Justin Warfield: Season of the Vic
From Q.D. III Soundlab (Qwest, 1991)
For those who never heard My Field Trip to Planet 9, you likely wouldn’t even bother looking at it twice if you stumbled upon it at a record store. The cover and title make it sound like some kind of weird cosmic cowboy folk album, certainly not a psychedelic, bohemian hip-hop album but for those who dabble into it, you’ll find a strange yet oddly charming album.
Warfield was more or less “discovered” by producer QD III (also known as Quincy Jones’ son) and the two collaborated on a 1992 single called “Season of the Vic” which caught some people’s ears since it sounded, dead-on, like a Tribe Called Quest song. From there, Warfield was signed to Jones’ Qwest label and he, QD III and other guest producers like Prince Paul set out to take that trip to Planet 9. (“K Sera Sera” was one of the tunes Paul handled and I dig on its free floating soulfulness.)
Today, an album like this might have ended up on Rhymesayers or Definitive Jux – there’s more room for wacky – but in 1993, this was a very unique, if not entirely loopy, effort. You can hear all kinds of different influences floating about here: Warfield’s rhymes were never the most mind-blowing, though he sounded decent for a 20 year old. There’s definitely a lot of Native Tongues-influenced abstraction but definitely a lot of Beastie Boys (post-Paul’s Boutique) moxy too. Warfield rhymes like one of the cooler kids from Clerks – a bit of a stoner but smarter than he gives off.