Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Get Unique

Woohoo! It just arrived today! My copy of Unique's new 12" single from Diggers With Gratitude (DWG003). It's a limited (175 copies) release... mine's #11 and as you can see in the picture, the sleeve is signed by the man himself. 8)

If you don't know who Unique is - or perhaps more understandably, are confusing him with any of the many other people in the rap world named Unique - all I can say is the sooner you stop sleeping, the happier you'll be. Unique's from New Jersey (say word!), and is tenuously connected to Naughty By Nature; but he first came to most peoples' attention in the "random rap" scene. He had two incredible 12" singles (actually, I'm just assuming one of them is incredible, because I still haven't heard it haha) on New Day Records in 1989. New Day was a small label run by the Robinsons, who also own Sugarhill Records. In recent years, his songs started getting featured on some mixtapes, and because they were so undeniably good, they started fetching upwards of $100 on EBay. He did complete a full album, called Die Hard, but Hot Day shelved it... however DWG finally found a test pressing of it.

Now, this is a new 12", but it's not newly recorded material - it's four of the best, unreleased (nothing from the two singles) tracks off the LP. For those who haven't heard Unique yet, he has a really clear, strong voice and comes with kinda fast (not Tung Twista fast, but more like Kool G Rap "It's a Demo" fast) over classic tracks. In fact, I immediately recognized three of the four breaks that other rappers like Lakim Shabazz, K-Solo, and The Poison Clan have used before... although slightly tweaked in each case. And with fresh cuts provided by his DJ, Godfather D, you're not gonna be bothered by the familiarity of the samples. It's three smoking freestyle/battle rhyme cuts, and one admittedly kinda corny anti-drug dealing song ("selling crack is wack, and not cool") that even in '89 might've garnered some rolled eyes, but it's still fresh.

None of his music is easy to find (even this 12" is already sold out), but it's all worth whatever effort you have to put in to get your hands on it. And if you come across his "I'm Untouchable" 12", don't forget to pick up a spare copy for me. ;)


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