Thursday, June 29, 2006

Cypress Hill - "Hand on the Pump"

Cypress Hill's first album from 1991 is one of the first albums I ever heard and thought, wow, hip-hop is really starting to branch out. This album had production and instrumentation (mostly by DJ Muggs) I had never heard before. In fact, at the time I remember it being one of the only hip hop albums I owned where the lyrics sort of didn't matter. The sounds were so unusual for the time.

This song is very indicative of the West Coast drugs and gangs culture of the early 1990s. I think it's hot. Cypress was basically all about smoking weed and shooting people (which is why I was drawn to them, being that those are also my favorite two activities). This song is just badass, and it uses as sample from the song "Duke of Earl." Now who woulda thought to pull that one off? There is also a certain fluid artistry to the video that I appreciate.

(This is the explicit version of the song. It was followed up by the equally good, if not better, "Hand on the Glock." Same chorus, but slightly different intstrumental.)

Comin at you like a stiff blow, f**kin up your program
Ain't takin s**t from you him or no man
Master mind maniac and a menace, soooo
How they want to pass sentence
All because a nigga tried to play me on the trigger
He missed, so now the n***a's hist
Rude and crude like a pitbull, get to the point
Your f**kin car to get pulled, now
I'm headed up the river with a boat and no paddle
And I'm handin out beatdowns
I'm headed up the river with a boat and no paddle
And I'm handin out beatdowns [get your face down!]
Put me in chains, try to beat my brains
I can get out, but the grudge remains
When I see ya punk 4ss, I'm gonna getcha
F**king do ya
Shotgun goes boo-yaa!

L. L. Cool J - "Big Ole Butt"

What is better than a girl's big ole booty? Almost nothing. That's why white boys like me rejoiced back in 1988 when L.L. released this ode to the rumpasaurus rex. So enthralled with the backside is Uncle L that he shows almost no loyalty to his current girlfriend. He will be dating a girl, and then when he finds another girl with an equally large posterior, he will leave the current girl for the new one. What's worse is that he had told the exes that he would be true.

The part of the song I am still confused about is why he is leaving the previous girl for the next girl, when all the girls featured in the videos have large behinds. It's not like he's saying, "Lisa got a bigger but than you." He's just saying that Lisa has a big ole butt. But if the previous girlfriend has a big old butt already, then why doesn't he just stick with the old one? He says nothing about falling in love with the new girl, or that they have a really special connection, or that they have the same interests. All he has to go by is the measurements of the new girl's keister.

Ironically, in real life L.L. was married at the time, and has been married to the same woman for about 20 years. I wonder how SHE felt about all this big ole butt business!

I went to Red Lobster for shrimp and steak
Around the time whe the waitress are on their lunch break
I pulled in the parkin' lot and parded my car
Somebody shouted out, "I don't care who you are"
I paid it no attention, I walked inside
Because Brian had a nine and he was chillin' in the ride
I walked in the place, everybody was lookin'
And shrimp and steak wasn't the only thing cookin'
I sat down to eat, ordered my food
I said to the waitress, "I don't men to be rude
But I'll take you on a platter"
She said, "You got a girl," I said, "It don't matter
You look like you're tastier than a pipin' hot pizza
What's your name?" She said, "My tag says Lisa"
I said, "O.K., you're smart and all that
But when you get off work, yo, I'll be back"
She looked at me and said, "Make yourself clear
L, where we going?" I said, "Right here"

Fu Schnickens - "La Schmoove"

Some like "Ring the Alarm," others prefer "True Fu-Schnick." But I always thought "La Schmoove" was the best single from the 1992 F.U.: Don't Take it Personal album. This one features Phife from A Tribe Called Quest.

Fu-Schnickens were an interesting group, though not very prolific. They had three MC's: Moc-Fu, Poc-Fu and Chip-Fu, none of which were Asian. Moc and Poc were solid rappers, neither that outstanding but decent. Chip was a freakshow, like Das EFX sped up. He never really said anything, but he had a backward technique he would use on some songs which was really quite remarkable. I mean, we all know that can't nobody rap faster than Daddy Freddy, but Chip-Fu came darn close.

But after this first album came out, they hired Shaquille O'Neal to co-star on their song "What's Up Doc? (Can We Rock?)" as Shaq-Fu. He later parlayed this limited set into a mediocre rap career of his own. Oh, and they released a greatest hits album after two albums, the second of which was a piece of crap. Still, this song is kinda cool.

'Leave it to Beaver'-arriva, derci, Heavens to mercy ba FU sayanora
adios muchachos dorme vous unbuckle my Fu-Schnick shoe
Mr., Chip Fu, about to wreck shop
With the Judo (CHOP!) a Judo (CHOP!) a Judo chop CHOP!
Yo, zilch kaput me nada none son, I don't think so, so take a look at
a Superfly big Jimmy the Honeynut Cheerio Bee
ba schnicker bah snchnucker
I ams what I ams that's all what I ams, My lyrics are never done
I'm the big John Elmer Glue the Elmer the Fudd, Al Bundy the Bud Light stud
Come like tongues lashes, with the quickness, Moc and Poc is, my witness
Ask the Kung about my tongue and the styles that I brung instead
I'm the Ali Babi cutty rankin shuba-dib-da-dabble
Jaw Boy Wonder Bread dread, BUM BA READ
These lyrics ah-come out of mi head, BUM BA READ
Mr. Chip Fu's gon stay' di-di, da-di-di, dra-dread
You said I couldn't rap, but I really wrecked shop
and I don't stop drop, I get props
I pick up the mic drop a style and pattern and fashion
and all MC's jaws drops down
My accent, you're mockin, my clothes, you're clockin
Rippin MC's to smithereens to their ribbidy-diddiby-Pippi Long-STOCKINGS
So don't step to Chip, I'm on the La Schmoove tip
You'll say "Drats I really failed again plus he sank my Babble-ship"
So oooh, s**t G, wa-wa or biscuit?
Rip it and be specific doin it terrific when I kicks it
Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang, Pepe LePew, Pepe LePew
La Schmoove, yo I ain't got NUTTIN to prove!

Monday, June 26, 2006

MC Serch - "Back to the Grill"

The video is kinda lame, and the beat is kinda corny, but the song itself is a classic. With it's killer "Back to the grill again, the grill again" chorus, it is one of the definitive "posse cuts" of its era. It features MC Serch, Red Hot Lover Tone, Chubb Rock and some no-name called Nasty Nas (now simply known as "Nas," whatever he's doing now).

