Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sugga and Spice and JJ Fad Ain't Nice

Alright, we just covered an NWA diss, now how about a JJ Fad diss? Today's record is the second 12" single by Sugga and Spice from 1988 on Dream Team Records. Check out that bad-ass cover. Even the dog has shades and a phat gold LA Dream Team chain on! I think that's Rudy Pardee way out in the background there; and look in the upper right-hand corner: they've even got a special anti-JJ Fad logo. How can you be an old school Hip-Hop fan and not want to hear this record?

So, like I said, this is Sugga and Spice's second record (of two). There first was "Yes We Can," also on Dream Team Records in 1988. Both Sugar and Spice are MCs, and they're basically the LA Dream Team's girl group version of themselves. Sugar even has the same funky accent as Rudy. It was also featured on Joe Cooley's Hollywood Live compilation mix, and it basically has them updating the same "Yes We Can Can" Pointer Sisters song The Treacherous Three did back in 1982, with the same chorus and loop. And lyrically, it mostly sounds like generic bragging about how they can win a battle, but it ends with the line "hama lama assumin' I'ma that," which is clearly a "Supersonic" reference.

And just as an interesting aside, flip the record over to the back cover and Rudy starts out the shout outs with, "WHO I DON'T WANT TO THANK: Sweet "C" a real fake producer who thinks he had it going on. So quit it. You ain't with it. Your[sic] a real fake producer so don't forget it. You know who you are."

But anyway, bringing it back to JJ Fad. That's the only song on the first 12", but the second record has three songs. One is a "Yes We Can" remix by Snake Puppy, which is a little more interesting, just because even though it mostly still uses the same groove and hook, they take it a little farther from the Pointer Sisters record. And another song is "Boys Just Wanna Get Skeezed," which sounds like it's going to be a Cyndi Lauper answer record, but thankfully it's not and doesn't use her song at all. It's actually a pretty cool beat, and the concept of the song is just what the title tells you.

But the third song, innocuously called "That's Funky" is a straight-up, 100% diss song. Now, why are they going after JJ Fad? Just because they had a hit record and Sugga and Spice were newcomers looking to make a name for themselves? That's probably part of it for sure, but naw. The beef is that JJ Fad started out on Dream Team Records. "Supersonic" was first released on that label. Then JJ Fad split up and reformed on Ruthless Records, where they re-recorded "Supersonic" with the new line-up, and that became a smash it. So the Dream Team were a bit salty, and they had their new girl group go at 'em.

It's a pretty dope track, too. It uses the same core sample KMD used on their first album, but those guys smoothed it out more. This is more hype and hardcore, with funky horns and some nice scratches. Lyrically, on the song, the main thing Sugga and Spice diss them for is using ghost writers ("trying to diss with some lyrics that Dr. Dre wrote"), but there's lots of personal disses ("one's too short, too fat, too tall," "you Sassy C with the patched up head"). And they take a lot of specific shots at "Supersonic:

"Who ya think you're foolin'? I know better than that. 'Supersonic' sounds like the 'Planet Rock' track! In fact, I know ya stole it, and you wanna play big time? Bitin' and recitin' them walla walla wack rhymes."

It's pretty cool, mostly because it's a decent record even before taking the JJ Fad dissing into account. It's easily their best song. I can't say I'm too torn up over Sugga and Spice never getting an album out, but I'd recommend this single for "That's Funky." Some of the lines are a little corny, like all the baby references they make about Baby D; but overall it's a hot, little song.

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