Friday, July 15, 2005

Gave Her No Food, Strictly Similak

The rap game is funny. Saxophonist Tom Scott exemplifies this nicely.

Who would of thought that everytime you've bumped "T.R.O.Y." or Black Sheep's "Similak Child," you would be indirectly jocking Tom Scott?

Well, you were. In addition to having a long career both solo and with his L.A. Express, Tom Scott produced the theme songs for Family Ties, "Starsky & Hutch", the "Academy Awards", the "Emmy Awards", the "People’s Choice Awards", "Comic Relief", the "Carol Burnett Show", the "Pat Sajak Show", and released "Today" on The Honeysuckle Breeze. At the time, in 1968, he was 19, and probably didn't realize that "Today" featured two very different sounding samples, that Black Sheep and Pete Rock would craft into respective hit and mega-mega-hit (critically speaking at least.)

Enjoy Tom Scott's "Today."

Tom Scott: Today (yousendit link1) (yousendit link2) (yousendit link 3) (Buy It!)

PS: That list of scores is unreal. Has any of heard his scores less than 100 times in your life? I've probably heard the Family Ties one 100 times alone. And, the "Similak" sample was also utilized on Masta Ace's "Saturday Night Live (LA Jay Remix),"

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Peace Crumb, I Bring To You Good News

I distinctly remember the backlash as rap's late 1990's underground began churning out rap that sounded a bit different. Despite Anticon and Company Flow and a rapidly expanding underground roster all sounding respectively unique, many 'purists' chafed at the entire set, often characterized as 'nerd rap (not to be confused with Rapnerd, which Google often confuses.)' Eventually, after much investigation, I formed my own opinions on many of the emerging artists and realized how different each of them were. I could never truly enjoy Anticon but was impressed with how much of the early Def Jux material seemed to be basically themed hip-hop with updated production (often provided by El-P) and unique emcee styles. Whether I liked Aesop Rock (no), Cannibal Ox (yes), or Mr. Lif (at times), I realized that much of the Jux material was about rap's common themes (women, bravado, politics, and hip-hop itself) but involved a creativity that was galvanizing to rap's super fan.

Particular pleasing to me among the early Jux work were Cannibal Ox's "F-Word" (women) and "B-Boy Alpha" (hip-hop), and today's selection Masai Bay's "Paper Mache" (bravado.)

Barring any gross misinterpretation on my part, Masai's chorus is masterfully blasphemous. "Every DJ's roleplay is Moses per se" seems to hint that spinning a Masai record is bringing God's word to the people. Overall, his one-of-a-kind rambling, cryptic flow pairs perfectly with El-P's mechanical, hypnotic production to legitimize an occasional non-rhyming stanza that would sound lazy from most. The song's opening exemplifies this:

"Peace, crumb, I bring to you, good news
My equipment's at a minimum in some of the beats
you will hear what I possibly could use
When I get it, you are gonna need a miracle."

Enjoy "Paper Mache," unique and ire inducing, and as always, drop a comment.

Masai Bay: Paper Mache (Yousendit 1) (Yousendit 2) (Yousendit 3) (Buy It)

Further Rapnerd/Def Jux Favorites (in no particular order)

1. MURS: Badman/The Dance/God's Work
2. Rob Sonic: Sniper Picnic
3. Cannibal Ox: Stress Rap
4. Aesop Rock: Daylight
5. C Rayz Walz: Battle Me
6. El-P: Jukie Skate Rock
7. Mr. Lif: Avengers
8. PFAC: Beer, Bak 'N De Dayz
9. RJD2: June, Final Frontier