Lots of great things happen in this song. First of all, Red Hot Lover Tone gives the original George Bush "nuff props." Nas talks about waving automatic guns at nuns. And one of my favorite lines of all time is in it: "Jump jump with the man, with a plan, Chubb Rock." (If they could have only added the "A you know, a judo, a chop-chop-chop" part I would have a bulge in my pants.)

Finesser, keep a Tech-9 in my dresser
Lyrical professor, keep you under pressure
Mind like a computer, the inserter
Paragraphs of murder, the nightclub flirter
This is Nas, kid, you know how it runs
I'm waving automatic guns at nuns
Sticking up the preachers in the church, I'm a stone crook
Serial killer, who works by the phone book
For you I got a lot to shoot my songs in here
My rhymes are hotter than a prostitute with ghonnerea
On the mic I let vocabulary spill
(It's like that y'all) That y'all, kick em in the grill

House of Pain - "Jump Around" (Pete Rock Remix)

Since we have all heard the original "Jump Around" about a million times since 1992, it would be rather superfluous for me to show that one. Instead, I present to you the not necessarily superior, but far less-played, Pete Rock remix. The trademark horns are an interesting counterpoint to the video. The vocals are exactly the same, but the wailing Prince sample is gone and it's much more laid back. The video is identical.

I just have to say one thing about this song -- and Tony DiGiacomo, you can say what you want -- it was the greatest white rap song of its era, and maybe the best white person rap song until Company Flow came along.

When I first heard this song, it was 1992, and my sophomore year of high school was just winding up. I was watching "Hangin' with MTV" hosted by John Norris. He said they were going to be right back with a trio of Irish rappers called House of Pain. I had never heard of them before, and thought for sure it would be some jokey Digable Planets-rate lyrics and some corny Irish imagery. Instead, it was a dirty song with a hot beat, and the video took place with filthy Irishmen in a bar and at the St. Patrick's Day parade. As soon as I saw Everlast in this video, I shaved my head and started trying to grow facial hair. That's a true story.

(This video does not include the additional Pete Rock verse toward the end. And if you absolutely MUST see the original version, click here.)

I'll serve your ass like John McEnroe
If your steps up, I'm smacking the hoe
Word to your moms, I came to drop bombs
I got more rhymes than the bible's got Psalms
And just like the Prodigal Son I've returned
Anyone stepping to me you'll get burned
Cause I got lyrics but you ain't got none
So if you come to battle bring a shotgun
But if you do you're a fool, cause I duel to the death
Try and step to me, you'll take your last breath
I gots the skill, come get your fill
Cause when I shoot the gift I shoot to kill

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Kool Moe Dee - "Wild Wild West"

I think this video is awesome. Say what you want about Mr. Mohandas Dewese, but that brother could make some cool videos.

The wild west theme here -- with the pallbearers carrying the coffin and the snow on the ground -- make it a different video, and very cinematic. The other guys in the video look awesome in their stoic, angry wild west gear, and Moe Dee himself looks surprisingly cool with the cowboy hat, red leather jacket and Star Trek shades.

The lyrics are also very cool about basically how Moe Dee and his crew had to lock down their neighborhood. Putting it in a wild west video makes the song and subject more interesting, for some odd reason. Also, this was back in the days when you could still show a dance-off in a video and it not be gay.

I remember parties out in the park
With the girlies, rubbing up in the dark
I was smooth, until someone pulled a gun
It was over, they spoiled my fun
I was flying, just like a track star
Dying, nah, I ran through the back yard
Trying to get into my building
Thinking, "Why in the heck won't somebody kill them?"
One day the fellas got together
They vowed that no one would ever
Come on our block, and terrorize us
The gangs that used to do it, now they idolize us
Guns, we don't like to use them
Unless, our enemies choose them
We prefer to fight you on like a man
And beat you down with our hands and bodyslam you at the...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Onyx - "Throw Ya Gunz"

This song was creepy as hell when it came out back in 1992-93. That dungeon-like piano riff, along with the crazy bald guys throwing their arms wildly about. A guy licking an axe?

The album was called Bacdafucup, and although I can't count how many people from NYC told me that they were a bunch of wusses that got their asses kicked in high school, that album is solid. Some really great songs on there: "Slam," "Bichasniguz," "Atak of da Bal-Hedz," "Da Nex Niguz," and this one. They also spawned a couple of imitators (such as Hoodratz) that were like Demolition to their Road Warriors. (That is a pretty obscure 1980s pro wrestling reference right there, folks.)

Suave, Fredro Starr, Sticky Fingaz and Big D.S. were the four baldies, and Big D.S. was kicked out on the next album. (Didn't miss much there.) And Sticky is going to be playing the TV version of the comic/movie "Blade." What the...?

Just in the nick of time, I commit the perfect crime
Rip my heart, from my chest, put it right into a rhyme (YEAH!)
I don't feel pain cause it's all in the mind
And what's - mines is mines and, yours is mine
Don't f**kin blink or I'ma rob yo' 4ss blind
Onyx, is rippin s**t, I got the tech nine
So what the plumber got boy buck buck buck buck
It's like a catastrophe, f**kin with me G
I'm a bald head with a kinfe
I want your money or your life
So, so, so, so?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Everlast and RZA - The Early Years

This song is so godawful I am almost ashamed of putting it up here, but I had to.

This song is terrible even by early 1990s pseudo-world music standards. It features some singer with the generic-ass name of Diva, Rhyme Syndicate stalwart Donald D (in a surprisingly weak verse) and Ice-T, who sounds robotic even by his standards.

But the best part is Everlast (later to be of House of Pain) himself, who toggles between the floppy-haired Harry Connick wannabe to doo-rag wearin' urbanite. I actually own this album, and why they picked this piece of crap song, that has almost no lyrics, and a terrible club beat, is completely beyond me. They would have been much better off releasing "F--- Everyone" off that same album. At least it would have been honest.

I'm Everlast born to be a caucasian
But it makes no difference what persuasion you are
As long as you know how to get up
Get on the floor and start workin' a sweat up
To a musical measure that makes you move
As soon as the needle drops into the groove
So get up and dance to the gift I'm giving,
Forget about your troubles get into the rhythm


But if you think that's out of character, check out this old video from the RZA, when he was still known as Prince Rakeem. It's a song about how girls love him and he can simply not bring himself to saying now.

This "Big Poppa"-esque song reeks of persona overhaul. I can't imagine that the RZA, later of Wu-Tang Clan and the Gravediggaz, would have come up with this concept on his own. The song is kind of tongue-in-cheek, but damn if he isn't trying to come off like Big Daddy Kane in this song. It's just so very odd.

