Friday, October 3, 2008

Lord Of the Underground Uncovered

You would think any rapper coming out after the 1990's, especially one from New Jersey, would consider the name Lord of the Underground taken. But apparently not.

In a recent article, I wrote about Yah Yah's promo single, "All I Need" on a little label called 5 Lmnt. According to them, he'd also recorded an album called Lord of the Underground, but I'd never ben able to find it, and they've never answered any of my e-mails. And I'd basically started assuming that it was never actually released.

But I was wrong.

After posting that article, I was contacted by a reader[thanks again!] who managed to order a copy off of their site - as I said, by the time I found their site, they weren't replying to e-mails... but I guess he got in early. So, yeahl he got it... it actually exists. Here's a pic of the actual CD:

As you can see (click it to enlarge), it's dated 2004.

The production (possibly by Azizz, who he name drops once or twice... and it sounds like his stuff) on this album is nothing like the CD single I reviewed... it's very low-fi and there's nothing poppy about it at all (and no R&B crooners doing back-up). It's also generally less dynamic... none of the tracks ever really stand out and grab you. They're just solid, respectable underground beats. It's twenty-tracks deep (though the track-listing 5 Lmnt iddused apparnetly named twenty-one), but that includes a couple of skits and two songs not by Yah. Sam Goodie Greene and J-Dot, two artists 5 Lmnt was putting out, both get "Debut" songs randomly in the middle of the album.. They're ok (J-Dot is the better MC of the two), but both tracks are totally skippable.

So, that's the bad news, I guess. But the good news is Yah spits fire on every song (except the twohe's not on, of course). I said it last time, and this album only further solidifies this belief: Yah is easily the most underrated Outz MC; for both his lyrics and delivery. And most of the songs are just about flexing his skills ("I hate cops but got a couple brothers on the force; it pays off because I be havin' trouble in the courts. Fuck fumblin' and loss, we doublin' and floss. Late night, me and Ma cuddle in the Porsch"), but he does sometimes expand into other topics, on songs like "Times Is Hard," "How Couuld You" and "All I Want" (the hook is, "all I want is to survive; all I want's to stay alive. All I want's to not die. That's all I want")... though never at the expense of the crazy, ill wordplay:

"Ay yo, it's sorta like that day when Tobey tried to blow me
in the back from his 'Lac, 'cause I bussed the U slowly;
And just as I ducked, mad shots flew over me,
And totally ripped up this bitch Toyota seats.
They reload and I go to leave and notice three
Old police approachin', all in one motion.
I backed up, ran them;
Cops chased, scramble,
All while this little-ass car is eatin' the ammo.
First, second, hittin' the curb, I can't gamble;
Third, fourth, straight through the alley, they can't handle.
I'ma ditch this car, fix these scars,
Get some firearms 'cause this means war!
And I'm in it 'till I finish y'all ducks;
Make you wish cops sprinted, and prisoned y'all up."

There are a few Outsidaz appearances... Axe does a brief skit and Azizz (I thnk!) raps on "All I Want." There're a few others, including a posse cut called "Your Truly;" not sure who all those cats are, but they're all up to par [update 10/9/8: apparently they're a Florida-based crew called Critical Madness.... see the comments].

This is a hot album, and it's really a shame it never got more of a release. But at least there are a few copies out there, apparently, floating around to be found. Are there copies of The Collaberation, too? I don't know. But I'm keeping an eye out.


  1. That is, in fact Az-Izz on "All I Want".
    On "Yours Truly" is a group called "Critical Madness" ( ).

    They have had some dope releases.
    Critical actually has another song with Yah-Yah that wasn't on any tape I know of.
    It's called "No Return", and I have it if you need it.

  2. Found it!

    "No Return" is off Creative Juices Music compilation album titled Endless Varieties from 2005. =)

  3. so any chance you can send me an mp3-rip of that Yah Yah album??

    I have hundrets of Outsidaz Group/Solo songs ... we could trade something ...

    I got an original Tape rip of Musical Meltdown by Young Zee .. and alot of rare Demos/Vinyls by Outsidaz members ...

    I also made a reaaalllly big Outsidaz Discography ...

    hope you are interested ... heres my email: ... hope I will hear from you soon ...