Monday, February 11, 2013

The Boo-Boo Of Smooth J. Smoothe?

Last year, I did a special week of posts about DJ Magic Mike's Royal Posse... specifically about the "Royal Renegade" members, including MC Madness and MC Boo, who left the Royal Posse to put out albums of their own. They dissed Mike, Mike dissed them, it was an on-going sage.  That's why I gave them a whole week.Today's post is about another Royal Posse member, whose story is a bit different... in fact, kind  of the opposite: Smooth J Smoothe.

Smooth J Smoothe started out apart from the Royal Posse. He had a pretty hot record with DJ Nasty called "Hard Rhyme Composer." DJ Nasty had done a series of tight, slept on records with Breezy Beat MC, where his cuts and production really stole the show. Now Nasty had hooked up with a new MC who seemed focused on vicious flaws and hard rhymes. Instead of songs about light girls, this was raw hip-hop, flowing over a hype track while Nasty killed it on the turntables.

But for some reason, they ticked off Magic Mike.  In 1991 on his album with MC Madness called Ain't No Doubt About, they dedicated a skit to dissing him, "The Boo-Boo of Rough J Rough." I wish I knew what the story was there. I don't hear anything in "Hard Rhyme Composer" that could be taken as a diss to Mike or Madness. And they don't break down their reasoning on the skit, they just laying into him:

"Yo, this is going out to that Orlando rapping sucker (uh-oh!)... that sucker who made one twelve inch, and he is now history. (was always history!) Oh yeah, I got some shit to talk to you. (hey!) Your rhymes kickin' like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest."

And he goes on listing a litany of insults like that for another full minute.

Well, that was 1991. And it was true, by 1991, Smooth J Smoothe only had one 12" out. But that didn't hold true forever. By 1992, he had two more records out, including "Lick the Candy" on Magic Records. Magic Records, as in the label DJ Magic Mike formed after he left Cheetah. Then, in 1993, he was a full-on Royal Posse member, appearing on their posse cut "Royal Brothers In the House" on Magic Mike's This Is How It Should Be Done album, as well as Mike's "Rhyme After Rhyme." And he wrote Mike's famous DJ Fury diss, "Fury Who?"

In the credits, Mike sends a special dedication Smoothe's way, saying, "Thanks for being there in the clutch. You're a damn good person to have on your side. Glad you're there. I owe you a million, G. Now Let's Get Wreck." Madness even included Smoothe in his epic Royal Posse diss track, "Final Words," saying, "Smooth J Smooth, ya blood is gonna ooze. Do you get used to the smell of shit when you brown nose? Mike dissed yo' ass on 'Ain't No Doubt About It,' need I say more?"

But when it came time for the Royal Posse to retaliate with their 1994 EP, Represent, Smoothe was nowhere to be found.  He's not featured on any tracks, doesn't seem to be a member of the crew anymore... he's not even mentioned in the shout-outs, where extended crew family guys like J-45 still got upped. And he wasn't on any of Mike's subsequent albums either. He just kinda snuck out as mysteriously as he snuck in. He also never released anymore solo records, and neither did DJ Nasty.

Oh yeah. I was going to blog about a specific record, but I got so caught up in telling Smoothe's story...  Well, real quick. This is "Addicted" by Smooth J Smoothe and DJ Nasty on Maniac Records. I picked this one because it's the least known... it's not his famous debut, and it's not the one on Magic Records. There's no date on the label (not even a run-out groove), so we can't be sure exactly when this came out, but at a guess I'd say about 1991 - after "Hard Rhyme Composer" but before the Royal Posse stuff. He's still paired up with DJ Nasty here, after all.

This is also the only release on Maniac Records, which just makes it all the more enigmatic. So I ordered this online one day just to find out what the deal was... plus, I like both the artists involved, so I had high hopes. But yeah, I just wanted to know. So here's the scoop: it's pretty damn disappointing. It's a bland, R&Bish attempt to sound mainstream... you'd never know it was from Miami if you didn't recognize the artists' names. And yeah, Breezy Beat did a bunch of raps about girls and relationships, but Nasty always made them fresh and exciting. But this one isn't. It features an R&B hook with almost a gospel vibe, dramatically belted out by someone named Ezell Carter.  There are a couple different mixes with substantially different instrumentals, but they're all boring. Nasty doesn't get busy, Smoothe doesn't get busy... it sounds professionally produced alright. I guess this shows they were capable of making the kind of bland pop rap records that were coming out nationwide at the time, which may well have been the point. But yeah, it sucks.

So there, now you don't have to track this one down. At least I was able to save you the trouble. Even fans can skip over this footnote in their career. But it's still a pretty compelling story. I'd love to find out exactly what went on with them and the Royal Posse, and what became of these two after.

No comments:

Post a Comment