When I walk down the block
The girls stop and glock
They hop on my jock
Cause I got mad props
Tall & slim with the brown skin conflection
Half them sweating my love and affection
As I collect them, I must wan't to protect them
Love them deeply, but never disrespect them
I keep a tab on the large amount
But sometimes I find myself losing count
Of Latika, Diane, Lisa
Stephanie, Jackie, Teresa
Sharonda, um um, Veronica
Latasha, Sinthia & Monica
Never the less, you must give respect
To the femine queens that the God selects
I love them all, but even though
I'm rather happy, I should of said no
But yet my ego gets in the way
And always something that I'll never say
I'd just bag them, keep 'em under my wing
Put them in a posse, and let them sing

Sir Mix-A-Lot - "My Hooptie"

Before "Baby Got Back" made Sir Mix-A-Lot the king of ribald rhymes about women's jiggling body parts, he was a sardonic Seattle rapper who talked about other amusing topics. But this is his magnum opus, as far as I'm concerned. A song about a crappy car. It was the first time I had ever heard the term "hooptie" to refer to a piece of junk auto.

Honestly, in this era of people talking about their Escalades and whatever other hot car is in fashion these days, isn't it refreshing to hear a rapper talk about how shitty his car is? I'd have to say yes.

(The sound quality on this is less than stellar, and it's slightly different than the album version. But you get the idea.)

My hooptie rollin', tailpipe draggin'
Heat don't work an' my girl keeps naggin'
Six-nine Buick, deuce keeps rollin'
One hubcap 'cause three got stolen
Bumper shook loose, chrome keeps scrapin'
Mis-matched tires, and my white walls flakin'
Hit mickey-d's, Maharaji starts to bug
He ate a quarter-pounder, threw the pickles on my rug
Runnin', movin' tabs expired
Girlies tryin' to dis 'n say my car looks tired
Hit my brakes, out slid skittles
Tinted back window with a bubble in the middle
Who's car is it? Posse won't say
We all play it off when you look our way
Rollin' four deep, tires smoke up the block
Gotta roll this bucket, 'cause my Benz is in the shop

Eric B & Rakim - "Juice (Know the Ledge)"

Flashback time.

It's Christmas of 1991 and I'm watching Rap City after school. Rakim had just released a song called "I Wanna Know What's On Your Mind" which was an R&B song that did not blow my skirt up too much. So when they said they were going to show a debut video from Rakim, I refrained from yawning.

What followed was one of the best basslines in any rap song ever, and also one of the best lyrics. It's from the very mediocre movie Juice featuring Omar Epps and a young, pre-Thug Tupac Shakur. Regardless, Rakim absolutely demolishes this song, with possibly his best lyrical display ever. Who else could reference Elliot Ness, Al Pacino and Anwar Sadat in the same song?

The R was the s**t, and I can smell him from here.

Shells lay around on the battleground
Dead bodies are found throughout the town.
Tried to put shame in my game to make a name, I'm a
Put it on a bullet, put it in your brain.
Rip the block like a buckshot,
Who cares where it goes, just keep the casket closed,
No remorse when a life is lost
I paid my dues- paid the cost!
...And my pockets are still fat,
Wherever I'm at, I get the welcome mat.
Even if my crew steep with one deep
I attract attention, people like to peep
So come say hi to the badguy
Don't say goodbye, I don't plan to die!
'Cause I get loose and I got troops
And crazy juice!

Stetsasonic - "No B.S. Allowed"

No, this is not some sort of warning to keep me -- and anyone else with my initials -- out, this is a very obscure song by Stetsasonic. You may remember their big hit, "Talkin' All That Jazz," or you may not. They were considered the first "hip hop band" before the Roots or Smokin Suckas with Logic. (Who? Exactly.) Although the only element that really made them anything like a band was Bobby Simmons on the drums. Actually they have Simmons on the drums AND DBC on the drum machine! Name another group that has both!

The six-man crew had more talent than one might have guessed from much of their output. Daddy-O came a bit of a hip hop elder statesment, notably on his work with Freestyle Fellowship. Fruitkwan later went on to join the Gravediggaz. Prince Paul is one of the best and most creative producers around. DBC, Delite and Wise didn't go on to do much, but they were fun, weren't they? But to be fair, I think Delite was actually like 45 years old.

What I like about this song is the live drums and the horn flourishes. Despite their occasional shortcomings, Stet was good at mixing up their beats and adding interesting instrumentation. None of the MC's in the group was that outstanding, but they were a good mix. And the live drums are kinda hot on this song.

(Oh, and in case you didn't know, B.S. stands for "bullsh!tters.")

Let's get this straight - rappers are a dime a dozen
Some were around from the start, some wasn't
Some are okay on the lyrical tip
But some of these bums, they ain't say shit
I happen to know that some of think they can throw on
Thought we were soft cause of Float On
But we ain't soft, who you think we are, Jeckyll and Hyde?
You been watching too much _Tales from the Darkside_
Or drinking too much, or smoking the crackpipe
Man, instead rag your ass on the mic
So now, me and you face to face, any time and place
Your choice, wanna test your voice
With the O-d-a-d Doctor of -tology
Teacher of youth and MC's without couth
Better call in a bomb squad, cause I'm gonna blow
You and your voice and your rhyme out the window

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sage Francis vs Alius - Freestyle Battle

This is a pretty hot freestyle battle between two white boys: Alius and a very thin Sage Francis. The video quality sucks and the audio isn't great, but you can tell there is a lot of energy. It took place somewhere called the 1999 Superbowl. But I don't see John Elway anywhere.

It looked like my boy Sage was going to lose it before he came back with a very strong third round. That cracker can rock it when he wants to.

Masta Ace vs. Boogieman - Freestyle Battle

This a-cappella battle took place at the Lyricist Lounge, hosted by that legendary freestyler ... Ice-T?

Anyway, anyone who knows me or anything about me knows that I love Master Ace (yes, Master Ace, not Masta Ase). In fact, it's usually the first thing I tell anyone about myself. And his "Born to Roll" phase notwithstanding, Ace is awesome.


I must say that this Boogieman character pretty much destroys Ace in this freestyle. I wish someone would show this to those clowns on that "Yo Momma" show to see what a real dis-fest is like. Boogieman can now tell all his coworkers at the Carnegie Deli that on one special day, he ripped up a rap legend.

