Thursday, January 13, 2011

DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince UNCENSORED!!

The above title might sound a bit funny, but it's for real. Have you ever noticed how the first song on DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince's debut album, Rock the House - their big, hit single "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble" - is credited as a 1988 Extended Remix? Even if you thought, "ah-ha!" and ran out to buy the 12" single, you only got the 1988 Extended Remix and the 1988 Single Version. How can there be a special remix with no original version?

Well, the answer, of course, goes back to their pre-Jive Records days, when they first dropped "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble" on Word Records, as far back as 1986. This is their first record... and the first pressing - the label subsequently changed their name to Word-Up Records for the second pressing and their subsequent releases. And while there's no difference, content-wise, between the initial two pressings of this single, both are quite different from what Jive put out.

First up on Side 1 is the Radio Mix. Right away, this has a much more raw, edgier feel than the Jive release. The beats are more stripped down and the bass is thumping much harder. The I Dream of Jeanie sample is still present, but the overall sound is still much more street than the version we all had on cassette as kids.

But what makes this even more street are the vocals. See, Jive didn't just polish the music a bit before they shot the video and put it out on their label... they made Prince redo the vocals to be kid friendly. In the popular version, when Prince meets Exotic Elaine, she "asks me did I like her. I said, 'well, kinda.'" But in the original she "asks me was I horny, I said yeah kinda."

In the remake, "she started grabbin' all over me, kissin' and huggin'. So I shoved her away and said, 'you better stop buggin'."

But in the original, "she started grabbin' all over me, kissin' and huggin'. I punched her in the chin and said, 'you better stop buggin'."

If that's not violent enough for you, the end of their encounter when he, "handed her my wallet and ran like Hell," originally had him react a bit more strongly... "I hit her with a trash can and ran like Hell!" He's also a bit more hostile about it all at the conclusion. On the Jive version, they stop his verse on so the cop character can radio in, "Yo Prince, we got him!" and he adds, "but it wasn't my fault!" But in the original, there is no walkie-talkie business, he just says, "but I didn't do nothin', it was that dumb broad's fault!"

Amusingly, Jive also felt the need to alter Prince's boxing preferences... at the start of the second verse, he originally says, "I was at the bar one Friday night, coolin', watchin' a Sugar Ray fight." But in the remake, he says, "Mike Tyson fight," instead. Perhaps this was the first step into the creation of their 1989 record, "I Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson?"

There's plenty of other changes, throughout... when he meets Sheila, there's a whole section that's excised completely where "she bought my drink, I thought that was polite. So I walked out with her; I said, 'what's up for tonight?' She said 'just get in the car,' so I obliged. About twenty minutes later we pulled up in her garage." Really, the whole song has changed in a myriad of ways, right down to "those Gucci bed sheets" becoming, "those Satin bed sheets." I guess Gucci references were too hip-hop for MTV? lol

However, since this is a Radio mix, Word Records did a bit of low-budget editing themselves, flipping the sound backwards when he says the word "horny." But fortunately, that's not the case when you come to side 2, the Def Mix. But the difference between the Radio and Def Mixes don't just boil down to a little clean-up. The Def Mix features constant scratching by Jazzy Jeff throughout the song. So this makes it the superior, definitive version in all aspects... it's uncut AND the music's fresher.

The original 12" also has instrumentals for both mixes (basically with and without scratching), and it's pretty much a must-have for anyone who appreciates these guys' stuff. But, still, the remix has a lot going for it, including tweaks to the music, a whole new verse where Betty makes him miss the Run DMC concert, and a strange summation by Jeff at the end, where he references their later records, which made it all the more confusing for suburban kids like me who were thinking, "but I thought Rock the House came out first!" Plus, frankly, while there is something gonzo and no-holds-barred about the image of Will Smith beating down a hooker in an alleyway with a trash can, the line "I handed her my wallet and ran like Hell" is just funnier. So you can't entirely rule out the remix... but you're definitely missing something if you've never heard the Def Mix.


  1. The original lyrics of PE's "Public enemy no. 1" contains the phrase "Cause I can can go solo - like a Sugar Ray bolo" but that also got changed in "Cause I can can go solo - like a Tyson bolo".

    I guess Tyson took over in 86/87 right?

  2. Yep I remember this. When I saw the video and new lyrics I was just beginning to see the new 'commercial' side of TFP.
    "Handed her my wallet" my arse.

  3. Man, hip-hop is hard on boxers... Lose a match or two and everyone's editing you out of their songs. haha

  4. I could be wrong but I think the UK release on Champion Records was the original Word Records version.

  5. The UK Champion release was the Laidley & Oakenfold Remix.

  6. Oh and here's a link to the real Original version. Not the Def Mix, but uncensored real version without the scratching!

  7. What's up gang I have to say I am searching for the original which if I remember it well had the scratching in it, that's what made the record those awesome crunches Jazzy laid down!! That's how we heard it here in Philly which sounded more like when they performed it!!!

  8. This 1986 version was the best version IMO. Came out at such a vital time in hip hop. I have a WBLS tape where this first version was usually played back to back with other great songs like Steady B "Bring the beat back", Eric B is President, Roxanne "Howies Teed off" and Mantronix "Bassline" it fit in with everything else that was going on in the summer of 86. And no one was making a huge big deal about the lyrics because they were the same audience who bought Slick Rick & Doug Fresh's "La Di Da Di" and owned at least one Richard Pryor or Redd Foxx album. It wasn't until Rap had a huge white audience that anyone being "offended" made themselves known.