Sunday, December 21, 2008

Recovered Science

Man, it's hard to believe I haven't done a post about Main Source yet. But if I've gotta be late, it's nice to finally come out of the gate with a hot 7" arriving in the mail of three classic, never before released demo joints from the Breaking Atoms period. Lost Science, as it's titled, is the second limited (500 copies), but reasonably priced release from DWG, following their hot Cadence 7" which came out less than a month before.

So, yeah, these are demo tracks, so the sound quality isn't perfect, especially on the lead track... that's part of the reason the price is easier on the wallet. But it's reasonably cleaned up for demo tape standards - not perfect, brand new Sony album clear, but you won't be complaining.

The A-side, "Bootlegging," is the clear winner for me. Just in terms of song-writing, it's one of Main Source's best songs ever, period. Of course the beat is nice, too... very jazzy, and just keeps getting sweeter as more samples are laid in. Large Professor walks a great line between being comic and straight-up serious as he assumes the identity of a bootlegger, breaking down the situation better than any other of the many songs on the subject:

"I lamp on the corner selling bootleg tapes;
Rappers collect breaks so that I make papes.
I don't give a fuck about Kane or Biz...
Finally, somebody beats The Wiz;
And that somebody is me.
Catch me around three, and I'll be busy as a motherfucking bee.
Call five-0 and let 'em know
I'm selling bootlegged tapes, and they'll say... so?
My brothers in rap
Are gonna have to keep comin' up off the trap;
'Cause I'm a salesman on the street.
You know what to do if you can't stand the heat - can't eat:
Vacate the kitchen with your bitchin'.
I specialize in reproducin' tapes over Wild Pitchin'.
If stupid people buy 'em, I'll continue to supply 'em;
For $4.99, you can't complain about the volume."

It's really tempting to transcribe the whole damn song, but I'll leave you with the first verse. The other two tracks are hot, too. Lyrically, they don't stand out as much (though the short "Raise Up" has a nice, dead serious tone to it), but Large Pro rides his own rhythms expertly, and the grooves sound just as good as anything on their album... they would have fit in perfectly if they'd be included; and you can't ask for much higher praise than that when you consider how Breaking Atoms is regarded as one of the very pinnacles of hip-hop classic albums. For all Large Professor beat fiends, this is 100% top-shelf[link joke!] material.

What's more, this 7" is part of a package deal with their debut mixCD, Lungbutters, mixed by DJ Format (you can also buy just the CD without the record, for a few dollars cheaper; but that would be insane). Format does a nice job with some clean cuts, slick changes between songs, but doesn't go all out in the beat juggling, scratching and generally getting frantic. DWG are definitely out to showcase the tracklisting (with good reason), and Format manages to find a solid balance between doing too little and making the original songs unrecognizable. It's got some nice "you'll never hear this anywhere else" exclusives, selections from current DWG releases, future DWG releases, and some basic tracks that aren't so rare but just fit in to make a solid mix. It's a diverse troupe of artists, too, from MC Shy-D to Godfather Don to The Fifth Platoon(!). There are a few "shout outs" and what-not, but it never gets into that irritating business where they're just screaming their names all over the tracks to watermark them. Phill Most Chill drops by to kick a nice freestyle and announce an upcoming DWG release (woot!); and there are some other surprises here, too (hint: read the liner notes... not that any serious collector ever needs to be told that hehe).

I'd stick around and write a tidy little outro about DWG's upcoming Juice Crew EP (it's gonna be incredible!) and maybe link you to Main Source's official myspace page, but I've gotta go listen to this stuff about twenty more times before I go to bed. ;)

1 comment:

  1. props Wern, always appreciate the kind words.