Tha Alkaholiks - "Make Room" / "Last Call"

When I first hear the 'Liks on King Tee's "I Got It Bad Ya'll" (video forthcoming) I thought they were great but destined to be one of those one-off groups that made one video or one obscure album and then would fade into obscurity.

But the 'Liks were surprisingly solid and prolific. This song (off the excellent 21 and Over album) is full of great punchline lyrics and jokey raps about drinking and getting into trouble.

This video showcases two of their great songs: "Make Room" is a funky little ditty where Tash shows he is one of the most out-of-nowhere, underrated lyricists around. But my favorite part of the video is where it morphs into the "Last Call" song and Tash says, "It's time to roll my sleeves up, [THWACK] a few MC's up..." That THWACK sound is the best thing I've ever heard. One question that always has bothered me though: Tash says, "I never drink and drive cuz I might spill my drink / I failed the breathalyzer so they took me to the clink." If you don't drink and drive, why would you fail the breathalyzer? Think about it!!!!!

You don't have to be a drunk to love the 'Liks ... but it helps!

The super, duper, gets it poppin with the quickness
King tee and the alkies straight gettin down to business
It’s all about the liks cause we’re heavy on the kicks
But we’re easy on the treble (adjust my mic level)
So fools can here me mic checkin all the way in china
The skills you can’t front on, tha alkaholik rhymer
Could rip a show up to’ up so I always flex my talents
But my words don’t be slurrin, I never lose my balance
But that’s cause I’m slick tossin bottles like a discus
The liks could rock a party from halloween to christmas
That’s why I’m screamin on mc’s like I’m onyx
I’m hooked on gin and tonics like your momma’s hooked on phonics

Ice Cube - St. Ide's Commercial

Some of you may think I am obsessed with Ice Cube. Not so, for while I admire his earlier material, I think he has gone soft. I mean this is the guy who wrote "F--- Tha Police"! And now he's doing kids movies??? For shame...

Which makes this old St. Ides commercial so refreshing. It's the young, dirty, Jheri-curled Cube walking down a decrepit street, singing the praises of malt liquor. Not only does Ice Cube reveal that he lives in a "glass house" (wha?) but that St. Ides will serve the dual purpose of "get(ting) your girl in the mood quicker," and ... also ... in addition to that, "get(ting) your jimmy thicker." I'm heading to the 7-11 now.

M.O.P. - "How About Some Hardcore?"

What a weird title. Wouldn't you think that if someone was going to bring some hardcore they would just bring it and not actually ask you if you wanted it? Still, I don't think there is any doubt that M.O.P. was the shit back in the day. Someone described M.O.P. as what would happen if Redman and Kool G Rap formed a group. Now, I'm not sure either Billy Danziene or Li'l Fame is as good as his respective rapping counterpart, but their flow was intoxicating to me. And that To The Death album is a keeper, too.

This video is very low budget, but I'm thinking that one of the reasons the production value is so spotty is to add the closed-captioning for the hearing impaired throughout the video. Instead of just adding a couple of highlighted lyrics here and there throughout the video, we get the entire transcript. And it's all done in that faux graf/tagger style that was so in vogue at the time. (If it were made today, it would probably be in that shiny, diamond-encrusted Pen-n-Pixel style.) [Note: The aforementioned captioned video couldn't be found, but this original version will hopefully suffice.]

THIS was underground hip hop in 1994.

Yo, I scream on n****s like a rollercoaster
To them wack muthaf**kas, go hang it up like a poster
N****s get excited, but don't excite me
Don't invite me, I'm splittin n****s' heads where the white be
Try to trash this, this little bastard'll blast it
Only puttin n****s in comas and caskets
I ain't a phony, I put the 'mack' in a -roni
I leave you lonely (Yeah, yeah, get in his 4ss, homie)
Up in your anus, I pack steel that's stainless
We came to claim this, and Li'l Fame'll make you famous
I mack hoes, rock shows and stack dough
Cause I'm in effect, knockin muthaf**kas like five-o
I'm catchin other n****s peepin, s**t, I ain't sleepin
I roll deep like a muthaf**kin Puerto-Rican
So when I write my competition looks sadly
For broke-4ss n****s I make it happen like Mariah Carey
I got s*t for niggas that roll bold
Li'l Fame is like a orthopedic shoe, I got mad soul
I'ma kill em before I duck em
Because yo, mother made em, mother had em and muthaf**k em

Fab 5 (Heltah Skeltah & O.G.C.) - "Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka"

This was one of the hottest songs of 1995-96, with Rockness Monstah & Sean "Ruck" Price (from Heltah Skeltah) and Starang Wondah, Louisville Sluggah & Top Dawg (from Originoo Gun Clappaz) ripping it in succession with very few breaks in the song.

This song epitomizes everything that was fantastic about the Boot Camp Clik (the original one, not that bulls--t Mystikal group). They were all interchangeable, with different voices, but similar styles. They could easily write songs for one another and fall right in line with the rest of the group. They had so much potential to be THE underground rap crew (along with D.I.T.C.) in the mid-'90s. But like so many groups of the time, they went on to use far too much synth and ended up becoming like every other group.

Still, this track is about as hot as it gets from a decade ago. (A decade!)

I control the masses, wit metaphors thats massive
Don't ask if the n***a Ruckest bash s**t like Cassius
I'm drastic, when it comes to verbs I be flippin
Cuz herbs jus be s***tin off the words I be kickin
I scold you, double headed swords for the petty
but I told you, b***h n****s that Headz Aint Ready
Now I mold you, back to the b***h that you are
F***in' wit the Ruckest get bruised, battered and scarred

Guess who, punk chump, your brain jus blew
It's the Originoo Gun Clappa two
Rushin through, three on three you can't see we
Cuz we stay tight and not many n****s wanna fight
So sneak in where a n***a in the cipher of the camp
Jus got amped so I took em out for a dance
Bigga triggas fallin down
Like the bridges of London, but ain't too many n****s runnin

Leaders of the New School - "What's Next?"

This was not the most well-known of the L.O.N.S. catalog, and since it was from the extremely mediocre T.I.M.E. (The Inner Mind's Eye) album (where to my recollection, the only other good song on the album was "Quarter to Cutthroat"), it's no surprise that this song gets lost in the shuffle of the awesome other stuff that came out in 1993.

And though the video is kinda crap -- with very little direction, which is evident in the segment where everything is in slow motion and the are sort of just jumping around like a bunch of jackasses -- it's a very good song with pretty decent lyrics (especially by Dinco D). Also, I believe it's the first appareance by Milo, the fourth, silent Leader. It would be like if Jarobi suddenly dropped a hot verse on a Tribe album.

