Friday, January 18, 2019

Learn Along With Werner, part 10: The Last Thing Whistle Ever Recorded?

Guys, this is why I let the internet live.  Yeah, sure, corporations invade your privacy, hackers collapse governments, and people started DJing with mp3s instead of records.  It's been pretty awful, but then a thing like this happens.  I'm just poking around discogs and stumble upon a record I've never heard of by a group I've been a fan of since I was a kid.  And in this case, though it may be just a guest spot, it turns out to be a final chapter in their career.  I'm talking about Whistle, and this record from 1993 (their last album was in 1991, with one last single coming out in 1992) would appear to be the last thing they ever recorded, at least that actually got released.

The actual guy whose record this is, though, is M.C. Boo.  I'm fairly certain this is not the same M.C. Boo who was down with Magic Mike and the Royal Posse, or the junior member of BDP.  This is yet another MC Boo who just put out this one single record on Studio Records, a Maryland label best known for putting out novelty records like "Are the Redskins #1? Hail Yeah!!" and "Karate Man."  Not a good sign, but happily this is not a joke song but a sincere musical endeavor.

As you can probably guess by the title, it's a essentially a rap version of Stevie Wonder(who also gets a writing credit on the label)'s "I Can't Help It."  You could do a lot worse than chunky Stevie Wonder sample, and MC Boo's maybe not going to blow anybody's mind, but he's certainly a capable rapper, sort of in the category of Little Shawn.  He's kicking somewhat simplistic love raps, but with an ear towards more respectable lyricism and wordplay.  You know, by very early 90s standards, "I'm shakin' and breakin' and movin' and makin' the heart that you made me. I'm movin' and groovin' and soothin' the tempo you gave me.  The bass is kinda light and your eyes are kind, too; I guess that's why I can't help but to love you.  Yea, that's it.  I think I'm goin' crazy bein' round your sexy ways.  Your love is like a puzzle, but better yet a maze."

The only disappointing, but totally predictable, aspect is that Whistle are just here to sing the hook, not actually contribute to the MCing.  It's predictable, of course, because that's the direction they were always going in, away from rap and towards R&B, so of course they ended with a sung chorus instead of a verse.  And they sound good, although there's no moment where Terk comes in to really belt some more impressive notes or cuts by Silver Spinner.  It's a calm, laid back track with a mellow groove they just lay into.

There are a couple tracks on this 12", but they're all just variations on the one song.  There's the aptly titled Regular Version, the Instrumental, a mix with some extra (live) piano called the Piano Mix, and two shorter dub mixes called Doo Boo and Boo Beats.  By the way, it might be interesting to note that the label still says "Whistle appears courtesy of Select Records," so even though they didn't release anything further, Select was still hanging onto Whistle on their roster.  And not only is this Whistle's last record, it's seemingly M.C. Boo's first and last, which I'm... pretty ambivalent about.

He was decent enough, but not somebody I got excited about and would need to track down more of his discography.  I just bought this for Whistle, and honestly, unless you're a completist, it's not worth buying for them either.  They sound fine, the production's fine, Boo's rapping is fine, the concept is fine.  It's all just fine.  Not mad at it, but you're not gonna run out and slap it on a mixtape.  Once I put this away, I probably won't go back to it until I've completely forgotten what it sounds like and I see it on my crates and go, "what's this M.C. Boo record?"

No comments:

Post a Comment