Monday, November 30, 2015

Old School MC Serch Meets K Love

I did a video a couple years ago about MC Serch's first, pre-3rd Bass, single called "Melissa" from 1986. But he had a second one in '87 on Idlers Records. And on that one he teamed up with K Love of the famous old school group The Bad Boys! And this was another of his singles with his former DJ Tony D (not the producer/ rapper from Trenton with the same name).

Now the label makes it look like K Love is on the B-side, but actually she's the first song, "Hey Boy!" It's a fun little upbeat number which makes great use of the Mary Jane Girls' "All Night Long" bassline years before Big Daddy Kane got to it with "Smooth Operator" (though of course Waterbed Kev made the "All Night Long" rap version years earlier than both of 'em on Sugarhill Records). Serch sounds a bit like The Fresh Prince on here, with even a little touch of MC Ricky D, lightly bragging about how girls keep following him around calling out "hey, boy." He was clearly still finding himself as an MC here, but taken as just a fun, mid-80s record, it's good stuff.

K Love puts in a few short vocal appearances, mostly just name-dropping herself. But she mainly performs on this record as a human beat-box, and she sounds good. I believe this is her only other record, outside of her singles with the Bad Boys. Tony D also get a breakdown to show off his scratching, which adds another layer of interest to the proceedings. Serch mostly raps in the style of "Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble," but at the end he flexes more battle-style rhymes, which is his strongest moment.

The B-side, is in a way better and in a way worse. It's his "Rock Box"-style single with heavy metal guitar riffs, and yes he takes a pre-"Sons of 3rd Bass" shot at The Beastie Boys, which shows that his issues with them weren't entirely imposed by Def Jam Records. He goes pretty hard on here, though, and the track is pretty dope if you like these "Rock de la Stet," "King of Rock"-style rap songs.

But he also decides to really pitch the "look at me, I'm rapping and I'm white - can you believe it?" angle on this song. It starts out with a crowd calling out, "go, white boy! Go, white boy!" over and over... something Vanilla Ice would later copy verbatim. They repeat that for every chorus, along with Serch admonishing us, "don't call me whitey!" Then Tony D starts cutting up the "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" just in case they were being too subtle for you. You couldn't exactly drive around your neighborhood with this blaring outta your jeep without being embarrassed, but like the A-side, if you just take it as a fun old school record, it's actually fairly well crafted.

Part of that might be thanks some notable names in the credits. DJ Red Alert (who also gets a shout out in the lyrics to "Beware Of the Death" is on the mix, and Jalil from Whodini is a co-producer. Ecstasy also gets arrangement credit, alongside Todd Terry. So a lot of talent went into making this record, which makes it all the more surprising it's still as obscure as it is. But this is probably what got him signed to Def Jam, so I guess it paid off.

There's just the two songs, with instrumentals on the flip; and it just comes in a generic sleeve. Apparently there's a slightly different mix of "Beware Of the Death" on an acetate, released under the name Search. I'd be curious to hear that but I don't really need it. I'm happy enough with this single, just another cool little 12" from Idlers.

No comments:

Post a Comment