I heard that Dinco and Charlie Brown wanted to get the old band back together but Busta Rhymes was all about Flipmode squad and didn't want anything to do with them. What a dick.

You know I love they way it's going down (Going down!)
You know I love they way it's going down (Going down!)
I'm the one knight supreme (Being all seeing)
Soul with the role (No I'm not European)
Operator, operator, put me on hold
Stories untold, watch the dollars unfold
Watch women approach me with the inviations
Previous engagement, speculation
I hate when my girl says "Give me some space"
On the telephone, and never to your face
I paid my dues, so lick the b***s!
In the summer, in the winter, in the spring, and in the fall
I'm romping and ripping, the needle ain't skipping
Gymnasiums and stadiums the crowd be flipping
The new to the next, and of course the nextus
The greatest, the grandest, of course you expect this
In cash, boom bash, slash, grammatical
Continual residual, flow is radical
All that, and a bag of Chips Ahoy
Tell your homeboys to bring the noise!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

SavWar - "A-Soap-Rockin-It"

This is just a pretty fresh turntable routine some Irish DJ named SavWar did using the instrumental from Aesop Rock's "Nightlight." Hot soup comin' through.

King Just - "Warrior's Drum"

When this song first came out, I thought it was fantastic. It's got a hot bassline and that kind of awesome "Hey-ya, hey-ya, hey-ya, HO" chorus. Then I bought the album and it was some serious garbage.

But this song is great. One of the underground one-hit wonders of my generation. If you were into rap in 1994-95, you remember this song. The great thing about it is that King Just somehow managed to get himself seemingly affiliated with the Wu-Tang Clan (who were about as hot as it got back then), even though he had no connection whatsoever. This is clearly a result of him throwing around the "Shaolin" moniker to refer to his being from Staten Island. The Wu were the only people really calling Staten "Shaolin" but they didn't have a copyright on it, so why wouldn't someone from that neighborhood capitalize? I'll bet the mere mention of "Shaolin" accounted for half his record sales.

Still, great song. The video? Eh....Though there are more hockey jerseys than I ever expected from a video by a rap guy that wasn't Maestro Fresh Wes.

And there's a thousand MCs lined up against the wall
Timber! They all gonna fall
Hassan chop, yo i can't stop
Givin you that off the wall hip hop
To ya ear, make ya wanna cheer
Hallelujah, ch-ch grrrr, now i'm in second gear
Yo, i'm out of here, to get the mo' tical
From the meth-tical, hit the budd' tical
Know i'm headed to the hotel
But i'll be pokin and strokin
Yo the hair, got tical, got a n***a open
Hey daddy, who them those over there?
Shaolin soldiers, huh, wait a minute, no one told ya
That i'm the n***a, that they call stompy
Who got the looks of a killa dead zombie
I take 'em off, sure fast cannin ya tour
They couldn't catch my style if i was a baseball
Bases loaded, and i got my back gun
Blaow, boom, bang, oh s**t a home run
AHHHHHHHHH... yo, the crowd goes crazy
Bring it, if you want, cuz you really don't amaze me

Public Enemy - "Night of the Living Baseheads"

Now this video IS an unadulterated classic. Not only is the song a classic militant anti-drug song, but the video itself pretends to be some kind of pirate news broadcast. Not only do we have the irony of Flavor Flav appearing in an anti-drug video (spouting anachronisms like "Yo Sherrell, kick the ballistics, G!"), but we also get a very special appearance by the "Mayor of Rap City," Chris Thomas, doing impressions of both Rodney Dangerfield, Jesse Jackson and Richard Pryor. And brilliantly, I might add. Who else could toggle between the Reverend Jesse and Pryor in the same skit? How he never became a huge celebrity is beyond me.

The song is almost an afterthought really. There is high comedy (the "Beeper Tie" commercial) and high tragedy (all those poor Wall Street people getting caught doing drugs). And did you notice how much smaller the clock around Chuck D's neck is than that of Flav? How did that happen?

Yo, listen
I see it on their faces (First come first serve basis)
Standin' in line, checkin' the time
Homeboys playin' the curb
The same ones that used to do herb
Now they're gone, passin' it on
Poison attack - the Black word bond
My man Daddy-O once said to me
He knew a brother who stayed all day in his jeep
And at night he went to sleep
And in the mornin' all he had was
The sneakers on his feet
The culprit used to jam and rock the mike
Yo, he stripped the jeep to fill his pipe
And wander around to find a place
Where they rocked to a different kind of...BASS

Ice Cube - "Jackin' For Beats"

See if you can spot the beats that Cube "jacks" for this song. There are a total of 6 songs that Cube rips off (in a good way) to create this song. Try to identify them on the "comments" page and I will give you a treat of my choosing.

I'm not sure what the message was of this song. That it's good to sample? That if you make a great beat, Cube is gonna steal that s--t? Because he can? Either way, it was a pretty cool song, off the Kill at Will EP but isn't really that mind-blowingly great after a decade and a half. Still, a good relic of the past in that it's a brief survey of pretty good funk beats of the time period.

Ice Cube, will take a funky beat and reshape it
Locate a dope break, and then I break it
And give it that gangsta lean
Dead in your face as I turn up the bass
I make punk suckers run and duck because
I don't try to hide cause you know that I love to
jack a fool for his beat and then I'm Audi
So when I come to your town don't crowd me
Cause I know, you're gonna wanna kick it with me
But I know, none of y'all can get with me
So you think you're protected
Well you are til you put a funky beat on a record

Thursday, June 15, 2006

MURS vs Eyedea Battle

Now MURS (from Living Legends) and Eyedea (from Rhymesayers) are clearly buddies, so they are just battling to have a good time. Still, it's a rare battle where the posturing is good-natured.

A.D.O.R. - "Let It All Hang Out" (not the real one)

I am still trying to find the real video for this early '90s classic, so holler at me if you see it. But until then here's a snippet of the first verse of A.D.O.R.'s only real hit. The video is obviously by some guy in his A/V class, but it's clever enough and makes me want to hear the rest of the song.

Gang Starr - "Jazz Thing"

Gang Starr probably had the "jazziest" jazz-rap songs out there. A Tribe Called Quest made rap songs with jazz samples. The Roots are a jazz band, more or less. Digable Planets said nursery rhymes over boho jazz beats. But Gang Starr made songs that could sound like jazz songs, and used "real" jazz samples.

