Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rare Yah Yah Appearances

I think a lot of peoples' appreciation of The Outsidaz (and their legacy of solo careers after breaking up) begins and ends with the more famous members... Young Zee, Pace, Eminem and Rah Digga. But really, some of the lesser-known members are at least as good (in some cases better) than their celebrity counterparts. Slang Ton was a brilliant freestyler. And Yah Yah (a.k.a. Yah Lovah; it's the same guy) is just as sick with his lyrics as his brother (Zee). So I'm always happy to discover a rare appearance by any of the crew members. And so now I'm gonna share a couple by Yah.

Whole Wheat Bread is a rock band out of Florida. They're not even of the Linkin Park or whatever variety, where they mesh hip-hop elements or sensibilities with their rock... they're pretty much just straight up, regular, plain old rock & roll. And that goes for their album, Minority Rules (Fighting Records, 2005), too - eleven songs of rock band. But then there's three uncredited, untitled hidden tracks, where instead of singing and playing guitars, they rap. How are they? Well, you could do worse; but you could easily do better, too. But if you remember, back in 2005, Yah Yah was living down in Florida, doing music with 5th Lmnt and Sage Lee... and guess who winds up guesting on the last of the untitled bonus cuts. That's right, Candyman! ...No, I'm kidding. Of course it's Yah Yah.

Despite the song not being on their track-listing or even titled, the CD liner notes do provide the credits for the song. It's produced by a guy named Brad Risch and Sage Lee. And Yah's credited as the guest, but you wouldn't need to read that to recognize him immediately screaming on the chorus. The production is a bit corny, and the members Whole Wheat can't hold a candle to Yah, but the song plays like a posse cut and everybody is at least full of energy and enthusiasm, a compelling combination of Outsidaz' signature style and dirty South representation, so the whole song gets a pass. But the highlight is obviously Yah's verse, saved for the end, "I'm everywhere the sun go and a few places it can't; bury you and your mans wit two cases of ants." Even if, like me, you don't care a lick about the album except for the one Yah appearance, you can get it used from Amazon for less than $2, so I think it's worth it, easily.

Now this next one, I first heard of in 2008 when Flakesays commented on my blog that he had an mp3 of a song called "No Return" by Critical Madness featuring Yah Yah. And like two years later, I found the song. "No Return" is off Creative Juices' 2005 compilation album, Endless Varieties. It's a sick duet between Yah and Critical, each one kicking a long, two-minute verse, with no hooks or filler, over a fresh beat. Critical holds his own nicely, but of course Yah wins, "I got issues,a whole lotta pistols, and I ain't hesitatin' to turn foes to fish food." The whole compilation is tight, by the way, with some great tracks by their stable artists, like Alucard killing it on "Short Cut," and then a lot of ill guests like Thirstin Howl, Heltah Skeltah and Shabaam Sahdeeq. And you can still get it direct from Creative Juices' site for cheap ($5 I think).

While we're at it, there's a follow-up, Endless Varieties 2, featuring another track by Yah, but this one's a mix-CD and the song's just a freestyle. It's called, "New Shit" and it's under a minute long. But Yah comes with a nice verse over a more west coast-sounding beat. The lyrics are more random and unfocused, he's presumably coming off the dome, so it feels a bit more disjointed: "Progressive, flavor like salad dressin'. Respect it, or it can get wild as westerns. Hoodlums, gallivant shootin'; I'm Gambit the mutant, Talliban family reunion." What is he saying there? Seems a bit incoherent, and before you know it, it's already over anyway. I can't recommend this one, at least not strictly for the Yah appearance, but it is also available from Creative Juices (for $10).

And of course, Yah has some less obscure appearances on bigger Creative Juices releases... specifically he and Young Zee both feature on the song "Eyes Front" off of Critical Madness's CD, Bringing Out the Dead. And then Yah, Pace and Zee all feature on "Still In This" off of IDE and DJ Connect's Ideology album. Both of those songs are great. So, hey, here's an idea: why doesn't Creative Juices quit dancing around the obvious and just sign Yah Yah already? You know that album would be hot and be a great move for both the label and Yah's career. ...But I digress. If nothing else, at least there's these hot little cameos out there to be found and keep us occupied.

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