Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nu News Is Good News

A few months back, I blogged about how The 2 Live Crew passed off a bunch of Balli and the Fat Daddy songs as rare 2 Live recordings from back in the day. One of those songs wasn't a Balli and the Fat Daddy song, though, it was by some group I'd never heard of called The New Born Clan. Well, now I know who they are, too. I just got their record!

See, Macola got their name a bit wrong (pretty minor compared to everything else they got wrong!); it's actually The Nu Born Clan; and like Balli and the Fat Daddy, they're another act down with Fresh Kid Ice's crew Ice Cold Productions. They're not on the Ice Cold Productions' collective album Masters of Bass that I just recently reviewed, but they are mentioned in its liner notes as being on their roster.

This here is their (I'm reasonably confident) sole outing, a four-song 12" Underground Records (also, as far as I know, the label's sole outing). There's no year here, but considering the ICP's history, I'd say circa 1992 is a fair guess. And, combined with "Serious Conversation" from those "Rock On Crew" albums, this seems to constitute their entire discography on wax.

Who makes up the Nu Born Clan? Well, the jacket is very helpful in that regard. It's a picture cover showing five people, and right on the front it lists the members, sort of... the way it's laid out, it looks like they're saying I.C.U. is the name of five members. But "I.C.U." is the first song on the 12", and I think it's actually just supposed to be the title of the 12". Actually only two of the people on the cover seem to be actual members...  the girls are just models, I guess. They're named on the back cover: Sherry Bogle, Ava Bogle and Colleen Vieux. So I think that leaves the Clan's line-up as Double *07, Dyce, D.I. and 40 Dog (possibly the same 40 Dogg from that Silence record?). Double * 07 (I'm using an asterisk, but it's actually a big dot floating in the center like a hyphen) and Dyce are the MCs, and presumably the guys on the cover.  40 Dog is referred to in one of the songs as DJ 40 Dog, though the only scratching on here is provided by a guest DJ named DJ Altimate. So I guess their role in the Clan's a little more vague (maybe why they didn't get to be on the cover), probably involved in the instrumental aspects... though they're not the producers either, because the producers of this record are spelled out as Darren Moise, Shawn Pittman and L.O.S. Production, plus an executive producer named Rebel T.

Okay, I'm finally done overwhelming you with names we've never heard of. So, how is the actual record? It's pretty good... They sound a bit too low budget, especially on the title track (which apparently just means "I see you" in the context of this song), so you wind up with a bit more of an amateur vibe than you'd normally like. They also go a bit overboard on the "diggity diggity" Das EFX rip-off delivery, which certainly can't be accused of having aged well. Fortunately, they hang that up quick, and most of the rest of the 12" sounds better. "Let's Run It" is a lot like the first song, only little tighter with deep bass drops and hectic scratching, and "Hot Nut" is just about kicking some amusing stories over "The 900 Number" loop. And "Pussy Bent" is in some ways the best song, though they lift a large chunk pretty shamelessly from The Ohio Players' "Rollcoaster." But with a fun dirty hook by Sherry (maybe the same Sherry from the picture cover?), Gene Ann and Adrian Jones, and even nicer cuts than "Let's Run It," this just feels the most like a richly produced rap song that works on all levels, leaving behind the amateurish vibe from earlier. It also shows they're not the preachy church nerds you might've assumed from hearing "Serious Conversation."

Overall, their hearts are in the right place, with semi-fast, hardcore deliveries over pure hip-hop tracks, rebelling against the booty music expectations that's become sadly inseparable from the Miami stereotype. They're not the best MCs, and the production isn't terribly innovative, but it's solid stuff. I could easily see "Let's Run It" turn up on a random rap mixtape, a la DJ Ivory's Hear No Evil series, turning this record into a really expensive collector's piece. Personally, I'm glad I got in early.

No comments:

Post a Comment