Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Understanding Break a Bitch Neck

Here it is, folks: Akinyele and Kool G Rap's infamous collaboration, "Break a Bitch Neck," with a mythic status equal only to the legendary "Hey Mr. Mr." Infamous because the beat's hot and Kool and Ak are a nice pairing of NY lyricists who kill it, yes; and because it's probably the most shamelessly sexist, foul rap song ever (which is a bold statement indeed!). It starts out with G Rap explaining, "I fuck 'em like I hate 'em" and "bitch, I wish you would die." and builds from there. G Rap lays it down, "So be a nigga' sex slave, bitch; don't try to be brave, bitch; you'll be a dead bitch in a grave, bitch," and Ak goes right along, "yo, beatin' bitches up ain't nuttin' new to me, whether you're down with social security or you're just hittin' puberty."

But don't get too excited. This is just a bootleg. For most of us, though, it will have to do.

Akinyele was all set to release a hot 4-tracker including this banger in 1995 on Stretch Armstrong's Liberty Grooves imprint (the other tracks were the instrumental version, "No Exit (Part II)" and a posse cut called "You Gotta Get Down"). That wound up never coming out, except for 10 test pressings that... well, good luck to ya. What's more, "Break a Bitch Neck" was featured on the 2004 compilation, busily titled Music Killz: Live At The Barbecue, The Lost Classics, which came out on Eastern Conference Records (which came out on LP as well as CD... but with a key distinction, which I'll come to later).

Excitement squashed yet? Ok, then, let's talk about this.

This is a recent Japanese bootleg, with a label designed to look like an old promo 7 , also titled Liberty Extracts No. 1. That 7" is cool, but just features snippets of "Break a Bitch" (as well as "No Exit 2"), no instrumental and a radio edit of the posse cut. So a nice little collector's item, but that's all really. This 12" on the other hand just as two tracks, "Break a Bitch Neck (Original)" and "Break a Bitch Neck (Remix)." ...With me so far?

The Original is the original jawn (duh... I know; but sometimes bootlegs mix these things up, so I'm just confirming), produced by Large Professor. And - both here on the 12" and the EC album - it's just a radio rip. The sound quality is... well, okay by radio rip standards I suppose; but it's no mastered version. You even hear a snippet of Stretch's voice talking over the first two or three seconds. I guess they couldn't lay their hands on a master - and they sure couldn't find one of those old test pressings! lol

Then on side B, we have the Remix. That's nothing new either. The Remix made its debut on the same Eastern Conference compilation. It's not the Large Professor mix that everybody's after, but it's a solid, upbeat remix with some thumping bass. I'm sure it'd be held in higher regard if it weren't in the Original's shadow. And the sound quality is better than the A-side - it doesn't sound like a radio rip, at least. Hell, both tracks on this 12" are probably ripped off the EC CD.

So, you might as well just go with the Music Killz album, right? Pick up these two tracks, plus all the other songs on there at the same time? And fuck this stupid bootleg? Well, almost. In fact, the answer is yes if you're happy with a CD. But if you need vinyl, then you just can't win. Because the Large Professor version of "Break a Bitch Neck" isn't on the LP; it's a "bonus track" only included on the CD version! Fuuuuuck! Can I live?

The answer is, apparently no. Unless you're one of the very lucky 10, this boot is your only option. So suck it up, bitch! :P


  1. What about the version from "Turf Stories" comp on Ruthless (1999) which I think is the same as the version featured on the Archives 12" with World Don't Stop by A.Z. on the flipside. Are these the same as the "Remix" on the EC album?

  2. That's a great question. I forgot all about that Archives 12". The Turf Stories version is definitely the remix version (same as the EC album). I would *guess* that the Archives 12" is, too; but I haven't heard it, so I can't say for sure.

  3. OK, i didn't know the Turf Stories version. Just listened to it again: The Archives version is the same as the one on the EC album. So all three are the same.

  4. Agreed the version of the album IS the original. Including Stretch babbling at the start. Still wondering why one of the (10?) lucky owners never made a proper rip and placed it on the internet. I believe Stretch got one (including the tape), along with the masters of Nas Will Prevail and the OG version of Ijuswannachill. On another note: I believe Dr. Butcher did the (inferior) remix.

  5. Word em up, Funkologist. I've often wondered the same thing. How could a song that was actually released be so elusive when there's rare, unreleased music from Biggie and Tragedy still coming out? It's so backwards.