Sunday, June 16, 2024

Dreams of Druggin' an R&B Hoe

Ten years(!) ago, I made a video covering the extensive history of "Dreams" records, where everybody from Ill Bill to Thirstin Howl III created their own sequels to Biggie Smalls' infamous 1994 B-side "I'm Just Playin'" a.k.a. "Dreams of Fuckin' an R&B Bitch."  There was nine of 'em if you count The Game's "Dreams."  To commemorate the anniversary, let's make it an even ten.  And to make it more interesting, this one's by one of The Cosnarati, Bill Cosby's rap group from the 2000s.

Prior to signing with the Cos, Newark rapper JACE ("Jamal Always Causin' Evil") the Great had been self-releasing records on his own label, 48/35 Wrekords.  There's no date on "F**kin R&B Hoes (pt. 2)," but he dedicates the record to the memory of "the late B.I.G.," so this is at least post-1997.  Oh, and he has a line about Jada being married, so at least 1998.  But he has another line about giving Stella her groove back, so it's probably not too much later than that, or it would've been a pretty played out reference.  So you could honestly probably call this "Pt. 3," in the "Dreams" chronology, between Lil Kim and Ras Kass, making Jace a relatively early adopter.

The song is exactly what you'd expect: Jace spitting dirty couplets about famous female R&B singers and (other randomly famous black women) over the "Top Billin'" break like "I heard Toni Braxton likes it in the ass with a dildo, but I got somethin' real, though."  Instead of that famous James Brown funk guitar loop, though, he's got a much softer guitar sound, which sounds like it's live in the studio.  So it's okay, but definitely not as compellingly head nodding.  And it doesn't seem to be online, so I'll give you some more of what he says on here:

"I used to have a crush on Halle Berry, now she wants to fuck me, Tom and Jerry.  Monica, deep throat this whole dick.  Fuck it, while you at it, blow my whole clique.  Tyra Banks' pussy probably stank.  Had a whole train ran on her in a No Limit tank.  Mister Silk Shocker broke her off proper; she mastered P and C Murder got locked up.  Aaliyah, when I see her, I'ma tell her myself: it was wrong how she fucked R Kelly to get on."
  He ends it all with, "I meant no disrespect to any of y'all hoes.  If I offended y'all, fuck it, that's how the game goes."  

The other tracks on here are mostly weighed down by some boring, low-fi production.  "Tell Em Niggas" is about how his whole crew is obsessed with making money.  "Gray Sky" is the best, albeit helped in no small part by a jacked beat.  Jace brings it back to Biggie by rhyming about his own struggles over the "Juicy" instrumental, asking "is your friend your friend when he sells coke to your mother, tricks your sister and sells dope to your brother?"  And "Paper Chase" is a short track dissing an ex-girlfriend who tried to take advantage of him.  "You want to travel the world at my expense, have a condo and want me pay the rent?  you's a big dreamin' bitch, money hungry schemin' bitch, conniving, lying, sneaky and freaky bitch.  I gotta admit, you's a slick bitch, 'cause I ain't give you shit, and you still a rich bitch."

Hey, all my female readers, how're you doing out there?  😬  Anyway, I think it's a safe bet Mr. Cosby never heard this record.  Not that he's known for treating women any better, obviously, but Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State Of Emergency was clearly meant to be a message-driven project.  It's completely clean and, as it used to say on billcosby,com, "an album of music with messages reflecting today’s most critical issues affecting young people. Created to engage listeners and lead them to take action... Two years in the making, 'State of Emergency' adds new meaning to the phrase 'message in the music.' Tackling such social issues as self-respect, peer pressure, abuse and education... The project’s 14 tracks integrate frank, positive messages with a progressive mix of hip-hop, R&B, jazz, pop, funk and rock. The result is a strong, cohesive narrative that doesn’t rely on profanity, misogyny, materialism or ego exercising to deliver its powerful impact."

It's a 2009 "available exclusively at" CD-only release (and digital, natch), and yes, I actually copped it.  Why, you might ask?  Well, obviously I got it cheap used, and I thought one day I'd cover it on this site, because... would you believe?  This album is produced by Ultramagnetic MC himself, Ced Gee, along with his usual collaborator Billy "Spaceman" Patterson?

So how is it?  Unfortunately, it's pretty bland.  I mean, you'd've been a fool to expect another Critical Beatdown in '07, but still.  Cosby doesn't rap or otherwise add his voice to this project.  Although he's credited with the "song story concepts," I'm guessing he left it to the MCs to write their own raps.  It's neither bad enough to be enjoyed like a silly "Superbowl Shuffle" style novelty record, or good enough that you'd actually choose to put it in your deck instead of some other CD.  It's kinda just slow and plodding.  The production is okay - for instance a song called "Runnin" actually sounds kinda cool and atmospheric - but it all sacrifices energy for live instrumentation.  The title track uses blaring horns to sound like an emergency siren, which at least echoes superior work by Public Enemy.  Cosby himself is credited with a few of those instruments himself on a couple of songs, but I don't know if he's actually playing anything on these tracks or if it's just because all the credited samples come from old Cosby records.  And just like the Jace 12" above, the MCing is okay, but there's never a point you'd say anyone killed it.  I think this was just a highlight in their resumes... you know, before the drugging and sexual assault trials.

But yeah, Jace is the main rapper here, appearing on all but one song.  He even has a solo track at the end called "I Wish," about regrets, which is a stand-out track lyrically because his tales of personal tragedy feel authentic.  Meanwhile, Brother Hahz, a.k.a. Hahz the Rippa is on almost every other song with him, specifically eleven tracks.  Hahz also put out a couple indie 12"s in the 90s and eventually became a part of celebrity boxer Roy Jones Jr.'s Hip-Hop side hustle, Body Head Entertainment.  And one other guy, Supernova Slom, appears on a couple of songs.  His website describes him as "a multifaceted artist, musician, holistic healer, and wellness coach" who co-founded Supa Mega Foods, a plant-based supplement company.

Anyway, there's a new auto-tune kid who's been kinda usurping the name Jace nowadays, but Jace the Great is still out there.  He's active on Twitter and did a solid song for the Black Lives Matter movement.  He's also on a dope Gee Rock track with Percee-P and Lakim Shabazz, and comes off pretty nice on it.  "F**kin R&B Hoes" features uncut versions of all four tracks, plus clean edits of 'Hoes" and "Tell Em," an unfortunately clean Acapella version of "Hoes" and the instrumental for "Tell Em."  As you can see, it comes in a sticker cover, which artfully includes an incomplete list of his targets.  Oh, and I'm being a little snarky with the title of this post, but just to be clear: I'm absolutely not conflating some dirty old sex raps with what Cosby keeps getting accused of doing.  I wouldn't exactly call this record tasteful, but if you have the other nine "Dreams," how can you not want this 12" in your crates, too?

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