Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Who Needs Premier Anyway?

It's easy, and not entirely unwarranted, to put this 12" down for what it's not. One thing it's not, for instance, is produced at all by DJ Premier. Of course, a lot of 12"s aren't produced by DJ Premiere. But the difference is, when this particular 12" was first announced, they said it would be.

See, this is one of the earlier examples of the recent "limited" game... a 12" of "Wut's Poppin'" by Nut-Rageous on Poor Pocket Music that dropped in 2008. The song is taken off of one of Nut's CDs (Raw Nuts), but the big selling point of this limited (to 200 copies) 12" was the new DJ Premier remix, with an additional verse by Blaq Poet of Screwball, signed by Nutso and pressed on red vinyl. Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Well, unfortunately, it was later announced that, "Also as for the Wat's Poppin 12" Dj Premier & Blaq Poet love the original so much!! that they wanna leave it the same except for the added Blaq Poet verse and Premier on the intro introducing the record." So, no more DJ Premier track; now he's just going to introduce an alternate version of the original track with the Blaq Poet verse. That's disappointing. - BUT!! - But, to make up for that, The Mighty V.I.C. of The Beatnuts will instead be providing a new remix. So... a let down for Premier enthusiasts, but still a pretty compelling 12". And hey, even though there's no Premo remix, "Primo will be recording blaq Poet vocals and doing an intro talking in the begining of the record as well." So that's pretty sweet. So orders were taken at $30, which at least compared to the other early limiteds by DWG and Freestyle Records, was pretty reasonable.

Except, uh... well, to cut right to the chase: the 12" doesn't have a version with an additional Blaq Poet verse. It doesn't have Premier introducing the track. It doesn't have a Mighty V.I.C. remix. It's not pressed on red vinyl. And a lot of the copies weren't signed. Oh, and also more than 200 copies wound up being pressed, so it wasn't as limited as they claimed. So yeah. Some people were understandably disappointed.

Okay, we just bagged on this 12" because it had it coming, and I think we can all sympathize with people who pre-ordered a 12" with a whole set of unmet expectations. - BUT!! - But, now that we've finished doing that, let's talk about what a dope 12" it is and why it should be in everybody's collection!

"Wut's Poppin'" is a pretty nice, mellow track (produced by Ron Mills) featuring KL (RIP) of Screwball. It's a cool, steady head-nodder with a surprisingly broad appeal. This definitely has that radio summer jam vibe, but the MCs (especially KL) keep a nice street edge to it that you won't find on most other summer joints. KL and Nut have a nice chemistry together, and KL's slightly scratchy voice sounds especially cool over the track. It comes in Main, Clean, Instrumental and Acapella versions.

Then, you've got an exclusive B-side, "Nuts & Screws" on the B-side. As the title suggests, this is another Nut-Rageous and Screwball collaboration, this time featuring Blaq Poet and KL. Where the last track was smooth, this one's a banger, with old school blaxploitation style samples, Premier-style scratching for the hook and harder drums. This could easily fit in on a Screwball 'Greatest Hits' collection... which, if you're familiar with their full catalog, is really saying something. It's produced by 12 Finger Dan, but if you told me it was by Alchemist, I'd not only believe it, I'd say it was one of his strongest tracks. This track also comes with Instrumental (yay!) and Acapella versions.

Then, finally, we do get a "Wut's Poppin'" remix. It's not by Premier, V.I.C. or anybody else I've ever heard of, though. It's by DJ Brans France. Or maybe his name is DJ Brans and he's from France; the credits on the back cover are a little confusing. But, anyway, it's pretty nice. It switches up the atmosphere to a faster, harder track driven by pounding piano notes; the kind of beat you'd expect Kool G Rap to spit on. It's surprisingly effective in giving the song a whole new feel without falling to pieces like most remixes that get that ambitious tend to do.

So, if you can get over the fact that this isn't the killer 12" you were expecting (and maybe you were taken for a bit of a ride by the label); I think you'll find it's still pretty damn nice and definitely worth a spot in your crates. And since this was later sold at a standard 12" price - that is to say, about $6, as opposed to the original $30 people who got in early paid (ouch again!) - you should still find this one nice and affordable. Plus, as you see, it comes in a cool picture cover, and apparently some of the proceeds went to help KL's family, which takes a little bit of the sting out of the whole debacle.

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