Thursday, December 21, 2023

Finally! Children Of the Corn

(Okay, forces were definitely conspiring against me getting this particular video to you guys, but it's here now - the Children Of the Corn's Welcome To the Danger Zone 2LP from Dust & Dope!  Also a run-down of some other releases and interviews I've worked on, including an upcoming indie Philly restoration.  Oh, and yes, I know it's almost Christmas and I am still planning to get a holiday video up in time for that, too.  🙂  Youtube version is here.)

5 comments:

  1. Been waiting for you to break down this one! Was real fun to work on.

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  2. I literally just finished a write up on COC. I haven't read your liner notes, so I have no idea if my info overlaps yours, but here's my rundown:

    The Children of the Corn crew is famously associated with Big L, despite the fact that he actually recorded very little music with them. While L was working on his debut album in ’93, Killa Cam and his cousin Bloodshed had a local Harlem crew named Caged Fury. They performed a number of live performances and college radio shows and recorded around 30 independent songs under the production of Darrell “Digga” Branch. Often times they would invite an aspiring rapper named Murda Mase to jump on the mic.

    Killa Cam approached Big L several times to request help getting Caged Fury off the ground. But L wasn’t particularly interested, so he would always turn them down. But Killa knew that Herb McGruff was L’s right-hand man, so he asked McGruff to join the group. And once Gruff was down, Big L jumped on board.

    Under Big L’s leadership, Caged Fury changed their name to Children of the Corn in order to capitalize on the horrorcore theme L had created with his debut single, “Devil’s Son.” But because L only had an artist deal with Columbia, he didn’t have the means to properly promote the crew. And after L was dropped by Columbia, each of the other members were offered solo record deals from other labels; McGruff signed with Universal, Bloodshed and Digga singed with Freeze/Priority, Killa Cam changed his named to Cam’ron and signed with Epic, and Murda Mase changed his name to Ma$e and famously signed with Bad Boy. After Bloodshed passed away in a car crash in ’97, Children of the Corn officially disbanded.

    Anyway, “American Dream” is the only studio song ever produced featuring all five of the core members, so it’s undoubtedly Children of the Corn’s quintessential song. R.I.P. Bloodshed, he was a criminally underrated lyricist.

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  3. … also, your claim that this compilation contains “everything” is not correct. Big L, Herb McGruff, Cam’ron and Ma$e appeared on Ron G’s ‘Hell Up In Harlem.’ I think having four out of six members makes it an official COC song. But… if your argument is that an “official” COC track has to be produced by Digga, then this compilation is still missing something, which is the version of “American Dream” from J-Love’s mixtape ‘Big L-In Memory Of… Vol. 2’ which was released all the way back in 2000.

    I don’t know how, but J-Love managed to get his grubby hands on an exclusive alternate take of “American Dream” which contains some exclusive rhymes by Big L, most notably the verse “Suave and calm, dropping bombs like Saddam/I harm and strong arm tom's like John the Teflon Don.” And that version of the song has never appeared anywhere else. So while this release is awesome, it’s still not 100% complete.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's dope. One thing you touched one that we didn't is Cam asking McGruff to join to sort of lure L in.

      And true, once you get into guest spots, freestyles and all that, we didn't include *everything* everything. A more obvious exclusion is "Dangerzone" from McGruff's album. We figured you could easily get that one on his album anyway, and kept it to just the official surviving (Digga talks about some other unreleased songs he recorded but are now lost) tracks that Digga recorded with the group to be CoC songs.

      But I'm happy to report that "American Dream" demo you're talking about from the J-Love mix is on there. =) I didn't play that one in my video, but it's on the Dust & Dope LP as "Demo 2," track 19. And of course it's from the original master, so it's a huge improvement over what was on his CD.

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    2. Oh, I didn’t realize the J-Love version was Demo #2. I don’t own the album, I just listened to it once on YouTube a few months back, but now it’s been removed so I can’t check to see.

      And not to beat a dead horse, but they could’ve included the demo version of ‘Uptown Connection’ which contains alternate lines by L and a completely different verse by McGruff (“.38 revolve with the pearl / My wolves howlin’ at the moon while the world revolves in a twirl”). I don’t think that’s ever been officially released. But I guess Digga wouldn’t have access to that master, so it was probably undoable anyway.

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