Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 50 Ways of MC Shan

I was just trawling through some old Hip-Hop Isn't Dead reviews and learned about an MC Shan song I never knew about before!  It's hard to believe, after all this time, that can still happen, but it just did.  :)  It's from 1993, and granted, once you hear what it is (and the image already gave it away, after all), your enthusiasm might wane a bit... The CD version of Snow's album, 12 Inches of Snow, has two bonus tracks including one with another MC Shan appearance called "50 Ways."

Now, Snow is not untalented.  His record's corny, and while I did enjoy "Informer" in an upbeat, no-brainer kinda way, I wouldn't otherwise listen to his stuff.  But he was cool on "Pee-Nile Reunion" and all, so I don't come out of the box hating on Snow.  There's potential for this.

Like the rest of Snow's album, it's produced by Shan... but while, by 1993, he had put down the pop music style for the more quality hip-hop styles of "Hip-Hop Roughneck" and "Don't Call It a Comeback," he was producing for a big, commercial act.  So it's more pop, yeah.  Like Kool Moe Dee's "50 Ways" before this, and Eminem's "50 Ways" just last month, the hook is a variation of Paul Simon's "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover," but where Moe Dee - and in a more altered way, Emzy - used Simon's break, too; this song just borrows the phrase for the hook.

The beat is actually pretty decent, though nothing you'll get excited about.  It's about them flexing their styles, which are a little unusual, because that's the concept - they have 50 ways to change their style.  They don't do fifty or anything, but Shan does do a different, slightly reggae-tinged style than I've heard him do on any of his own records.

Ultimately, and predictably, it's just mediocre.  But for serious MC Shan fans, hey, it's another Shan song, and he does get kinda nice here.  It's not as nearly as bad as I was prepared for it to be, or as boringly similar to other "50 Ways" (Newcleus also did a "50 Ways To Get Funky;" there've been a couple other rappers taking stabs at it as well).  It's respectably decent... for completists..

1 comment:

  1. If Snow had come out today, he'd have been fine, but back then anything pop was chastised, so it was like, oh this is corny.
    That album is actually way less corny and a lot harder and grittier on the beats and styles than most of the stuff coming out today, stuff which gets a pass and is essentially ultra-lightweight R&B synthpop, but today you're a "hater' if you point this out...