Friday, October 27, 2006

Big Pun : Wishful Thinking (frrom I'm Not A Player 12")

Big Pun, Kool G Rap, Fat Joe & B-Real : Wishful Thinking (Loud, 1997)
Big Pun vs Hector Lavoe :
Never Was A Player

I never was a big fan of Big Pun.

Of course part of it is because he had a terrible taste in beats and that he always picked the most cheesy loop you can think of. It also probably has to do with the fact that I never heard one memorable line from him, not once I thought "hoo, did he just say that !".

But what really makes most of his music barely listenable was his breath. I'm not picking on him, but really, every other line when he had to breathe he made this terrible noise that not only was annoying back then, but which now stays as a dramatic hint of his bad health. And once I hear his "hrrrra" I can't focus on anything else.

But on his very first 12" he was lucky enough to work with engineers like Chris Conway who took the time to edit these noises from the final mix, because that would be really embarassing for him on a track with Kool G Rap.

Also, my man Benoit who runs just did a documentary on latin legend Hector Lavoe, that may or may not hit a tv screen near you soon. I haven't seen it yet, but that should be a good enough reason to play this mash-up of Pun & Lavoe, from the latino version of the Grey album (=an overrated mc a cappellas awkwardly blended over a pop icon samples).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

KRS One : Word Perfect (from The MC 12")

KRS One : Word Perfect (1996)
KRS One :
Neva Hadda Gun (1997)

This is the actual retail copy of KRS One's "The MC" 12" (technically it's the "Can't Stop Won't Stop" single, since that's the first song on the record). This one also had an exclusive track on it, unfortunately not as good as "Throwdown".

This 12" was released way before the "I Got Next" album, which at that time was supposed to be called "Just To Prove A Point", and the track "Word Perfect" didn't make the final cut. The beat was produced by longtime engineer Gordon Williams, also known as Commissioner Gordon, and it was the first beat he did for KRS One even though he had been making music for many year, since he's also the guy responsible for most of the tracks on Jesse West's album from 1989, and some for dancehall gal Shelly Thunder (who later did a 12" on KRS' own Front Page).

This is not exactly the version you would find on the 12". I made an edit, because Commissioner Gordon had the pretty bad idea to let an uncredited girl sing over the scratching which sounds terrible (both the girl and the cuts !).

So I don't know why KRS didn't keep the song on the album, either he didn't like it that much, or didn't feel like having two songs on the same album with cuts off Public Enemy's "Bring The Noise", which were used on "Neva Hadda Gun" as well.

Friday, October 06, 2006

KRS One & Coldcrush Brothers : The Throwdown (from The MC test press)

KRS One & Cold Crush Brother : The Throwdown (1997)
KRS One :
What I Know (1995)

I know this label may look like a joke to some, but it's not. I found this record in 1997, I was randomly listening to a pile of newly released twelve inches when I checked out this one. I was never a fan of the UMC's, but I grab that one because I liked what Essence did when she was with Natural Element, specifically her part on Shine. But instead I was treated with a KRS One track.

I don't know how that happened, but somebody messed up with the DATs at the pressing plant, and somehow, someway the Kool Kim labels end up on this KRS One test press.

Even to this day every time I see the Kool Kim 12" in a dollar bin, I check the etching on the run-out groove, if it reads KRS-001. Unfortunately I haven't found a second copy yet. So, no, I'm not a fan who scratched his name off his record after his recent column in (the best blog around these days).

Anyway, so this is the b-side of "The MC" 12", so I assume it was supposed to be on KRS One's last album*. From what i've heard KRS One had a fall out with the Cold Crush Brothers over some royalties he allegedly owed them off of the 12" they did on Front Page two years before. Honnestly, I have a hard time beleving that "Cold Crush Flava" could have generate any profit, so this rumour could be totally untrue.

This is probably the best in the catalog of songs that didn't make the final cut on a KRS album. A lot of tracks that were on the promo copy of his self titled album were not on the retail version. Like What I Know (produced by Diamond D), which was mentioned in the album review in The Source, but was never released officially.

* : yeah, I know about Sneak Attack, Spiritual Minded, Prophets & Profits, Kristyle(s), Keep Right and Life, But I'd rather act like a true fan would : buy them and then pretend none of them ever existed.