Jaz: Hypocritters & It’s Just That Simple
From To Your Soul EP (EMI, 1990)

These days, Jaz-O is best known as the guy who put Jay-Z on and then started beefing with his former protogé but long, long before Jay was J-Hova, he was just this young kid lucky enough to be in the same orbit as Jaz (no “O”), a rapper who wielded a bad ass rhyme flow that could’ve gone head-to-head with Big Daddy Kane. He’s best known, strangely, for “Hawaiian Sophie,” which wasn’t really a gag song (though it should have been) but if you need to be down with any one release, track down Jaz’s 1990 EP.

How are you going to go wrong with a six song EP that has DJ Mark the 45 King doing two tracks, Large Professor handling another pair and Prince Paul with the closer? I’m lacing ya’ll with two off this – the first is an Extra P production, “Hypocritters” (also released as its own single), one of those classic early ’90s fast rap joints. LP’s beat is definitely Breakin Atoms era – sly, slick and funky. As good as it is though, I’ve always been all about “It’s Just That Simple,” a song feat. Jay-Z on the cameo tip and Prince Paul on the boards. I love this track – its playfulness and charm speaks for itself – and Jaz and Jay-Z have such great chemistry on the track, tag-teaming lines with quick-witted skill. I wish they had put this out on 12″ – would have loved to have an instrumental version of the track.

By the way: I have a podcast in the works but just haven’t had the time to sit down and work it out. Fear not though – the next one will be highlighting some excellent new music coming our way in January, including material by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and selections from Ubiquity’s outstanding Rewind series, now entering its fourth installment.