I’ve spent my birthday (today) unboxing rap records, most of which haven’t been opened since 2006. This was a phenomenally stupid idea, even for me, if only because lugging 40+ lb boxes to and fro, plus sorting/purging records, is literally depressing me. Part of it is physical – my back hates me right now – but it’s also mental. I work best at tasks where I can mentally see the end but right now, that light at the end of the proverbial tunnel feels ridiculously far. The upside is rediscovering random shit in the collection. Here’s a few from this morning’s purge:
KRS-One: Hip-Hop vs. Rap (Spinbad Remix)
From 12″ (white label, 2004)
This Spinbad remix is a classic from one of his ’90s tapes, flipping the original songs that KRS shouts out on the back end of “Hip-Hop Vs. Rap.” It’s obviously multitracked but in the days before digital editing, I can only imagine how much work it took Spinbad to put this bad boy together. In any case, it got pressed up onto 12″ years later.
Bambouche of the Vanguard Squad: Operation Snatchback
From 12″ (Vanguard Squad, 2006)
My dude Bambouche does an uncredited remix of The Coup’s “Takin’ These.” Man, I miss hearing E-Rock rhyming alongside Boots.
Coolio: I Remember
From 12″ (Tommy Boy, 1994)
I’m already a sucker for “back in the day” songs but put a slick, soulful track behind it and I’m definitely all in.
Dr. Dre: My Life
From 12″ (West Coast Connection, 2001)
Even better are back in MY day songs; love autobiographical joints and the fact this uses “Everyday Loves the Sunshine” is even better. How come this never came out formally?
Cypress Hill: Ice Cube KIlla
From 12″ (Ruffhouse, 1996)
Cypress Hill accused Ice Cube of stealing beats, lyrics and choruses for his Friday soundtrack that they had planned to use on their Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom album. They recorded the dis track “No Rest For The Wicked” as a result. Ice Cube responded with “King Of The Hill” (credited to his Westside Connection group) to which Cypress Hill released “Ice Cube Killa” in response.
As far as diss cuts go, this one isn’t exactly hall of fame material; some really sloppy rhymes, combined with post-“No Vaseline” homophobic slurs that sound more comical than perhaps intended. I did enjoy the line “Muggs produced the best songs on your third album” but the irony is that this track feels hella throwaway with its “Substitution” drums and and otherwise minimal production.
Update: Totally forgot about my last “rap purge” thread from about a year ago.