Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm No Fool; I Want My Record Played

There's a Doctor Ice record where he spends like, the last minute and a half or more doing shout-outs, including all the major DJs: Red Alert, Marley Marl, Chuck Chillout, and ends by explaining, "I'm no fool; I want my record played!"  Well the Def Con Crew had the same idea and they even took it one step further, by making the entire record a shout-out to all the DJs.

Def Con Crew only produced one record, and this is it. In 1988, this was put out on Ray Ray Records, the New York label that also dropped Sirocalot's killer single, but they get to DJs from all over, Greg Mack on the west coast, Ralph McDaniels on BET, and tons of presumably local DJs across the country from Philly to Texas. It's not all shout-outs, though. While they do a healthy dose of DJ naming shout-outs at the end, the bulk of the song consists of full rap verses praising the DJs - some famous, some generic. Conceptually, it's like a cross between "Hey DJ" and "Magic's Wand."

And it's funky, using a chunky sample of "Strawberry Letter 23" for the bulk of the instrumental, every so often bringing in that wonderful keyboard riff. The hook is a sung sample of the phrase "last night a DJ saved my life" from the Indeep record of the same name (famously copied covered by Mariah Carey). And the production's all by the Def Con Crew themselves... though it's worth noting that this is an early credit for Keyboard Money Mike, who engineered this record and is better known today playing on records by Ultramagnetics, Lord Finesse, BDP, etc.

So, this record's just known as the DJ praising joint, but there's actually a B-side as well, noteworthy for being the only other Def Con Crew song. It's called "We Came Here To Rock," and it's got a fun, throw-back rap style even for the time. They almost rhyme like The Crash Crew without the harmonizing parts, and a hard drum track instead of a disco band. It's probably more enjoyable now that its old school nature is nostalgic... at the time heads probably dismissed it as having a kinda cool beat but that's it. But now the super simplistic rhyme patterns have an extra "aww, remember when?" appeal.

Still, the A-side's the one you'll be buying this record for.  It comes with Vocal, Instrumental and Bonus Beat versions of each song.  And while it may not have you pining for a full Def Con Crew album or anything, but it's definitely a nice little 12" on its own terms. 'Cause "there's Mr. Magic, without no doubt, and the cool, cool brother called Chuck Chillout. I can't forget about the trooper, Red Alert. Yeah boy, you know the score, he goes berserk."  :)

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