I don't know if saying that DJ Premier revolutionized sampling is either an overstatement or blatantly obvious. But this song shows everything great about his style, finding the best groove in a jazz song and riding it. Plus, Guru gives a very nice survey of the giants of jazz music.

In the 40's came bebop, the first bebop
The real bebop, so let me talk about
Diz and Byrd, givin' the word
Defining how a beat could be so complete
Playing with ferocity, thinkin with velocity
About ornathology, or anthropology
and even efficiency, and this is real history
Theolonious Monk, a melodious thunk
No mistakes were made with the notes he played
His conception, was recondite
A star glowing bright among dim lights
The critics did cite that he sounded alright
Charlie Mingus, such nimble fingers
Droppin the bass, all over the place
and Max Roach, cymbals socking
Bass drum talking, snare drum rocking
Restructuring.. the metaphysics
Of a jazz thing

Double XX Posse - "Not Gonna Be Able to Do It"

This was a pretty good album, but I never knew whether these guys wanted to be called "Double Ex Posse" or "Double Ex-Ex Posse." Also, though the name of the song is called "Not Gonna Be Able to Do It," I defy you to find the word "it" at the end of any line in the chorus. I defy you!

Now I'm makin money, and it's good to be single
To mingle with the ladies while their earrings jingle
And that's the way it is, cause that's the way that I want it
When I see a pretty mommy lookin good, I'm on it
Checkin out her profile to see if she got style
Cause if she ain't a 10, she ain't worth my while
I'm all about stickin and movin with the quickness
Forget the foreplay, and let's get down to business

UMC's - "One To Grow On"

In a later post, I will show the de-evolution of the UMC's (Haas G and Kool Kim) from fun-loving G-rated rappers into hardened would-be criminals. It is like the loss of innocence we all fear.

However, this song is a real joy for me. Whenever I hear it, it takes me back to a certin time in my life where I thought rap was really at its apex. Of course, back then I thought it would always be great, so I was wrong there. But the fun interplay was a slightly more grown-up song compared to their kiddie-rap song "Blue Cheese." You can feel the positivity dripping off this song, with its ostensible message to get kids to break out of conformity and do something. At least that's what the video says. I love everything about the song, from the jazz instrumental to the "HEY" that is sprinkled throughout. (The sound is slightly off on the video.)

Castle on the borderline is surely like this
Approaching of a UMC is purely hypeness
(A fact) so I mention is again and again
(It's not necessary) those who comprehend my message very clearly
But not along the way to translucent
Throw your hands up for the man who sent
Invaders of my fruit basket, to a casket
Nina Dunnaway (see the fox run away)
So as a UMC I ask myself who can be the leader
Resembling the saws ought to fall
(Well it's you Haas G.) and that's a find the coolest in me
At a whim who would freeze blue cheese
Spin a 360 on a runway
Stop, and hear many more than just one say
"U-N-I-V-E-R-S-A-L" (Go on)
Cause we gave em all one thought to grow on

GZA / Genius - "Liquid Swords"

The only thing that could be cooler about this video from the Wu-Tang Clan's GZA is if they somehow incorporated the "samurai" story from the beginning of the album version.

The video is a little weird and maybe a little low-budget, but it fits the bare-bones production value and the fact that the beat does not change once throughout the whole song. That is part of the song's appeal, though. The beat is very hot, but different, and can be sustained the whole song's length. Plus the GZA's flow (if not necessarily the lyrical content) is incredible. RZA adds a little something but he's mostly there to say "AAAAANE."

I'm on a Mission, that n***az say is Impossible
But when I swing my swords they all choppable
I be the body dropper, the heartbeat stopper
Child educator, plus head amputator
Cause n***az styles are old like Mark 5 sneakers
Lyrics are weak, like clock radio speakers
Don't even stop in my station and attack
while your plan failed, hit the rail, like Amtrak
What the f**k for? Down by law, I make law
I be justice, I sentence that ass two to four
round the clock, that state pen time check it
With the pens I be stickin but you can't stick to crime
Came through with the Wu, slid off on the DL
I'm low-key like seashells, I rock these bells
Now come aboard, it's Medina bound
Into the chamber, and it's a whole different sound
It's a wide entrance, small exit like a funnel
So deep it's picked up on radios in tunnels
N***az are fascinated how the sh*t begin
Get vaccinated, my logo is branded in your skin

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - Sprite Commercial

In this surprisingly tight 1995 commercial, C.L. busts a very nice freestyle about being the Caramel King of the Castle and whatnot. It looks like Pete Rock is going to extend the freestyle even further before he draws a blank. Can't believe this commercial is ten years old, but it's cool to see it here.

Kool Moe Dee - "Death Blow"

Perhaps the definitive dis of L.L. Cool J (and let's face it, there were tons of them), this Kool Moe Dee concoction takes a dope James Brown beat, hard lyrics and a satire of L.L.'s own "Mama Said Knock You Out" video, as well as his song "To Da Breaka Dawn" of that same album.

This was one of the first real "beefs" in hip hop history and it's too bad it had to end, because it was just pure back and forth between the two. This was probably the most skilled verbal beatdown of the series (and until such gems as Ice Cube's "No Vaseline" and Common's "The B*tch in Yoo"), one of the best ever. Match to you, Kool Moe.

My lyrical beatdown will leave ya in a coma
'Cause you can't hang without a high school diploma
Your brain of fatigue, you're out of your league
You're running out of gas and you're tank is on E
Somebody buy him a heart 'cause he's petro
Take you're whipping like a man brother let go
No apologies, tears of violence
Get your black suits 'cause I ain't smiling
I'm shooting the gift of gab, brother you're ripped in half
Soon as the mic is past, you won't live to laugh
If there's laughter, I'll get the last one
You loafed on the lyrics and you caught a bad one

EPMD - "So Whatcha Sayin'"

This is one of my all-time favorite rap videos from one of my all-time favorite rap groups (or duos in this case). I think it may be the first video I saw where I actually said to myself, "My God, this rap stuff is awesome."

The concept of going underground was still untapped at this point (though countless followers would emerge) and the way the video is edited is dynamic and fast paced. Plus there is a sick cut by DJ Scratch at the very end of the song. Oh, and not to mention I am a sucker for matching t-shirts and fisherman hats.

Notice the literal interpretations of many of the lyrics. In case you didn't understand Erick Sermon with the marbles in his mouth.

