Sunday, September 7, 2008

Drifting Away from the Atlantic

We interrupt today's edition of Buck 65 Vinyl Week to bring you this hot, brand new limited release.

One Leg Up, the label that brought us Herb McGruff's Godfather Don-produced demo, and the awesome Cenobites EP, Demented Thoughts, just released its third release: The High Plains Drifter EP by Lord Digga.

This is an 8-song EP (hey, 8 songs = more like an album in my book) of long lost tracks. See, Lord Digga, of Masta Ace Inc. fame, was briefly signed to Atlantic Records in the mid 90's. You may remember the one song they put out promotionally on a split 12" with The Artifacts, "Man Digga Comin' Through." That was all they put out though; and Digga's album never wound up surfacing... He eventually came back on the indie tip with that infamous song using The Price Is Right theme. Well, 1LU has gotten with Digga to release all the tracks Digga recorded for Atlantic that've never before seen the light of day.

It's all self-produced (which is fine, since Digga was always a dope producer... having worked on tracks from "Land Of the Lost" to his terrific "Brooklyn Zoo" remix), with the occassional bit of co-production from Ace. A lot of his stuf here kinda sounds like some Biggie Smalls material (which follows, since he was also producing for Biggie around that time), and to my mind the production mostly outshines the laid-back lyrics. But he tells some cool Flatbush stories over some smooth beats; it's a good cool out EP.

He only really flexes freestyle/battle-type rhymes on one song, "Word Play," which is cool; but not as good as, say, his verse on "Saturday Night Live." What would be the worst song on the EP, "Party Jam" (it's like it sounds, including the predictable R&B hook by Leschea) is saved to a large degree by an appearance by Masta Ace. Digga is joined on two other tracks by an understudy MC by the name of Logic, who's pretty good... his voice provides a good contrast to Digga's bass-heavy delivery.

But the EP is really carried by the last song, which elevates it from a worthwhile but unexceptional piece of recovered history to a must-have banger: "Good Vibrations" (don't let the Beach Boys title fool you) Unlike the other 7 tracks, this wasn't recorded for his Atlantic album... this is an earlier demo track he recorded in '92. The label says it's featuring Masta Ace, but this is really a Masta Ace song featuring Lord Digga, who just comes on briefly to do about 5-10% of the MCing - but he wrecks shop when he does. Master Ace rips it over a fast beat with a familiar sample, but with some phat, new horn loops and fresh scratching on the hook. This is seriously some 'Greatest Hits' material for both artists involved. It's definitely cool that 1LU unearthed Digga's lost Atlantic material, but thank fucking god this song has finally come out as well.

Last I heard, 1LU just had a handful of these left (and UGHH still seems to have a couple preorder copies available), so like Luke would say, "don't stop; get it, get it!" You can grab it from their (or, as I say, UGHH): there's a great interview with Digga up there as well.

...Oh, p.s. - yes, Lord Digga has a myspace page: it's here. And tomorrow we'll be back for Buck 65 Day 3. Cheers. 8)

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