Saturday, July 18, 2015

Outsidaz Restored, Au Naturale

Here's a bit of good news for Outsidaz fans. In 2001, they put out an album called All Natural almost none of y'all have. I mean, you probably have mp3s you downloaded from one of a million shady sources, but you probably don't have a real copy of it. That's because you could only order it direct from the label Slang Doe Record's website, which was only up for short time (at least in that incarnation). And this was years ago before everybody Paypal accounts and bandcamp pages. You had to mail them a check or money order. I don't even have an original CD of it, and I've put in some effort.

But the good news is it's back. It's in print. I mean, it's actually been starting to pop up digitally here and there for a while now... You could buy the mp3s from Amazon if you're into that; and I think now it's on ITunes. But I just stumbled across new, official CDs out in the wild. These are legit, properly pressed (not CD-Rs) CDs direct from Slang Doe.

Now, All Natural is often billed as an Az Izz solo album. Even the old covers[pictured right] had his name and photo right on the front. And for good reason; he produced the whole thing. He's been both an MC (with some sick lines on here) and a producer for the Outz, doing some of their better known songs like "Rush Ya Clique" and "Do It Wit a Passion." And there were actually two singles off the album, under Az Izz's name, which are easier to find, since they were pressed on vinyl and managed to circulate around the vinyl community. But the full-length CDs are much more scarce. And whether you consider it a proper Outsidaz album, or an Az Izz producer's album that just so happens to be 100% of Outsidaz appearances, it's a hot little album that any Outz fan will want.

It's definitely got a more low budget sound to it, raw and unpolished, which is either a pro or a con depending on your tastes. Either way, it makes a cool alternative to the more official studio album, The Bricks. The song "So Low" sounds like you're right in the studio with the guys while they take turns kicking verses. Hence the title All Natural, I suppose. And there are songs you'll recognize, since all four songs (the A- and B-sides) from both those aforementioned Az Izz 12"s are one here, and so is "Do It Wit a Passion," which originally came out on vinyl in 1999, and was included on the pre-release version of The Bricks, but ultimately got left off the retail version.

And, except for the Detroit guys, every Outsida you know is on here: Young Zee, Pace Won, D.U., Axe, Yah Yah, Loon One, Nawshis, Denz One, S.A.S.S.... Yes, Slang Ton is on here; he's on four songs(!). Even Rah Digga comes through. There's one or two Az Izz solo songs (although even those have background vocals by other members), but it's definitely an Outsidaz family affair. Most songs are posse cuts with multiple members spitting bars. And there's also a couple outsider (see what I did there? That's why I make the big bucks) appearances by some guy with a bugged style from Newark named Nom, and Artifacts' OG Tame One.

A pleasant surprise, too: this new pressing features an all-new bonus track. Now, don't get too excited. It's not an unheard, vintage Outsidaz posse cut. It might be vintage, I guess; but it sounds new. And it's not a big Outsidaz posse cut. It's just a short freestyle by BSkills.

Wait, who's BSkills? I'm glad you asked. He's an Outsidaz affiliate from Brazil (hence the B in his name), who linked up with the crew when he was living in New Jersey. I used to think Az Izz ran Slang Doe Records, since all they put out back in the day was his stuff. In more recent years, they put out a couple other guys, but strictly online stuff, no CDs or vinyl. But, yeah, apparently it's actually Skills not Az Izz. And he's the one making the new CDs happen now... which explains why they're shipping from Brazil.

Whoops. Yeah. But if you're not in Brazil, you can get them normally priced on EBay. He's selling them direct on there, and thankfully you don't have to pay crazy overseas shipping that way. I think you can get it from some Brazillian stores if you're actually over there; but for most of us, that's the way to go. Just search for "All Natural Outsidaz" or "Slangdoe" and you'll find it. Maybe it's not quite as exciting as the big Musical Meltdown revival, but I was pretty happy when I found this.

1 comment:

  1. This looks intriguing. Economy shipping from Brazil!