Monday, June 17, 2013

Pace Won's Secret

So, back in 1998, The Outsidaz were blowing up, and Pace Won was all set to drop his debut LP, the Pace Won Effect on RuffLife/ RuffNation/ Roffhouse/ Ruff Wax Records. He had a pretty successful single with "I Declare War," but then things started to get held up. The label was having problems, and the album leaked online, which may or may not have been a big factor. But for whatever reason, it got shelved, and it wasn't until 2000 that Pace Won had re-geared up with a new single ("Sunroof Top") and a re-configured album, and Won dropped with very little marketing or promotion. And the label, with all its Ruff divisions, pretty much died shortly thereafter.

Now, the majority of the tracks from the unreleased The Pace Won Effect (sometimes alternately titled The Pace Won Affect) did find their way onto Won, along with a bunch of new ones. But not all of them. And in that span of time between the original shelved album and the ultimate retail one; Pace quietly released two more 12" singles from the Effect/ Affect album. One of them, this one, was called "Secret;" and it's pretty compelling today because "Secret" is one of those songs that didn't survive the migration to Won.

It didn't get much fanfare at the time, because both singles (the other was "It's Yours" with Wyclef Jean) just seemed like soon to be readily available releases of songs about to be widely released on the upcoming album. They weren't big radio pushes; no videos were shot. Just a little something for the DJs until the album came. It was just we few die-hard fans who looked back in 2000 at the little 12" we'd picked up along the way and realized we had a neat little exclusive on our hands.

There's no production credits on this 12" (and again, we can't look to the album, 'cause it ain't on there); but at a guess, I'd say Ski probably made this track. Maybe not though. But whoever did, it's definitely got that classic Outsidaz feel that all of their earliest, most beloved material had. Staccato but deceptively engaging piano notes over a chunky break, with funky little Danny Devito vocal sample. Lyrically... well, it's a concept song, so not really as appealing as an all out crazy freestyle would've been. But it's still got that cleverness and that edge to make it stand out above your average Hot 97 airtime filler.

The B-side did make the transition from album A to album B, so it's not so exciting. It's called "Bring It Out Of Me," produced by Ski (we can confirm with Won's album notes this time) and features an indie cat named Richie Thumbs (who's not as tight as Pace, but holds his own well enough) and a smokey nightclub singer named Janelle Barksdale crooning in the background. It's a cool blend of being a smoother, laid back "smoke out to this" kind of cut mixed with the MCs more rugged street styles. Like the A-side, it was never going to be a big, attention-getting fan favorite; but it's anyone who takes the time to get into it will have to say it's a good song.

There's just the one, Main version of "Bring It Out Of Me," but the exclusive "Secret" comes fully broken down with a Main, Radio, Instrumental and even an A Cappella version. There wasn't a big run of these pressed up, but this record's slept on enough that you can probably scoop it up pretty painlessly. And now that time has passed and its hidden value has been elucidated, I'd recommend any Outz fan, hardcore or casual, do just that.

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