Well, I'm known to be the master in the MC field
No respect in '87, '88 you kneeled
Cause I produce and get loose, when it's time to perform
Wax a sucker like Mop & Glow (That's word is born)
Smacked a second time, but on a different assignment
And do a sucker new jack who needs a rappin' alignment
Cause I'm the cream of the crop when it's time to do a show
Girlies on my jock for my dope intro
As I glance at E-Double, kickin microphone wrecker
Turn on my cordless, sayin mic checka
To the ladies . . . and all party goers
Some call me freak, and others slow flower
Brothers on my jock, for the way I hold a piece of steel
So what you sayin?

O.C. - "Time's Up"

O.C. might be the worst name for a rapper ever (even if it is the guy's intials), and he never made a great album, but this is one of the definitive songs about rappers who talk smack but don't live the life they talk about. And O.C. really knows how to open up with a fresh line.

O.C. was one of those rappers like Ras Kass or Canibus, that was a very skilled MC but could never quite capture the magic on any record. Although O.C. did have a great guest verse (from when he was an unknown) on Organized Konfusion's 1991 single "Fudge Pudge" (forthcoming).

You lack the minerals and vitamins irons and the niacin
F**k who that I offend rappers sit back I'm bout to begin
Bout foul talk you sqwak never even walked the walk
More less destined to get tested never been arrested
My album will manifest many things that I saw did or heard about
Or told first hand never word of mouth
What's in the future for the fusion in the changer?
Rappers are in danger who will use wits to be a remainder

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Eyedea vs Shells - Blaze Battle 2000

Here's another Eyedea battle, but in this one, watch how Shells falls apart on his second round. Eyedea is pretty sick.

Eyedea vs Unseen - Freestyle Battle

Nothing better than two white boys going at it....Eyedea on the right, Unseen on the left. You pick.

El-P and Aesop Rock - "Accidents Don't Happen"

Some hot DJ shit from DJ Abilities (on the left) and RJD2 (on the right), cutting up EPMD's "So Watcha Sayin'" and other songs before EL-P and Aesop Rock come out to perform "Accidents Don't Happen."

John Cena and Bumpy Knuckles - "I'm a Bad Man"

Okay, I have no idea when this came out, but I had to put it up.

It features WWE wrestler John Cena, rapper Bumpy Knuckles (whom we all remember as Freddy Foxxx) and of course, Gary Coleman.

It is a parody of the A-Team, and not only is it spot-on and hilarious, but the song itself is sick. Great beat and Bumpy is a very convincing B.A. Barackus. John Cena is actually a solid MC, too. Wha....? My only question is, where is Face?

(Note: the assholes at the WWE removed this video because it was copyrighted. Wouldn't you think they would actually LIKE to get some promotion on a song that nobody has ever heard before? Great marketing WWE. Jackasses. Suck it, McMahon.)

(Update: it's back now for the time being.)

(Update: YouTube took it down, but I got a new link from

Turn up the microphone and see me, I'm a beast MC's and they beats
Is what I eat. Sixteen. I'll leave you in the street.
My rhymes are sicker than gangrene on both feet.
It's spreading up the leg and headed for the head.
Your rhymes are wack, your style is proof that the brain corrosion
is f**kin' with your chosen flows, I'm nice with mics.
My hands'll break your nose like Mikey Tyson.
Fighting in his prime, one rhyme. And I shake up the room one time.
Boom to the jaw. Your face is a coat type raw.
And the blood and snot they mix, jelly on the floor.
My love is cop them bricks, belly on the floor.
I rob you, you soft and you really ain't a problem.
I solve you, 357 long nose revolve you.
Acid in your face, bad look, dissolve you.
I'm a bad, bad man. Yeah, check it out.
It's Bumpy Knuckles baby.
And I want you to say hello to the bad bad man.

Compton's Most Wanted - "Def Wish II"

The video quality on this one isn't so great, but the song still is. MC Eiht decides to make a song ripping DJ Quik (thinking Quik had insulted him in an earlier song), with that menacing Quincy Jones bassline and the hot drumbeat kicking in on the second verse. I used to love Eiht because he always said "yeah" like "jeeah."

This one does have the original, explicit lyrics, but the sound is good. I also love the Ray Liotta samples from GoodFellas ("You got out of line, you got whacked, everybody knew the rules"), which make the danger even that more imminent. It's a great West Coast record.

Peep - I'm puttin suckers to sleep
Ready to make a motherf**kin hit, jeah we rollin' too deep
You shouldn't've made that tape, but you pushed me
Eiht hates punk-ass perm wearin p***ies
Mmmm... you ready for round one? Here it come, fool
I got my d*ck in my hand, come and get some
Damn, i'm tired of fake motherf**kers gettin' pesos
Sorry-ass amigos screamin like b*tch hoes
If it wasn't for your happy-ass sound, prancin around
Nothin but a sorry-ass clown, stay the f*ck down
Punk you can't f*ck with this
Jeah, first step is your def wish

Da Lench Mob - "Guerillas in the Mist"

Da Lench Mob was Ice Cube's 1992 side project, but unlike most instances when a rap star will help his boys out, this was a great album, and this is (in my opinion) a great song. The video -- with heavily-edited lyrics -- looks like the movie Predator and is about as militant as it gets.

There were a lot of things that were great about Da Lench Mob (other than the fact that they were unapologetic racists). First, Ice Cube was not the lead rapper, that was J-Dee. Cube was just another member, fitting in with the rest of the group. Also, the interplay between all four members (Jay-Dee, Ice Cube, Shorty and T-Bone) was so flawless. They finish each others lines and weave in and out of verses, and not a moment of music is wasted. You will see in this video.

J-Dee later went to jail for a long long time, and Da Mob tried to replace him with Maulkie for their second album, Planet of Da Apes, but it just wasn't the same. Too bad for J-Dee, also too bad for us rap fans.

You try to pay me off with a banana
But J-Dee is blacker than a city called Atlanta
Give me some elbow room, I need some elbow room
So I can boom shak-a-lak-a boom
That's the sound of the twenty guage
Lock us up and the Lench Mob can break out of any cage
You never even hear of this, I'm taking care of this
Lench Mob environmental terrorists

Jeru the Damaja - "Come Clean"

Jeru was kind of known as the rapper's rapper. With a combination of big words and a strange offbeat flow, he always seemed to have the perfect way of saying things, including this song which is one of the few rap songs of the 1990s that actually shunned the gun-toting trend that was going on at the time. Instead Jeru speaks of how many styles he can use to destroy your whole crew.

Jeru's first two albums (The Sun Rises in the East and The Wrath of the Math) are both outstanding albums, but then he sort of dropped off the face of the earth. I always liked that he went after groups that talked about violence and materialism when they were the popular trends (and kind of still are).

