Thursday, August 30, 2007
Run DMC : Proud To Be Black (Profile, 1987)
Hidden at the very end of Raising Hell and on the b side of "It's Tricky", "Proud To Be Black" was (one of ?) the first in a trend of black consciousness rap.
While it came out in 86, more than a year before Public Enemy's first record, Proud To Be Black was inspired by Chuck D.
Run DMC were hanging around the Spectrum City posse since their first 12", Run DMC gave their very first interview to Chucky D for the Spectrum Mix Show on Adelphi's WBAU. The legend says that one day of november 1985 Jam Master Jay was with Mike D and MCA in Dr Dre's show on WBAU when Dre played a tape of "Public Enemy Number One" that Chuck and Hank had made. The Beastie Boys left with a new DJ, and Jay left with the tape that he would bring to Rick Rubin and Russel Simmons.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Run DMC : Hit It Run (Profile, 1986) (DivShare)
I wonder why Run is never mentioned when people talk about the best beatboxers. Oh, sure, he's not very good, but neither are Biz Markie nor Doug E. Fresh. The Biz got props for making a song about beat box where you barely hear him beatboxing, and while Doug E Fresh sold a million copies of "La Di Da Di", his performance on the song is not impressive.
Hit It Run was DMC's solo, like most tracks on Raising Hell ("Peter Piper", "My Adidas", "Is It Live", "Perfection", "Son Of Byford", "Proud To Be Black") it begins with an a cappella intro before Jay drop the beat. DMC's deep voice, Jam Master Jay's cuts and Run's beatbox chorus divert your attention from the simplicity of the lyrics. Here it's mostly the voice that gets you up...
Monday, August 20, 2007
Run DMC : Peter Piper (Profile, 1986) (DivShare)
Contrary to what Glen E. Friedman once said, Walk This Way was not the first Profile 12" with a picture sleeve. Before releasing the lead single off Raising Hell they first came out with this "street single", as we call them now. It's also the very first record which bear their famous logo, very basic design and color scheme put together by Haze. He later used the same idea of stripes and letters for EPMD and then for OBR records' logo.
While My Adidas is a great track, it was immediately overshadowed by the opening track of Raising Hell, the nursery rhyme inspired ode to Jam Master Jay. With so many lines bigging up the DJ, said with the natural authority of Run and DMC, it didn't take long for this one to become a classic, a DJ competition staple. I couldn't name one DJ who didn't used Peter Piper in one of his routines.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Run DMC : Sucker MC's (Profile, 1983) (DivShare)
24 years after the facts it's easy to say that it was an obvious mistake to put Sucker MC's on the B side of It's Like That. As much as I like it I have to admit it's a little bit corny. Most would think that keeping it on the B side was a label decision and that Run DMC had to fight with Cory Robbins, Manny Bella and Steve Plotnicki to release Sucker MC's, but actually DMC described the classic as a throwaway track. Go Figure...
Now may be someone can enlight me on something : how comes every copy of It's Like That I've seen reads : Sucker MC's (Krush-Groove 1). They had no idea they would do a movie named Krush Groove when their first 12" came out. Does that mean that I've never seen an original copy of the record ? Same question for the LP, the album came out march 1984, long before they though about doing a movie.
The track was released years later also on the B side of the UK pressing of You Talk Too Much, which is actually the first Run DMC 12" with a picture cover.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Peanut Butter Wolf : The Chronicles (I Will Always Love H.E.R.) (2Kool, 1996)
Peanut Butter Wolf : When You Feel Good, Things Can Turn (2Kool, 1996)
Grand : I Can't Understand (demo)
Encore : Untitled (demo)
Encore & Grand : Story (demo)
Some A&R must be totally death to hide the best track on the B side. In this case I think that the guy who took the decision to put "The Chronicles (I Will Always Love H.E.R.)" on the B side didn't actually listen to the song. That or he thought that everybody knew the song from Return Of The DJ, which kinda make sense (the version here is different though).
I'm not really sure why they call that the Lunar Props EP, since with all due respect to Peanut Butter Wolf, "Lunar Props" (as the name implies) is more like a study on Black Moon's "Who Got The Props". It's a cool variation of Evil Dee's composition, not a track you would spend $6 for. Hate to say it but it's the least interesting of the EP. They could have call it the When You Feel Good, Things Can Turn EP, but that's a bit long for a title.
But really, as a big fan of cut & paste, I have to say that "The Chronicles (I Will Always Love H.E.R.)" is probably the best of it's kind. I bet Cut Chemist, Steinski and Coldcut are actually happy that this track is less known than their Lessons/Beats & Pieces etc... because it's shitting on anything they did in the genre. Opting for a chronological approach Chris Manak is collecting his favorite hip-hop breaks and samples from "Rockin'It" to "I Used To Love H.E.R." and cutting vocals from famous rap tracks. The 12" also include an instrumental, that doesn't have scratches or vocals, a bit like the "Giant Wall Crawling Insect Breaks" 12" by The Herbaliser.
The last part of the song is made up of three beats by the little known Dreas, whose demo was unhearth by the now defunct blog My Fist In Your Face. You can still get some tracks here Grand : I Can't Understand ; Encore demo ; Encore & Grand : Story.