Sunday, August 10, 2014

Killer Kool G Rap Cameo #8079

You know, a lot of rappers made some dope records, but didn't necessarily kill it on all their guest verses. Craig G released some classic singles with Marley Marl, but do you really need every record by Snowgoons, Woogie, Kollabo Brothers, Tommy Tee, Track 72, and a billion others who got a few quick bars from Craig on them? We all saw the man on myspace selling verses to every nobody producer who could cough up a small Paypal donation. And call me a philistine, but somehow I don't think we're missing out on some great, life-altering epiphany by not spending month after month filling our hard drives with every single mp3 that made it to nahright.

But there are some artists who are so dynamic, so creative and so dedicated to maintaining a top shelf standard that it really is worth tracking down all of their cameo appearances. Do I want to hear every Money B verse out there? No. But every Saafir verse? Maybe. How about Big L? I mean, if you discount all those records where somebody recycled L's vocals from other peoples' tracks, which is admittedly at least 50% of them. But if there was an authentic Big L verse on a record you hadn't yet heard, you'd damn well want to hear it and stop missing out, right? And Kool G Rap is definitely right up at the top of any list like that. If G Rap is rappin' on it, I gotta have it.

That's why, when I first stumbled upon this record, it didn't matter than I had no idea who UNI was. A white label 12" of a Kool G Rap collaboration is already a necessity regardless. But, okay, now I am curious who this guy is. So let's look into the matter.

This song is a white label carry-over from another 12", a 2001 release on LOUD Records. I thought I knew about every record that came out on LOUD, but apparently not. Ike Jackson was... a producer? I think. And he was briefly signed to LOUD. He released a single called "Dollar Bill" and was set to have a full-length called Hustler drop; but it never got that far. But anyway, "Dollar Bill" was a three-song 12" all featuring some rapper named U.N.I. And the last of those three was "I Know What You Want" featuring Kool G Rap.

This white label 12" blows that LOUD Records single out of the water, though, because the LOUD single only featured the Clean version of this song, which suffers a lot from the editing. This white label dumps the other UNI songs - which were pretty mediocre anyway - and instead gives us Main, Instrumental and even Accapella versions of the song with G Rap. So this white label (which feels more like an official promo than a bootleg) is the essential one for sure.

And how is the song, anyway? It's a pretty solid street track. No production credit is given, but that's presumably because it's by Ike, who got top billing on the LOUD single. Instrumentally it's nothing to freak out over, but it's a solid, well-crafted instrumental that could definitely gotten placement on any credible soundtrack or mixtape at the time. It's a dark but not slow paced, New York gangsta kind of beat a lot of Queens cats were rocking back then. The hook is decent and UNI comes pretty nice. Even without Kool G Rap, I wouldn't be mad at this. But he gets outshined to the millionth degree once G Rap comes on with his complex rhyme patterns and rugged rhymes.

Honestly, his verse on this is better than some of his own records he's put out at some stages of his career. And Ike and UNI, whoever they were, at least held up their ends enough to make this a worthwhile G Rap placement.


  1. Nice! Giancana is a beast. I think Masta Ace is a little better, but G Rap is definitely in my top 5.

    Speaking of Juice Crew, what did you think of the Industry remix? I was psyched beyond belief to see that one drop!

    And on a side note, props for continuously praising Big L, who is my favorite rapper hands down. I know you've blogged on number of his songs and posthumous releases in the past, but I'd love to see you review some more of his work.

  2. Yeah, I was really happy for that "Industry" remix, but disappointed that it must've been recorded after the album was finalized, so it's not on vinyl. I hope they do another single and include it!