It is still the only rap song that I know of to use the term "sacro-iliac." Oh, and it reminds me of how many "blowin' up like the World Trade Center" lyrics there were back then. Creepy.

Real rough and rugged, shine like a gold nugget
Every time I pick up the microphone I drug it
Unplug it on chumps with the gangsta babble
Leave your nines at home and bring your skills to the battle
You're rattlin' on and on, and ain't sayin nothing
That's why you got snuffed when you bumped heads with Dirty Rotten
Have you forgotten, I'll tap your jaw
I also kick like kung fu flicks by Run Run Shaw
Made frauds bleed every time I g'd
Cuz I've perfected my drunken style like Sam Seed
Pseudo psychos I play like Michael
Jackson when I'm bustin ass and breakin backs

Brand Nubian - "Punks Jump Up To Get Beat Down"

One of the anthems of 1992, this Diamond D.-produced song is one of the nearly 5 versions of this song; the album version uses the theme from "Rocky" and the official remix is a completely different, although great version which I am still looking for. And for the longest time I thought the fat guy in the video was Diamond D. but it was really the third Nubian member, Sincere ("Ya know he's in here").

Like most great rap videos, it takes place on the subway. Look for two particular things in this video. One, Lord Jamar's verse just sucks. (He's the second one with the dreadlocks.) It's like he didn't have time for a rewrite. Secondly, about 2:45 in there is a shot of a man lying on the ground, bloody and cross-eyed. Notice that he has a passing resemblance to one B-Real from Cypress Hill. When this video was made, Brand Nubian was mad with Cypress for using the "N" word in some of their songs, since B-Real is Latino. They did make up later, thank goodness.

One day when I was ridin’ on the train I seen these two kids talkin’
About the nubian reign had fallen.
I didn’t say nothin’ cuz these kids caught my goat,
Even wore my coat like a murder that they wrote.
So this kid with mouth swagger ’n I’ll blaze the cloak and dagger
So I gotta show dukes the macho lot that I am.
I can rock a jam, make the world drop ham,
Oh yes, I’m the bad man, and bad men wear black.

Monday, June 12, 2006

MC Lyte - "Cha Cha Cha"

Forget Queen Latifah. Forget Lauryn Hill. Forget even Roxanne Shante. In her prime, MC Lyte is the greatest female MC that ever lived, and there is no better showcase of her destructive battle rhymes than "Cha Cha Cha" from 1989, a rude little battle rap with a great bassline that clocks in at under under 3 mins.

You can cha-cha-cha to this Mardi Gras
I'm the dopest female that you've heard thus far
And I do get better, the voice gets wetter
Nobody gets hurt (As long as you let her)
Do my thing with an '89 swing
The dopeness I write, a guaranteed delight
To the hip hop maniac, the uptown braniac
In full effect MC Lyte is back

Channel Live - "Reprogram"

Channel Live was another one of those groups that never really made it big. They were kind of hot for a while, with their hit "Mad Izm" feating KRS-ONE. But I always preferred "Reprogram." It was harder and there is something about the video that really captures that time period. The black and white mixed with the color, the dreadlocks, the slums. Plus it has one of the sickest, dirtiest basslines in rap.

When I serve ya like Agassi, pure agony of terror
Try to catch the beam of light reflected in the mirror
Never basic sh*t is dope cause I laced it with the flow
Ignorance is a sin when in my cypher so you know
Infinite potential, residental is the ol'
Illtown, New Jersey if you heard me glock the bow
One two three BDP troops hard
Any questions I was blessed with lessons from God

Geto Boys - "My Mind is Playin Tricks on Me"

By popular demand...

Another great hip hop song from 1991. This one is a little more mainstream, but a great song nonetheless.

As my boy Mike C. pointed out, there is a great part where Willie D sort of peeps his head around a corner, in a scene that's supposed to probably be creepy but is funny because of it's low-budget nature. (It's 2:11 into the video and still makes me laugh.) Bushwick Bill really is creepy as hell though (even the cheesy part at 3:54 where he runs after a defenseless guy and punches him in the face and other people drop out of the trees to beat the crap outta the poor guy).

At night I can't sleep, I toss and turn
Candle sticks in the dark, visions of bodies bein burned
Four walls just starin at a nigga
I'm paranoid, sleepin with my finger on the trigger
My mother's always stressin I ain't livin right
But I ain't going out without a fight
See, everytime my eyes close
I start sweatin, and blood starts comin out my nose

Son of Bazerk - "Change the Style"

This was one of those overlooked classics of 1991. This guy, Son of Bazerk, was one of those up-and-coming rappers who made a really good record but not much else. If I remember correctly, he was being groomed by Chuck D to become a big sensation. It didn't quite go that way, but this is a great video and an outstanding rap record. It's like a non-stop frenzy.

I'm back! Just like the bozack
Rhymes from a rubber room
Radio jocks killin' softly
Get up off me!
Bust it while I change the style...

A Tribe Called Quest - "Scenario"

On this, my newest contribution to the blogosphere, I will link to my favorite old videos of the "Golden Age" of hip hop (ca. 1988-1993). Some may fall outside of that realm, but most will be of this era. The videos will be of my choosing, with a combination of good songs and (hopefully) good videos. You can always suggest one if you see one, but if it's not one I like, I probably won't be adding it. Don't take it personal, brotha. Basically, this is a way to re-live my youth through the videos that I had always loved and haven't seen in years. Basically, if you want to know anything about Bill Shannon's adolescence, you can find it right here. I was a rap geek and didn't care who knew it. Oh, and these are all stolen from, the best site on the internet. (Also, huge thanks to my brotha Electric City Paul who not only inspired this glorious idea whose time has come, but has helped me brainstorm some beautiful ideas for videos.)

The inaugural video of this blog is one of the most inventive and eye-catching videos I had ever seen. It's "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest from 1991. It had that great computer theme, and this was like 3 years before Al Gore even invented the internet. Ahead of its time indeed. It's a great song, one of the classics of the era, and the definitive "posse cut" of the time. The shot of Phife with the troll haircut still cracks me up ever time I see it.

It's a Leader/Quest mission and we got the goods here
Never on the left cuz my right's my good ear
I could give a damn about a ill subliminal
Stay away from crime so I ain't no criminal
I love my young nation, groovy sensation
No time for hibernation, only elation
Don't ever try to test the water little kid
Yo Mr. Busta Rhymes, just tell 'em what I did...