Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Outsidaz Go To Germany

Don't be surprised if you haven't heard of a rare, indie documentary called Underground Rapstarr from 2004. And be even less surprised if you haven't heard of the accompanying soundtrack album, the excessively titled Underground Rapstarr Soundtrack A.D. vol. 1: Exclusive European Version. But if you're an Outsidaz fan, you'll be glad to learn of it now.

Underground Rapstarr was directed by a guy named Anthony Douglas, about "american[sic.] rap artists and their struggle for fame, money, street credibility and international success." And the soundtrack was put together by A. Dizzle (the "A.D." part of the title). It's no coincidence that Anthony Douglas's initials are A.D.; it's the same guy, and he also maybe produced most of the music on here.

It's hard to say.

See, the production credits just say, "produced by A. Dizzle" and then "co-produced by Divine, Josh, Bamba Nazaar, Garoo Rodney Hunter." But then the front cover says, "includes the street burner 'World War 2000'[titled "World War 2003" in the track-listing] produced by DJ Desue." ...So what we can take away from all that is the production credits are incomplete and there's really no telling who made which beats.

Anyway, despite the movie being about American rap artists, it's on a German label - Crown - and most of the guys on this soundtrack seem to be from Germany, many of whom don't rap in English (though A.D. does). Oh, also actress Michelle Rodriguez (that girl from Girlfight and Avatar) had something to do with this, because her picture appears several times in the CD booklet. So it's a bit of an oddball, motley crew. But this whole project's noteworthy because they roped in American rap stars Kurupt and The Outsidaz, who appear on three songs apiece.

So, first a couple words on Kurupt's contribution - pretty forgettable. For one thing, he's often saddled with some weaker MCs on his tracks (some of whom, again, don't rap in English), and the production mostly sounds like the kind of stuff a major label A&R would force on a rapper who'd rather work with Premier. And on his solo song, "What You Thought It Was," someone made the ridiculously awful decision to fill the song with background vocals and ad-libs by a silly-ass cartoon voice.

Fortunately, the Outsidaz fare much better. First of all, they aren't paired up with anybody. All three Outsidaz songs only feature the Outsidaz. The beats fit them better, too. This could possibly be because DJ Muhammed (Outsidaz DJ and all-around nice guy) is credited on the album as an executive producer. And the line-up of Outsidaz members is excellent... it isn't just the big names (Young Zee and Pace) like you might expect, but it isn't just the lesser known MCs either. It's a great mix, with Young Zee being nasty as ever:

"Fuck a diamond. When I'm rhymin', I got you;
I'm the type to fuck a model with a Heineken bottle.
I fucks with ghetto girls who keep a clean coochie;
I squeeze machine Uzis like Steve McQueen movies.
At a interview, I can blast about ten of you,
And drench a few in chemicals that pin you to the living room."

...Pace Won coming tighter than he has in a long time:

"Semiautomatic 9m by the buckle,
Scarrin' tissue,
Makin' God an issue since you artificial,
Bust my gun and y'all run like it's a starter pistol;
And if ya game that tight, I send my broad to get you."

...and the under-appreciated members like Axe proving how they earned their spot in the clique:

"Drug pick-ups,
Doin' stick-ups on my dirtbike.
I spark heads, still hussle;
Fuck what the narc said,
Axe'll turn a sunny sky dark red.
I be chillin' all day,
Exit 143 off the Parkway.
Yo doe do-doe!
I been places that you hopin' to go;
You mope with the dough;
Used to cook dope on the stove;
My nigga Fiend sold crack and coke in the Grove.
Axe's hype enough to wanna punch the pope in the nose!
My ultimate goal?
Swimmin' in an ocean of gold,
Smokin' the 'dro, dick stays poked in the holes,
Drillin' the mic;
Even if I made a million a night,
I'd still be real and polite, willing to fight.
Villain for life,
Devil nigga, you killin' for stripes;
Bust the Dillinger twice, spillin' ya pipes!"

It's sick, the production is harder, and they just kill it consistently. It's exactly what you'd want from Outsidaz songs, even better than some of the songs on The Bricks. Straight up classic material, which was almost lost entirely, as apparently this album was pulled from the shelves quickly.

Crown's website explains, "April 2004 Crownn releases the controversial 'Underground Rapstarr' album which was later taken off the retail availability !! ?? due to!? The album was a soundtrack album from the self titled indie film 'Underground Rapstarr'. It was highlighted with the opening track 'What you though it was!' (Krupt ,Anthony Douglas, Michelle Rodriguz) but was plagued by unforeseen legal issues that had very little to nothing to do with the label or the distributor. Endorsed in the media by Kickz Clothing and set on A list priority by Crownn/Cargo the album to this day remains to be classic. (Its no longer available via Crownn)."*

That's not exactly clear... but "legal issues" seems to be the key phrase there.

By the way, while there was no vol. 2, there is an alternate version of this album with some different songs. Remember, this is the "Exclusive European Version." There's a CD released on Unity, which I think only came out in Japan, simply called Underground Rapstarr. This one's marketed just as an AD album (or "A. Dizzleelini" as he writes it here), as opposed to a soundtrack. But even though it's presented as an AD album, it still features a bunch of songs he doesn't appear on (maybe he did produce those tracks), including two of the three Outsidaz songs. There's a bunch of exclusive songs on that version, too; and the new songs include appearances by Master Ace and RA, plus Michelle Rodriguez herself performs on two songs.

Personally, I wasn't curious enough about the Master Ace verse to seek out that version, though. This is the version you want for all the Outsidaz songs. and some of the other songs are decent, too... "Donner Rap Kings" has a good sound, for example, I just wish the MCs were speaking English on it. Then again, Sabreeze's "The One and Only" is so corny, I wish she was speaking a different language. It's kind of a rare album, since it was only released in Europe and it was swiftly pulled from the shelves. But it was worth it for me. Yo doe doe!

*Despite all the spelling errors and "!! ??"s, this isn't from Google translator or anything. That's how they wrote it on their English-language website.


  1. Interesting. Didn't know about this - and I am from Germany:) Kool Savas who's on the "World War 2000" track with Kurupt is one of the best if not the best MC from Germany. Kurupt was also featured on his debut album in 2002. Megaloh from Berlin is not that big but one of the most talented MC's over here..

  2. can you upload those three songs? i really want to hear them