Whenever I head off to Espacio 1839 to do my Radio Sombra show, I always take a few minutes to riffle through whatever new records have come into the bins. This week, I came across a very cool A&M promo that the label sent out when Melvin Van Peebles released his second album, Ain’t Supposed To Die a Natural Death. The promo packet was generous, to say the least. Not only did it include full commercial copies of both the new album and his previous A&M release, Brer Soul but they also included a 8×10 glossy headshot, a 1971 clipping from Time Magazine, another clipping from Life Magazine, and the label’s own bio/promo notes for the new LP. A&M was clearly attempting to capitalize on the fame MVP had come into off the incredible success of both the movie and soundtrack for his Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassssss Song, which came out between Brer Soul and Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death.
These were not the kind of albums to generate “singles” – they’re basically spoken word set to music though sample hounds will associate “Come On Feet” with Quasimoto while the cut “I Got the Blood” had parts that go worked into Blackalicious’s “Attica Black“.