Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Final Father

We're gathered here today to look back at Father MC - then going just by Father - 's last record, "My." Now, this is not the last thing he ever recorded... He made an mp3-only album in 2010, and maybe he's still got some more music up his sleeve. But this is the last actual, vinyl record he ever put out. And considering the present music business and the kind of music Father makes, unless it turns out he has lost demos produced by Paul C tucked away in a vault (and he doesn't), I think it's safe to say this is his last record. It's called "My."

This is his sole single leading up to his presumably last CD album, also called My. You'll note that the label prominently reads "TAKEN FROM THE ALBUM 'TODAY'," so clearly the album was still being worked on when this was released. Indeed, the single came out in 2002, and the album in 2003, both on Empire MusicWerks[sic.] and BMG.

So, reading the title and knowing Father's history, this is obviously a love/sex rap for the ladies, either based on a classic old school sample, or some cheap, sappy keyboard riffs, right? With a hook like that Johnny Gill song probably. Wrong! It's actually a somewhat tough track, clearly inspired by the mid 90s, Hot 97-type rappers. The chorus goes, "My womens! My crew, my thugs. My city! My block, my drugs. My chicks! Set up chicks with them brims[?]. My army! My whole block of L'il Kims." This is the possibly the most New York Father MC has ever sounded. Not that Father hasn't veered into other lanes for a few songs in different stages in his career, but this was still pretty surprising.

Not that it's amazing. This would blend in alongside your average Jadakiss and Papoose tracks on a mixtape. And heads who didn't immediately recognize his voice would never guess this was by Father. But it's pretty well written, actually, and the beat is decent enough. It's even got that style of punchlines, with lines like, "I'm a rob you like Bivens, have Boyz II Men sign to me to make a livin'!" And there's no production credits on the label, but since I've also got the album on CD, I was able to look it up, and Father MC actually produced this, as well as everything else on the album, himself. The sticker on the CD promises that the, "UPTOWN SOUND INNOVATOR RETURNS WITH A BRAND NEW SOUND," and I think you can say he actually delivers. New for himself, at least, if not the industry.

And there's a couple versions on this 12". It's actually pretty well loaded, including the Instrumental, a Radio Mix and Acappella. But besides that, there's three versions of the song with unique instrumentals... The Main Mix, which is the most NY-sounding of its era. Then there's a rougher, choppier Club Remix, with all new, disparate samples and a tougher feel than you'd expect from a "Club" mix. This Club Remix, by the way, is also included as the final song on the album, where it's just labeled "My (Remix)."

That leaves one more remix, exclusive to the 12", The Hotlanta Remix. It utilizes a nice, old school bassline ("Genius of Love"); but unfortunately covers it in all kinds of cheesy synth riffs that you'd barely recognize it. In other words, the kind of crap you'd expect from something called a "Hotlanta Remix."

So, overall, it's no masterpiece, but it's really not bad. And it's definitely nice to have our expectations subverted a little bit. Plus, it's the kind of record that seems to make more sense to have on vinyl, as again, it's more in line with the sort of thing east coast DJs would spin. I mean, they probably didn't. But still.

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