Sunday, May 1, 2016

Father MC Is World Wide, Y'all

So, a couple years ago I found a Father MC test pressing I was pretty excited about, because it was a rare, unreleased Luke Records 12" that was virtually unknown. But Father had one other single on Luke, which wasn't quite test press only, but it is a promo-only 12". In fact, it says it's a test pressing on the label, but there's so many of these around, I suspect that maybe they just left that printed on the promo label? Anyway, regardless of all that, it's still pretty obscure that even most Father MC fans never even heard, so let's talk about it.

See, Father moved to Florida after his Uptown Records phase. So he and Luke sound like a pretty strange combination, but I guess it kinda made sense. Considering he recorded at least two 12"s worth of material for Luke, I assumed there were plans for an album and a proper it was a proper artist signing. But of course the bottom fell out of Luke Records in the 90s, so whatever might've happened didn't. The two songs on this single wound up being included on a quick cash-in 1997 compilation album called Luke's Peep Show Compilation Album Vol. 1 (there was no Vol. 2), which is more than you can say for the test press 12" songs, which never turned up anywhere else.

So how is it? It's not terrible, honestly. Father, who also produced this single, has a tradition of using tried and true samples that always work, and he does that again here. This time he's rocking over Freedom's "Get Up and Dance," the same loop used for Grandmaster Flash's "Freedom," De La Soul's "Buddy," The Crash Crew's "High Power Rap," Boogie Down Production's "You Must Learn" and so many others from Big Daddy Kane to The Wu-Tang Clan. So it's a very safe groove, and he doesn't change a thing. So, it's very listenable, but also very low risk/ low reward. How excited are you going to get by hearing someone rock that beat again? Not at all, but you're also not gonna be like, "turn that shit off."

And how does he rock it? Well, that's the bad news. He kinda phones it in. He doesn't have anything to say but generic "I'm such a playa"isms, and he doesn't really match the energy of the track. His delivery is alright, and he does put some effort into the delivery of his lines. But the hook is downright laconic; it'll cure your insomnia.

There's just the Radio Edit and Instrumental on here, but he doesn't curse much anyway. He says he's "fucking girls" and "copping mad shit" once or twice, which gets muted; but it doesn't change the listening experience very much. I suppose you could track down the Peep Show compilation to hear them uncensored. You're even more devoted to the Father MC oeuvre than me if you go that far, though.

There's a B-side, too. It's called "Give Me Love," and it doesn't use a classic sample. Or any sample, I don't think. It just sounds like standard sounds from a "producer tools kit" CD or something, with fine drums and a generic, plodding bassline. There are a few sounds on top of that, but it's really just boring. Father MC's flow sounds alright, and it's interesting that he's rapping against managers and A&Rs, but he can't save this beat. Also, the hook is sleepy and terrible again, where he just says, "this goes out to Canada because they give me love," which he repeats a hundred times, but swapping out the location. You know, how rappers will say the names of different cities so local DJs will hopefully be inclined to play it on the radio? Yeah, it's absolutely that; but he says it all so lazily, and mixed down low under the track that I don't imagine any DJ would try scratching that into their mix.

Again, it's a Radio Mix, but I didn't noticing him cursing or getting anything censored at all on this one, anyway, so there's no difference. It also lists an Instrumental, but it's really a TV track, with all his background ad libs and the hook on it. That's fine, because I wouldn't want this instrumental anyway. If you're Father's #1 fan, you might want to listen to the B-side once or twice to hear what he has to say, but otherwise I don't recommend anyone messing with "Give Me Love." The A-side's alright, though. I mean, it's pretty generic and average at best. But it's at least alright as album filler.

Overall, pretty disappointing. He also didn't adapt to Luke or Miami at all, which might be for the best. But him rapping over a 120bpm booty record might've at least been novel once. But yeah, this is one of my least favorite Father MC records. It got me curious, but it didn't follow through. I suspect there wouldn't have been an album even if Luke Records was plush. Give me more Home Team or Bust Down any day.

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