Sunday, May 18, 2008

Black Power In Miami

Oooh. Just discovered this one (thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet). Clayvoisie (sometimes spelled "Clayvoise") was an upcoming artist on Luke Records. He did a couple appearances on Luke & the Poison Clan's albums... You'll probably remember him mainly for rapping alongside JT Money on Luke's infamous Dre diss "Cowards In Compton:" "You can fool a groupie, but you can't fool a gangsta."

Well, Effect Records (a subsidiary of Luke Records) got as far as putting out one single in 1992 ("I.O.U. Nuthin'"), and then dropped him. To be fair, that was probably as much to do with their financial problems as anything against putting out his music... Effect Records closed up shop in '92. In fact, "I.O.U. Nuthin'" may've been their last release.

But Clayvoisie apparently didn't give up that easily. He came out with this independent release on Black Power Entertainment. I don't know exactly what year this came out, since there's no date on the label and I missed it when it first dropped, but I'd assume it couldn't be too long after stint on Effect... so I'd say '93 or '94 is a safe guess.

It's three tracks deep (with instrumentals for all on the flip): "What I Feel," "Voodoo" and "City Boy Funk" with an uncredited guest MC (it just says "Featuring Special Guest" on the label). There are no production credits either, so I've no idea who did any of the music. As far as I know, this is also the first and only release on the label (the catalog number in the run-out grovve, BP-001) suggests that, too.

"What I Feel" has a distinct g-funk influence in the instrumental, but still rough... Clay sounds a little different, but still hardcore and angry, just like we like 'im. :) The hook's a little corny, but passable. There's an R&B singer doing back-up vocals, but she doesn't detract.

"Voodoo" uses some of the same formula as the first track, with the g-funk elements; but the instrumental's a little rawer. The song is literally about voodoo in the inner city, which is pretty damn interesting ("somebody nailed a damn cow tongue to my door!"). He uses the obvious Brother J sample, "voo-doo... runnin' from my madness," but slowed way down.

"City Boy Funk" has Clay doing the classic Miami thing... fast sex raps ("ride this dick, ho!") over a super fast beat, scratching, and a hyper, shouted chorus. But it's not like a lot of the Miami bass style junk that might first pop into your head... I mean, yeah, there are themes in common of course, but you'll be genuinely impressed hearing Clayvoisie keep up with a bpm this high. Where a lot of groups would give up and just do shout and calls over a track like this, Clay keeps busting verses.

It's a great thing that I can still unearth lost music from artists I was digging fifteen years ago. Clayvoisie on Black Power Entertainment... who knew?

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