LATEE AND THE 45 KING ROCK THE VIBES


45 King feat. Latee: Brainstrom
From For DJs Only (45 King Records, 1992)

45 King feat. Lati: Lati Rocks the Bells
From 12″ (Blazin’, 2001)

I guess the formula goes like this: 45 King beat + Latee/Lati on the mic + vibes = wickedness.

I posted up “Brainstorm” back in 2007 and I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to double it up with “Lati Rocks the Bells” at the time since the two songs, likely separated by a decade or so, share so much in common in terms of their style and literal vibe.

“Brainstorm” if you recall, is from a mega-rare 45 King EP put out in the early ’90s that was reissued in 2004 but that too has gone out of print. My man Robbie E. has the full history at Unkut.com and I clearly didn’t read his post close enough the first time since I didn’t realize there were two pressings of this[1].

Anyways, hot stuff from the 45 King/Latee team, with one of the 45 King’s signature drum breaks opening things before the vibes come trotting in. Latee showcases why he was one of the Flavor Unit’s most slept-on talents; maybe it was Wild Pitch, maybe it was just bad luck but you would have thought he was poised to really go big in the early ’90s but things never seemed to pan out that way.

Much to many folks surprise, Lati (now renamed for unclear reasons) came blasting back in 2001 with Mark again on “Lati Rocks the Bells,” an unexpected (but most welcome) 12″ pairing the two men again on yet another ridiculously hot, vibe-laced beat. According to one of our readers, the vibes on this cut are taken from a Cal Tjader song (which makes sense). Yo – will this mean we’ll see another team-up in the next few years? Make it happen.

[1] Ok, so this part is kind of embarrassing but let this be a lesson on keeping your records in order. I got a copy of this EP off of Robbie back around 2005/6 and in theory, it should still be in my collection. The problem is, the other month, when I tried to find it, I couldn’t. And when I say, “I couldn’t” I mean I went through practically everything trying to find it, including going through boxes in storage (which I almost never do) and all in vain. There is nothing more frustrating than “losing” a record in your own collection and it was bugging me so badly, I just decided to say, “f— it” and threw down for another copy. Yeah, I know, impulsive (and expensive, to say the least) but at least I have some piece of mind. One thing though: the new copy I have is what Robbie refers to as the first release – orange on one side, yellow on the other – both featuring the “Mark Head” but according to Robbie, only 50 copies exist of this and I find it rather unlikely I ended up with one of them. I could be wrong, of course, but I’m wondering if maybe there were more copies of the first pressing than was previously thought?

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