Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Fatal Thoughts of Spurmacide

And speaking of Jersey Hip-Hop, here's a recent, slept on release.  It's an unreleased B-Fyne album called looked If Lookz Could Kill from P-Quest Revivals and Nustalgic Records.  B-Fyne is the guy from Blaque Spurm/ The Funk Family and other projects I've covered on this blog.  But this is his first solo project, an album recorded from 1996-1997 with Joe The Butcher when he was working at RuffNation Records.

It's entirely produced by Tony D, except for one song by YZ, and jumps in with an immediate head nodder that you'll want to put on repeat.  This sets up a tight, unified tone of somewhat smooth, modern-sounding beats across the whole album.  Some of the punchlines ("flows hard like silicone titties," "suffering from WackMCitis") could've been left behind in the 90s, but for the most part, the lyricism is still appealing.  There are some lines just for us New Jerseyians, like "find me in NJ, the Turnpike way, stay off Exit 8, one before Great Adventure, what you get into if you choose to enter my zone."  We'll make the immediate "Exit 7A = Great Adventure" association, but nobody else will.  "Real Kadeal" starts off sounding pretty flat, but once the hook stops and he starts flowing over the track, and then the cuts come in, it really takes off.

The album does start to run out of steam a little bit in the second half.  "Plot Thickens" is kind of a silly sex narrative rap, along the lines of Cella Dwellas' "Perfect Match" or an early Fresh Prince record without the wit.  "Pretty MF With the Dread" also suffers from a clunky hook, despite having a really fresh track which makes great use of "Who Got the Props" and a jazzy sax sample.  And it's not like the other half is bereft of highlights; "Buttascotch" is a tight duet with his little brother, Baby Chill.  And speaking of guest verses, the next track features YZ and Blaque Spurm fellow Papa Doc.

This is a CD-only release right now, though I can't help but notice that the slightly short track-listing (nine songs, and one's a short outro) feels ideal for a single LP.  Like all of P-Quest's Revivals, it's a properly pressed CD, though, not a CD-R.  It's limited to only 100 copies, the first 20 of which came with a promo card; but those are long gone, so if you're interested, don't wait too long.

Although that's not to say there are never any second chances.  You may remember I wrote about Baby Chill's unreleased album Wake Up Call coming from P-Quest and Nustalgic in 2016.  That was limited to 100 CDs, too, and sold out ages ago.  But now it's back, reissued in 2019 with new artwork and three additional bonus tracks.  Two of them are just radio freestyles, which aren't as exciting as complete songs, but still pretty cool.  He definitely impresses with his calm yet confident flow over "My Mind's Playing Tricks On Me" and Nas's "Halftime."

But the third bonus track is a complete, never heard before song, produced by Tony D in the early 90s.  It's called "Nut Junkie," and yes, it means what you think it does: a bit of a reference to his Secret Squirrels thing, but mostly it's about nuts of the busted variety.  It's a tight, busy track, with two sung hooks, one by a female R&B singer, and then a reggae guy chanting about being a "junkie, a junkie, a punanny junkie.  Me no thing for sensei, 'cause me a punanny junkie."  As you can guess, it's pretty all pretty irreverent and honestly one of the best songs on the album.

This one's also limited to a 100 CDs.  I don't know if the bonus tracks make it worth double-dipping if you already copped the 2016 edition.  But they definitely take the sting out of being stuck with a second pressing if you missed the first one; and the important thing is that more music is being restored and finally released to the fans.

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