Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Other Giancana Story

Early last year, I made a post called The Lost Giancana Story, talking about all of the unreleased tracks that didn't find its way onto Kool G Rap's final, official retail release of his Rawkus/Koch album, The Giancana Story, in 2002. That album had fourteen songs on it, and I talked about another fifteen that were recorded for Rawkus and leaked or otherwise let out into the wild, but didn't make it onto the album. Some were b-sides that seemed like they were meant for the album, one or two were perhaps intended for other projects... but the bulk of them came from two album leaks that'd been floating around the internet since the late 90's.

Well, one of those leaked versions actually exists on vinyl. It's a UK pressing ...or so I assume, trusting the "made in England" sticker on the back is not a bold-faced lie. And it looks to essentially be what Rawkus intended to release back in the 90's before it got shelved and later rescued and retooled by Koch. And considering it's at best debatable whether Koch's retooling was for the better rather than the worse, this is a pretty neat set to have on vinyl. And even if you do prefer the Koch version, this is still ten G Rap songs you didn't have on any other album.

That's right: ten. It may look like even more, but remember in my last post how I explained some songs have simply been retitled: "She's Dressed To Kill" became "Black Widow," etc. So a couple songs are the same between the two... well, for shorthand's sake, let's call this the Rawkus version and the one that actually got commercially released the Koch version. I can't be certain if this is actually a semi-legit Rawkus promo (it does have Rawkus labels), a shady bootleg (though the sound quality's excellent) or what. But we've gotta call them something, 'ey?

It's just as surprising now as it was when I wrote my other post last January that Premier's version of "First Nigga" wasn't included on the Koch album (neither was the older one), but things start to feel like they're making sense when you see it on here. The Rawkus version also includes the superior version of "Holla Back" that features an amazing Nas verse instead of Tito's from BGF. It features the Scarface-inspired "This Is My Life" featuring CNN (not to be confused with "My Life," which also features CNN on the remix - this is a totally different song), "How It Feel" with Havoc and the west coast crossover track "Keep Goin'" with Snoop Dogg and Devin the Dude. It's hard to imagine why any label wouldn't keep these on the album, if only for the draw of all the big names.

It also includes other unique songs discussed in my last post like, "Rap Is a Villain," "This Means War," and "Why You Gotta Do That." And it has the original mix of "Spill Blood," here titled as "Thug Out." It's really a flat-out entirely different album. Plus, the back cover gives us some (albeit incomplete) production credits, so we know who did many of the unreleased songs. For example, "This Means War" is produced by The Beatnuts, "Why You Gotta Do That" is a Premier track, and "Rap Is a Villain" was written by Tupac! Word?

So, I don't know how rare this is. I got mine pretty cheap when I stumbled upon it randomly, and it's now listed on discogs ...though no copies are available as of this writing, and searching the 'Bay just brings up a bunch of the Koch CDs. I know it's hip to dismiss all of G Rap's post-Cold Chillin' material (Unkut, I'm lookin' at you), but he recorded a lot of great material for The Giancana Story. And it's worth noting that now - with this double LP, the Koch album and a deep collection of all the disparate 12"s and stuff - every song I mentioned in The Lost Giancana Story post is now genuinely accessible, save one ("Ordinary Love" featuring Ma Barker). And the Rawkus version also includes "Y'all Niggas," so you no longer have to track down that Japanese import CD to be a completist. ;)


  1. me thinking it's a bootleg dur to the weak cover and the wrong producer credits on the back...

    got my copy when it came out and I am still confident that it's the better version of the album.

    record is a must have for every G Rap fan imo.

    peace, redtown07

  2. "Why You Gotta Do That" doesn't sound like a Premier beat at all. According to the Discogs entry "The Streets" is also produced by Premier, but (at least the 12" version) was actually produced by Buckwild.
    Then "Get Em Up Now" (produced by Spinna according to Discogs) is the same song as "Fight Club" on the Koch release which was credited to Frank Nitti.

    So I don't think the production credits are reliable.

  3. Yeah, I think you guys are right; the credits do sound like BS (which also suggests it's a bootleg).

  4. How is the quality on Holla Back? The quality on the Rawkus advance that's floating around the net has a recurring noise all throughout the track. If this has a better quality version I'd be interested in buying this vinyl version...

  5. Ah that's a shame. Thanks for letting me know man