Monday, January 3, 2011

One Man, One Hundred Dollars and a

I can remember when I first saw Stinky Dink's tape in the stores as a kid. I didn't know who he was and I laughed at his name (Urban Dictionary defines a stinky dink as, "a half-expose turd log that is so large it can be used like a cock." Go look it up yourself if you want to read how it can also be used as a verb). The fact that he appended his name twice on the cover (to Stinky Dink (The Rickety Raw) A Rapper Named Hawk) just made it more absurd. But Stinky Dink was actually an important figure in Washington DC scene of go-go hip-hop, performing with the likes of DC Scorpio and Rare Essence. And this was his hit record, "One Track Mind" on East 11305 Records.

The hook, "one man, one hundred dollars and a one-track mind!" is fun and memorable. Stinky Dink was no lyrical wizard, but he's got a good voice and rocks well over a fresh go-go beat, plus he sounds more like a real rapper than just a shouting DJ like, say, DJ Kool. He does have a penchant for forced, contrived rhymes: "kiss a few cheeks, females suck a few deeks, like these movie star freaks and you'll reach your peaks." At another point he also pronounces "gentle" as "gentile" just to fit the rhyme.

One of the most notable things about this song, though, is its use of Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" sample. It uses the same piece and in the same way, bringing it in for the hook just like Large Professor did on "It Ain't Hard To Tell." But needless to say, this was years before Nas's Illmatic... this is where they jacked it from!

So, this single features three tracks in addition to the main version of "One Track Mind." First we'll look at the b-side, "The Rickety Raw Revenge." This is similar in tone to "One Track Mind"... both of course have go-go beats, and you could swap any of Stinky's verses from one song, stick it on the other, and it'd fit right in. It's a totally different song, mind you, just in the same vein. However, about midway through the song, another MC pops up to take over mic duties, a guy named Katoe. The music also has a bit more of a live feel, with a lot of hype horns.

Then you've got two remixes of "One Track Mind," both of which are substantially long... one is 8 minutes and fourteen seconds, and the other is six fifty. The reason they're so long is because they both merge "One Track Mind" with "The Rickety Raw Revenge" into one, longer monster jam. The "Hype Mix" is essentially just that... the two songs pasted and together, blended to smooth the transition. But then the "Radio Mix," the one you'd expect to stand out the least, actually changes the music... it's still essentially the same but replayed, with harder beats and they even replay the Michael Jackson riff louder and more dynamic.

"One Track Mind" was a big record in its small pond, but it never crossed over to the mainstream (personally, I blame the Stinky Dink moniker). He's still been a fixture in the scene, though, doing appearances on other DC artists' songs and even dropped his own record in 2003 called "Chic At the Bar." And just this past summer, in 2010, he's been a very public figure. He's been doing popular and controversial campaign songs for Washington mayor Adrian Fenty's re-election campaign. He first dropped "Five for Fenty," a play on The Luniz' "I Got Five On It." Click here to listen to it and read some reactions... be sure to read through the comments for some amusing confusion from non-hip-hop heads over what the phrase "I got five on it" means. Then, more recently, he recorded and made a video for "Oh You Fenty Huh" which is of course a play on Drake's "Fancy." Granted, Fenty just lost that election; but I hope Stinky Dink doesn't let that discourage him.

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