Thursday, June 28, 2007

We Went All Around the Planet, Pitchin', and No One Hit It

This is a nice 12" of a nice song that's not too hard to come by and definitely worth snagging. MC Hammer (of all people) put together a surprisingly nice compilation consisting of mostly talented, underground west coast artists like The B.U.M.s, Paris, Nas (back when he was still underground) and this stand-out posse cut featuring Ahmad, Ras Kass & Saafir, and produced by King Tech. It seemed like a slightly odd choice at the time... both Ras Kass and Saafir had both just made huge names for themselves with classic, lyrical debuts, but Ahmad... was that one hit wonder who made the minor crossover hit "Back In the Days" and then disappeared. Who knew he'd be competing for the illest verse with two legends, much less winning (though an equal case could probably be made for Ras's verse)?

"Gave it all that I had,
Just to have what I got.
Brothers tryin' to be bad,
And they mad 'cause they not
Gonna defeat the rapper
Who's who's got three ways to sack a
Quarterback and slaughter wack
MC's with ease.
These nuts:
whatcha get and a busted lip's
What ya have when you come at me
With busta shit.
Get it right
'Cause I get it night in and night out;
I am but a covering of wack MCs like white out.
Don't doubt
That they just be ok rappers: overrated,
Who hated
That a nigga from the West blew up and made it
They think they can defeat
The man that can't be beat;
I do the breast stroke, clown,
While you drown in three feet.
'Beep beep!'
Like robots on Buck Rogers,
Plus I bust
twenty-fifth century rhymes,
So you decline
To battle at any time.
Had skills since I was nine;
Dope rhymes
Are the only weapon that I brought.
I'm never caught,
Or cloned, 'cause biting's never condoned.
From the West side, 4th Avenue,
Crew: Jones."

Speaking of odd choices, by the way, here's the ad that ran for the Street Fighter soundtrack when it came out; definitely made me laugh:

Can you read it (again, AOL takes too much of a liberty shrinking these graphics)? The characters at the top are saying:
"Yo! Kid, did you peep that 'Street Fighter' movie?!"
"I'm sayin', though... that sh!t was wack!"
"But yo!!! Did you check for the album?"
"Man! That sh!t was dope!"

Ha ha! That was the official ad, from Universal Pictures, and they straight up said their movie was wack! I mean, it's certainly true enough, but they had home video sales coming up... what were they thinking?

Ahmad would go on to show his surprising, previously hidden skills on tracks for the Pump Ya Fist compilation and Jason's Lyric soundtrack and eventually make a full-fledged comeback with his crew, 4th Avenue Jones, which was good but not quite as lyrically impressive. Around the time of his best stuff, he also had a song out called "Ahmad Is Like," which I remember thinking was really dope. I asked Ahmad about it a few years later and he said he never put it out. He gave the only existing masters to Tech and Sway at The Wake Up Show, so if it's ever going to get released, it would have to be through them. So, yeah. Get to work on that, guys.

Anyway, back to the twelve-inch. This was the indy 12" (the commercial one was Hammer's duet with Dion Sanders *shudder*), and it featured three dope mixes by three hot, underground producers to match the 3 MCs on the track. One, of course, is the album mic by King Tech... Definitely a cool, slow but hardcore beat that gives you just enough to bob your head while keeping the focus on the MCs. Producer Joe Quixx smooths it out a bit, with an addictive, slow bassline you could just sit and listen to for hours, and a horn sample on the hook that sounds like it could be out of Diamond D's catalog. But it's Fredwreck Nassar's remix that's my personal favorite, taking the jazz feel from Quixx's mix several steps further... it's really nice, and to my mind, the definitive version.

Ahmad and 4th Avenue Jones are still together, though they've gone the Christian rap route these days. Here's their myspace, and here's Ras Kass's. Ras also has an official site at:, with some good content. Also, Joe Quixx's crew has a website called and, of course, he has a myspace. Fredwreck does, too, as well as an official site at: I already covered Saafir's in a previous post, so.... 'till next time: cheers!

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