Thursday, May 29, 2008

Before He Was Goldy...

Call It Like I See It by Mhisani is the little known debut album by Dangerous Music's Goldy under his original name. Mhisani Miller is his real name, but if you have to include a pronunciation guide on your album cover, then you can't really be blamed for deciding to change it. Call It came out in 1991 on the indie label Timbuktu Creations, which as far as I know only put out Mhisani's material.

Surprisingly, the sound of this is very pop. Both the music, and the man's voice and flow would fit in perfectly on a tape with Snap, Rico Suave, Kyper, Mellow Man Ace, etc. The first song "Hump" could easily have been a hit on MTV, except the lyrics are way too x-rated. It's fun if you can embrace your inner preteen and lower your standards enough to let lyrics like, "I slid my car into her garage; it was a tight fit because my car was large" slide.

Mhisani is a guy looking for an identity here, really. On one song he complains about police mistaking him for being a drug dealer, then on another song he talks about how he deals drugs. "Midnight Rendevous[sic.]" sounds like his real bid for the mainstream, though, with poppy singers on the chorus and clean love song lyrics. Just listening to this album, you get the impression he's one of those artists that was "put together" by the label or management, like Menudo or Timex Social Club.

There are some scratches by his DJ Macaroni and a mixture of new and familiar samples... all in all, like I've said, it feels really poppy. One song is practically a Miami bass song, until the Pink Panther theme suddenly pops in and he starts kicking some sex raps (his favorite topic). The only guest star, Rich Nice, pops up to kick a verse on "This Is How," their ode to Oakland (he uses the same instrumental for his shout out track at the end of the album). He has some "message" songs (though they're mostly ham-fisted and simplistic statements of how violence, racism and drugs (when he's not supporting them) are wrong. He also comes out against the theory of evolution (yes, really) and women using men for their money. There are a couple of uncredited skits in between songs... including a fun one where "the man" hires a hitman to assassinate Mhisani for telling the truth to the people.

So, yeah. This album was successful enough to get him a deal with Jive Records and a membership in Too $hort's Dangerous Music Crew. And he released his "debut" (as Jive advertised it) album, In the Land of Funk, in 1994. But those in the know remembered Mhisani for who he was. In fact, the b-side to his first single (first as Goldy, that is) "Whipped Cream, Nuts & Cherries" (pictured above), "Prostitute" was lifted right off Call It Like I See It, although this time the production credits go to Goldy and Pee Wee, and it has a little more a g-funk element to the instrumental.

That "Whipped Cream, Nuts & Cherries" has a funky little hidden interview track on it, where to introduce himself (and Too $hort's upcoming album as well) to the world. It goes like this ...notice how neither make any mention of the fact that he already put out an album years before:

TS: Ay yo, Goldy, what's up, man?
G: What's happenin'? What's goin' on?
TS: You know what? You've been on two Short Dog albums, you've been on two Ant Banks albums.... by now, man, I think people wanna know: who is Goldy? What's up with Goldy? When's your album coming out? Something.
G: Check this out, y'all. Motherfuckers been anticipatin' this Goldy album for the longest. I done put in hard work and effort in the ghettos to come up and stay where I'm at, right Dog?
TS: Right.
G: I done wrote shit like "Parlayin'" for Ant Banks' The Big Bad Ass on his album, right?
TS: Right.
G: Now I gotta lay down this mack, pimp vibe I got. You know, I done sucked up game from the last nine albums you done dropped, right?
TS: In the Land of Funk.
G: Exactly. In the Land of Funk about to drop; and it's hittin'; and every time you see Goldy, guaranteed to hit. Pick it up. Check it out. So, Short Dog, check this out, man. Banks got The Big Bad Ass, you're nine albums in the hole, now you got Cocktails comin' out. What's happenin' with that?
TS: You know, pimpin's been around since the beginning of time, and it's gonna go right on until someone puts the lights out on this little planet, you know what I'm saying?
G: I hear ya, man.
TS: It's a pimp thing, straight from the Oaktown. We always represntin' Oakland, bitch.
G: East side, west side, in the house.

As Goldy, he finally settled on his image, an Oakland player as heavy on the sex rhymes as ever. Jive only opted to put out the one album from him, but he did a number of Dangerous Music guest appearances...

Update 6/6/8: In the comments of this post, manmyheadishuge (great name, haha) pointed out to me that I missed a Goldy album. So I immediately found a copy (how awesome is the internet that I could instantly find a copy of the cassette for $8 and have it at my house in about a week?), and here's the new addendum to my Mhisani write-up: Thanks!

Goldy came back on the independent tip (Cool Cats/Anansi Records) in 1998 with his third album, The Golden Rules (plus a single for the song "Ghetto Star"). He's still on some straight playa shit (the liner notes include 14 "Golden Rules" of pimping written out like the ten commandments. This is actually his best album! He really steps up his delivery, often going for a sort of E-40ish tongue twister, fast rap. The production is handled by Gruvlyne, Black Hornet Productions and Ruff Knight, and the album features some nice guest verses by G.A.M.E., Thicker Than Water and T-Rell. Yeah, no Dangerous Crew involvement; but he still carries the label on his album cover and shouts out Too $hort and the fam in his liner notes.

Said liner notes also promise another Goldy album "coming soon," called Cork Poppin' & Paper Peelin', but it never came out.

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  1. Nice post.  Goldie put out  a 3rd album in 1998 called "The Golden Rules" that doesn't feature any Dangerous Crew involvement.  Not sure what the beef was there  -- it's an okay low-budget release.  He reappeared with Ant Banks on the 2nd TWDY album.

  2. Oh, and the "Goldie" that pops up on Bay releases nowadays is probably Goldie Gold from the Federation.

  3. Oh man... Totally missed that album.  But after reading your comment, I just ordered it.  Looking at the cover online, though; I don't know if there was any beef.  He still refers to himself as being "of the Dangerous Music Crew" on the cover.
    But i don't know.  I'll comment again once it arrives and I've had a chance to check it out.  8)
    Thanks for the tip!

    Oh, and iuf you dug this post, you'll probably dig the next one I've got coming... another early, indie release from an artist in the same vein as Goldy.  I'll probably get that up, like, late tonight.

  4. Also, a bit late on the thread, woulda mentioned if i saw it beforehand. He had a local tape single, in '92. "Oakland Streets". That's when he decided what his rap persona would be about. I'm confident Rambo's got it on his blog with samples!!