Sunday, July 17, 2011

Symbolizing the Show

You'd have to be forgiven if you confused this record: "No Show" by The Symbolic Three, with Super Nature's "The Showstopper" (or "The Show Stoppa (Is Stupid Fresh)" as it was titled on the original 12"). Both are answer records to Doug E. Fresh & MC Ricky D's "The Show" recorded by all-female trios whose names begin with "S" making their debuts in 1985. Super Nature's the group that went on to become Salt-N-Pepa. The Symbolic Three, on the other hand, consisted of Sha Love, Money Love and Lady Lux.

Interestingly, "No Show" was released on the same label as "The Show:" Reality Records. It's also a closer, more faithful parody of "The Show." Where "Show Stoppa" takes elements of "The Show" as a jumping off point to kick their own verses over some crazy beats and synths copied from the big musical number in Revenge Of the Nerds, "No Show" follows "The Show" almost line-for-line, and beat for beat. Of course, they turn it into a diss, though, mocking the hole's in Doug's shoes ("sorry, Dougie, but your shoes are through. Through, through, throu-throu-through!") and Slick Rick "a gay fruit cake."

But when "The Show" would be over, "No Show" continues on with a second half, consisting of solo verses by the girls and Mikey D - yes, the same Mikey D from The LA Posse (the New York one) and Main Source. I think Mikey also does the human beat-boxing on the song. And DJ Dr. Shock provides some nice, sharp cuts.

The 12" also includes a shorter, Edited Verison, which excises this ending and cuts it down to only the half that apes "The Show," fading out during the human beatbox part. And there's a Dub (instrumental) version of the full-length mix on the B-side.

And "No Show" rounds out with a "Tell Off 'Bonus'," where The Three (and Mikey D) use the same drums but drop the rest of the crazy "Show" music to make a short and simple diss song directed at Doug & Rick with all new rhymes. So where "No Show" gets caught up playing all the crazy interludes and doing the singing and funny voices, "Tell Off" is more of a straight-up diss track.

But there's still more. On the B-side is the song, "We're Treacherous." While "No Show" is certainly more novel - both because it's an answer record, and because "The Show" has a lot of inherent novelty value already - "We're Treacherous" is an otherwise better, more straight-forward rap record. Once again, it features Mikey D and Dr. Shock, and everybody just comes hard on it. I mean, that's "hard" by 1985 standards... and that means the beat, too, is full of hand-claps and big, programmed drums that will probably sound pretty corny to contemporary audiences. But if you dig the 80's stuff, you'll definitely appreciate a dope, overlooked girl group showcasing their skills and coming correct.

1 comment:

  1. Daaaaamn I forgot about this record, I have somewhere around the house, found the 12" many years ago in a small thrift store in Groningen (The Netherlands).

    I'll look it up tonite and give it some play for the 1st time in a decade.

    Really appreciate your blog, it's full of reminders for me about songs and records I (do or do not) have, and need to look up again.