Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bootleg Special: Big Daddy Kane Vs. Ultra-Magnetic M.C.'s!

Remember when amazing, one-of-a-kind Ultramagnetic MCs acetate of a classic, unreleased Ultra jam from the 80s popped up on EBay and blew everybody's mind?  And how, shortly after, a bootleg 10" of it appeared, giving us drooling fans a chance to own that killer cut on wax? And then, remember how another one-of-a-kind Ultra acetate appeared featuring another amazing unreleased 80's jam popped up on EBay?  Well, guess what's followed!

Yes, now "Simple Metaphors" has surfaced on bootleg vinyl, and this time it's not alone. We also have a killer, vintage remix of "Ain't It Good To You" ...the original of which was on Critical Beatdown, not to be confused with "Ain't It Good 2 U" from their vastly inferior Best Kept Secret album. And that's just half of what's included! The sticker cover labels this record as Big Daddy Kane Vs. Ultra-Magnetic MC's because, yes, there's two Big Daddy Kane joints on the flip! First we get "Sing My Song," a terrific unreleased Kane track that's been floating around the internet for years. And secondly, we have "Give a Demonstration." "Give" was recorded back 1991 (we know because they say so in the song), but was only released on CD in the 2000s on a greatest hits CD. This 12" marks the song's debut on wax, albeit illegitimately.

The 12" starts with the Kane side, so let's go there first. As I said, "Sing My Song" has been floating around the 'net for years, and it's been included on a couple mixtapes. I'm not sure of the song's actual origins, but I'm happy to report that this hasn't just been lifted off a mixtape with radio blends n either end and some DJ shouting his name out over the song. It's the full, unabridged song. Kane is just flexing fun but rugged freestyle rhymes over a cool, New York track with some subtle scratching on the chorus.

"Give a Demonstration" has a big and dark, atmospheric beat, that only relents for a fun and funky "Mr. Big Stuff" hook. Unfortunately, the song's ultimately kind of a gimmick, where every single line rhymes with "demonstration." It wears thin pretty fast, and Kane's flow is really simple, basically a complete rhyming line on every bar followed by a pause. You keep waiting for him to finish with that and finally spit for real, but he never does. The whole song just goes plodding on like that, until the very end, when Scoob Lover kicks a couple lines. It's interesting, and nice to have for the serious Kane fan; but you can see why they didn't feel that it needed to be included on their final album in '91.

Now, if you've been following my blog closely, you probably already heard the snippets of "Simple Metaphors," so you know what to expect from that jam. It's exactly the kind of banging track we wish they'd still make today. Kool Keith kicks a sick, broken flow over thumping break drums and a constantly scratched in sample. I think the audio that's been going around from the EBay auction only included Keith's first verse, but TR Love actually gets busy on here the most, with two verses. And he kills it. They shout out Kiss FM on here, too, so I guess the song was recorded to be another Chuck Chillout exclusive.

The "Ain't It Good To You" is an awesome mix. It's pretty busy with a lot of samples, but still huge beats and deep bass notes quaking through. It's really high energy, like the original. Unlike the original, it's a complete lyrical remix as well, with all new verses. Damn, what a jewel! It's hard to believe that music this good has been sat on, unheard for all these years. On the one hand, one doesn't want to promote bootlegging, but clearly nobody else was going to do right by this music, and a track this amazing needs to be heard. And on wax. XD

So, how's the sound quality? Pretty good. Obviously, these aren't freshly mastered off of original DAT tapes. So temper your expectations. But for bootlegs, these aren't disappointing. The Kane songs sound better than the Ultra ones, with "Simple Metaphors" faring the worst, distorting at the level extremes, sounding like it was taken off of a tape... or a worn acetate. Unless the original artists and/or labels come out with the original recordings and give them a fully professional remastering, I daresay these are all presented the best we'll ever get. The wax is on a nice, thick grade. The labels are completely blank (draw your own!), but it has a cool sticker cover. This can be tricky to find [link removed because it's sold out anyway]. Unless you have a die-hard, "I will never allow any bootlegs into my collection, ever" policy, though, this is an absolute essential piece.

5 comments:

  1. "Sing My Song" was left off Kane's the "Looks Like a Job For..." album. There was an official WB promo tape on eBay a year ago that had it in the track sequence.

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  2. werner...please tell me the name of the store that had copies of this.
    you took down the link but they had loads of other great stuuf and now i cant remember the name....HELP!!!!!

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  3. Go to Rare Kind Records. Best record shop in the UK.

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  4. damn I have have that Kane tape... might have to sell it, didn't realise the track was so in demand!

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  5. These were pressed up somewhere in Europe I think. I grabbed a copy from a market stall in London & they told me that the dude who traded the records with them had made up a private pressing for a few friends and then traded the leftovers with a few shops/dealers. This therefore won't be easy to find..

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