella


    btw. Peace to Kool Skool Shucks

  3. They used to play this on Mr. Magics rap attack on WBLS back to back with the Joeski record. Marley marl did an awesome megamix of the two using his sampler to trigger the "Get Busy Yall" and "Get Stupid Y'all" on the choruses. Love both of those records. Brings back great memories.