Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Royal Renegades Week, Day 4 - Royalty Strikes Back

I've been calling them Royal Renegades, but the remaining Royal Posse membership had another name for the guys who left, as evidenced by the first track of their 1994 response album, Represent: "Royal Rejects." There's only two albums billed specifically to DJ Magic Mike and the Royal Posse - the original debut in 1989 and this one. Unfortunately for the crew, it seemed like it took an upset like this for Mike to give them any substantive billing. But they're ire is definitely directed at somebody other than Mike on this project.

On first listen, this can feel like an entire album made in response to MC Madness, but it's not really. What we have in 1994's Represent is a move towards the indie 90's "lyrical" idealism, with an emphasis on wilder vocal deliveries and boom bap beats. While The Royal Posse has always had some nice, lyrical joints in the past, for some reason, this feels more like a tricky experiment for them. They killed it on tracks like "Murder In the 1st Degree," "Royal Brothers In the House," and "Royalty's Arrived," but for some reason they sound uncomfortable now. It's still a pretty solid album, but cheesy punchlines and flaky flows turn up here that I don't think would've made it onto the final product of earlier albums. It's like they let the changing times shake their confidence in making what they'd already mastered.

There are traditional staples on here, though, including a booty-referencing track "Move Them Butts" (and an additional remix if you have the CD version), which is well within their comfort zone.  In fact, it's practically "Get On It Dog Gone It part 2," even using the same main samples. Mike throws in the fifth installment of his "Feel the Bass" series, and has a nice solo track showcasing his turntablism, and another woofer-trembling instrumental track for the automotive audio set called "Ya Hear It Hummin."

But it feels like the whole album is directed at Madness because the album is full of skits (or "Preludes," as they're labeled here), pretty much one between every song, and almost all of them are about him. "You Dumb Ass" is s fake prank call making fun of Madness's "crazy, cripple-ass brother," and "A Real Nigga" is an anecdote about Madness apparently getting into bed with J-45 (a short-lived Royal Posse member who only appeared on one track on the original Vicious Base album) and trying to rub his ass on tour. Yeah, these bizarrely sexual allegations go both ways. I mean, sure, tons of MCs have called each other fags, but there seems to be a real "doth protest too much" thing going on here.  "Mind Blowin Decisions" is about how the guys who left always diss the Posse because they're obsessed with their success, and the Posse is above dissing back, which, uh... I guess was recorded before they decided what the rest of this album was going to be like?  And I'll give you three guesses what "Royal Rejects I" and "Royal Rejects II" is about.

But as far as actual, proper songs, the dissing is really confined to one track where they go all out, called "(OK Nigga) Here We Go." The bulk of the song is a duet between Daddy Rae and Infinite J, starting out with shots against their rival label, "Ocean check, and now you're finna get sunk 'cause every artist on your motherfuckin' label album stunk. Understand, that Miami shit gets old. If you accumulate their sales together, it wouldn't make gold." And then the rest of the song is pretty much completely directed at Madness.

Presumably, Daddy Rae and Infinite J are the ones going at him because they're the Posse members Madness named in "Final Words," as they feel like direct replies: "Madness, why you pissed and you wanna squab? Because the Daddy came to Orlando and took yo motherfuckin' job? Ass licker, yessa you's a mother fucker, tryin' ta play Daddy Rae short like I'm a god damned sucker. You's a ho, and you can't flow. How the hell you gonna talk about a nigga you don't even know? Callin' me a fag when you's a fuckin' has-been. You better stay with Jan and Isaam 'cause them yo last friends."

Infinite adds, "ugly motherfucker you, what were you thinkin'? Jumped in the ocean now yo' ass is steadily sinkin'." Now, a lot of their disses are kinda generic, so I'm just cutting to the choice parts. Anyway, he goes on to say, "Madness, you ain't shit. If you are what you eat, I guess you're just a bag of dicks. (Fred's got the HIV!) 'Cause he be suckin' head. (Jan's got the HIV!) 'Cause he be fuckin' Fred." Now, Jan is of course Jan Hrkach, who I explained on Day 1; but I didn't mention Fred. Fred is Fred Held, another Cheetah Records staff member who was down since the original Royal Posse album, and jumped shipped to do promotions at Ocean. For that matter, a producer named Scott Harrison went from working on Magic's stuff to these guys, too. See what I mean? This was a major split.

So the music cuts out, and it sounds like the end of a pretty hard, response/diss record that clocks in at about five minutes. But then Daddy Rae says, "so Magic Mike, break this nigga off somethin' proper," and the beat comes back on for a final verse from Magic Mike himself:

"Ok, nigga, here we go,
It's my turn, the one who you said tried to fuck you out your flow.
I heard your LP, naw it didn't groove me;
Sounds like your tracks turned to a catastrophe.
Yeah, they sucked, but you know that anyway,
Nine hundred dollar a rhyme is where your wack ass spends your pay.
And you mad 'cause I got a Benz, black;
But you still ride around in that antique Cadillac.
It doesn't take much to keep a stupid nigga happy
Toss you a couple ugly women, you think that you're the mack, G.
But we know that women ain't your style,
'Cause you like to get a quick peek at the dick once in a while.
You shouldn't've started this shit, 'cause you know me.
Did you tell your friends you sucked dick in NYC?
Yeah, you know what it feels like with a dick in your mouth;
But yo, you know that ain't what M&M is about.
Mr. Stout, you's a sucker, stupid motherfucker;
I know you like the taste of my dick so just pucker
Up for the down stroke, you know your black ass a joke:
A shitty fuckin' album, plus you dumb ass broke.
Did you tell your niggas whose dick you sucked?
You tried to call me gay, but look who got fucked.
And then you left my label with a bunch of suckers
Jan, Ton and Fred, you know them faggot motherfuckers.
You shoulda stayed where the real niggas shine,
but no, yo' ass was added to the Royal Reject line.
It's time to change the subject for a bit:
Your girl, your brother, fuck it, you ain't shit!
But yo, I ain't goin' there, they ain't the shit to me.
(Naw, fuck that!) I'm goin' there, 'cause you started, G.
You put my son in it! That shit won't pass.
I tell you what, you can lick my son's black ass!
I heard you had a kid. The legacy of ugliness continues.

I'm confused, 'cause everyone in the family looks abused.
The kid's a ghetto bastard, no father in place,
A bitch and a trick havin' a baby - what sense does that make?
Well I remember the talk we had about your girl, she must be crappy;
You said, 'she don't look that good, but, uh, she makes me happy!'
You remember that shit. I guess she looks like a mutt,
But you like mens' butts, and let's forget a woman's guts.
You call yourself a nigga. A real nigga, how you figure?
While you're on my jock, my dick is gettin' bigger and bigger.
Yo' ass is loco, you say your nigga's Go-Go;
He's a ho so, ya both go and blow each other's dough though.
Yeah, we know what your hobby is, so who you think you're foolin'?
See niggas walkin' around in Daisy Dukes, you start droolin'.
You tell your friends you sleep in bed with other men?
Grabbin' 'em on the ass, pretendin' and say you don't remember, check it.
You know how I am when I have to diss;
I bring up all of the true shit so yo' ass gets pissed.

As Daddy Rae said: you talkin' shit is makin' me rich,
But what else could you expect comin' from a stupid (beyotch!)"

"Final Words" was an unforgettable monster of a diss, but this seven and a half epic just might've topped it. You might be thinking Madness would be finished after that, but he did come back for more...

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