Friday, May 9, 2008

Makin' a New Artists' Page

So, I decided to make another new artists' page on my site, and make a post about doin' it. I picked Home Team, 'cause they're an under-rated group I've always just felt belonged on my site. It's the same reason I just added Kurtis Blow - how could they not be there?

I'd kind of held off for a while. I guess always hoping in the back of my mind that Malignant Graffiti would turn up (see this post for the story about their unreleased second album). And without it, their discography is kind of small/simple. One album, two singles (at least one has an exclusive remix, right?)... But working out their guest spots was a little more involved and made the page worth making.

Of course, right off the bat we've gotta have the "...and, as a member" line crediting DeBonaire's membership in The Poison Clan for their first album. And of course Drugz is featured on the skit "Drugz Bullshittin'" on Poisonous Mentality. That's the easy stuff out of the way; now it's time to get a little more involved.

First, I went through my tape and record collection and pulled out all my "related" albums... Luke's albums from the 90's, all the Poison Clan albums, Bust Down's album, etc. Even take out Sports Weekend, just to double check the liner notes there. I could've sworn at lease DeBonaire was featured on The New 2 Live Crew's "2 Live Freestyle;" but it turned out to just be a guy named Phat-Daddy. We're talking, like, fifteen years ago here, so I have to double-check everything I think I remember.

Ok, so the next thing to do is go through all the Luke solo albums... I remember some of the guest spots, but definitely not all, or which albums they appear on. The liner notes are only partially helpful. In the Nude flat out reads, "Home Team appears on 'Bad Land Boogie' and 'Freestyle Joint' courtesy of Rocksville Management" and has similar credits for the other MC's featured on the song "Freestyle Joint" with them, so that's easy enough. 1994's Freak for Life 6969 credits Home Team's appearance on "Represent," but also lists two songs ("That's How I Feel" and "Movin' On") as being just with Poison Clan. Well, "That's How I Feel" is just JT Money with a little ad-libbing by Luke, but "Movin' On" features JT with DeBonaire and the also uncredited Likkle Wicked, Luke's in-house reggae artist*. I guess they figured because Deb and JT used to both be in Poison Clan, they'd just credit it as a PC song. I check the other Luke records, but those are the only ones with Home Team on 'em.

Next up is the compilation album Christmas At Luke's Sex Shop. The cover only mentions, Luke, The 2 Live Crew, Poison Clan & Jiggie Gee (misspelled as "Jiggy G" here), but I remember them being on it. The liner notes don't specify who's on what, but listening through the whole album it's pretty easy to pick them out on "Christmas Freestyle" and the short "Jesus Is Black." There's a couple other MCs on "Christmas Freestyle." Clearly the first is JT Money, and the other two say their names, so I know one is Sir Gucci (who was down with the Poison Clan and drops a verse on one of the later PC albums); and the third guy kind of mumbles his name...

I read the thanks and liner notes to all the Poison Clan albums, but there's nothing there. Listening through all their albums, I finally catch the guy's name shouted out at the end of "Game Recognize Game" on Ruff Town Behavior. Between the two, I'm sure the name is Milky Mil, now; though admittedly I'm guessing on the spelling. Also through listening through all their albums (not exactly a chore... I wouldn't be making these pages if this isn't the music I felt like sitting down and listening to at the time), I also catch DeBonaire talking for about a minute on the intro to "Afraid Of the Flavor." I'm on the fence when it comes to including guest spots where the MC doesn't actually rap on the song, but their discography is already on the short side, so I decided to include it.

So, that's it. After typing out the track-listing the their album and two singles, I've completely cataloged the Home Team's discography (and, by the way, those songs off the Luke albums are fresh!)... though I still hope to one day stumble upon a test pressing of Malignant Graffiti. And that's my process. Hope I didn't bore you to tears. ;) 

I can't find any sign of what Deb Rock or Drugz are up to today, but JT Money has a myspace page, and is still doing his thing, now on the independent tip. He's got some new songs up from Pimpin' X-Treme, an album he seems to have been promising since 2006.

*Likkle Wicked put out an album on Luke Records, but I think was mainly kept around whenever groups like Poison Clan needed some hardcore raggamuffin-type hooks.

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