Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Fresh Prince of the United Kingdom

The records by US rappers aren't just released here in the US... They're generally released by different labels in different countries all around the world at the same time. For example, while Spyder-D was released here on Telstar cassettes in the states, it was released on ZYX Records in Germany. Usually, they featured the same trick-listings and are generally just less desirable alterations of their original US counter-parts. Sometimes, they'd be a little different... like Cooltempo used to release all the Kid 'N' Play 12"s with exclusive remixes - however these remixes did little to up their long-term value, as they generally sucked.

But every once in a while, a foreign pressing manages to be preferable. As is the case with today's record: "Will 2K" by Will Smith - the UK version.

Now, like most of his post-Fresh Prince output, "Will 2K" isn't a terribly good or interesting song. It follows the Puffy/Pras formula of taking a dated major label pop hit, sampling it in a heavy-handed, uncreative way, and selling it as a new pop song to kids too young to remember the original. In this case, the TrackMasterz have used "Rock the Casbah" with ex-Jodeci man K-Ci on the hook. Nothing special there. But look on the picture cover (I took a nice, high quality photo so you can enlarge and read it), right under the song title in tiny text...

It says, "COMES WITH SO FRESH (FEATURING SLICK RICK AND BIZ MARKIE)." Your version doesn't say that, because your version just has the same song on both sides.* And, really, "So Fresh" is probably the only song most of us heads care about from Will Smith. I mean, none of the verses are amazing (in fact, when you think of what Slick Rick has shown he's capable of, it's a little disappointing), but it's just a fresh, cool-out vibe produced by Jazzy Jeff (who also provides some nice cuts), and Darren Henson.

Now, don't get too excited about this UK 12" - "So Fresh" is a Willenium album track; it's not some super rare 12" exclusive. And, if you can find a copy, there's a nice, promo-only 12" of "So Fresh" that also features the Instrumental and Acapella. That's the ideal one to won IMHO (unless you're just a "Will2K" fan - maybe you've been waiting decades for a rap version of "Rock the Casbah;" it is kinda fun, after all). But this is a nice 12" to pick up, and an easy and cheap one to order online - if you can't find that. And it's just a nice example of that rare case where the foreign 12" is preferable to the domestic.

*Or, if you have the 12" from The Netherlands, you actually get these two songs, plus two more ("Miami" and "Just Cruisin' (Remix)")!

1 comment:

  1. nice lil video for "so fresh":