Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Great songs from forgotten rap albums part 7

Dungeon Family - Follow The Light

Trans DF Express was cool and all but maybe if Follow The Light had been the main single for the one and only Dungeon Family album to date then it might have secured some of those post-Stankonia crossover sales. This tune is from the Dungeon Family folder with Prince scrawled on the front (first page being Funky Ride by 'Kast) and consists of an infectious hook by Sleepy Brown, verses by Big Boi, Big Gipp and Cee-Lo (okay, Thomas, you've proven that you're a better singer than Andre so you can start rapping again now) all ridin' on a wave of jittery robo-funk somewhat reminiscent of a sped up version of the Purple One's very own Erotic City. True stories : Cee-Lo's normal voice is a hoarse rasp akin to Jack Duckworth but he achieves his trademark nasal shrill tones by running autotune through an Amstrad CPC 464 when it's loading a copy of Target Renegade.

Melle Mel - Drug Wars

Melle Mel - White Lines '89

Although The Message is the most iconic rap song ever, isn't it really a Duke Bootee song with Melle Mel's verse from Super Rappin' re-rapped at the end? As far as the steroid abusing rap god goes, the mid 80s cuts like BeatStreet, Step Off, The Truth, WW3 and King Of The Streets are better representations of his greatness but our own personal favourite Mel moments can be found on his 1989 solo LP (yeah, it says & The Furious Five on the cover but make no mistake that this is a solo album as they barely feature here). Freestyle is the most known track here nowadays as it was featured on Edan's superb Fast Rap mix cd and it's a Herculean stream of pure braggin' 'n' boastin' (E-40 and Snoop casually bicker over who was the first rapper to infuse IZ-ing into words but Mel was doing it here in nineteen-eighty-fucking-nine!) but we've gone for 2 tracks which find Mel in social commentary mode detailing how crack ravaged NYC in the late eighties. Every bit as good as Night Of The Living Baseheads or Slow Down, Drug Wars might just be the most macabre golden-era anti-crack track.

Casual - Turkey And Dressing

What a shit cover, eh? After mentioning Turkey And Dressing in one of these posts which featured Casual's He Think He Raw album a while back our mate Rey pointed out that, although Turkey And Dressing didn't feature on there, it did eventually turn up on Cas's next album, 2003's Truck Driver. This is an album we haven't heard but judging by the Amazon snippets this might just be the worst album recorded by a rapper that's dropped a bonefide classic and, lest you forget, this is a category which includes such cack as at least 4 shitefests by Nas, the excrutiating War And Peace double by Ice Cube, pretty much any album which dropped on Koch in the early noughties, Electric Circus by Common, a bunch of Kool G. Rap albums which are little more than boring acapellas set to beats ganked from Myspace producers and every unlistenable Kool Keith album since Dr Dooom.


PARROT said...


MF said...

No probs.

Boothe (All Things) said...

I think Electric Circus might have been ahead of its time.

I'm probably in the minority here, but after giving the album some spins recently, I have to say that I'm diggin' it.

Yeah, Common's a bit of a cornball, but I'm really feeling the production on this release. Quest, Dilla, Poyser and company brought it.

MF said...

I suppose Come Close was quite pleasant in a warm fuzzy summer day kinda way.

brad said...

i know you rate the spoonie lp but i reckon 'piano' is the best golden era lp but an old skool rapper

MF said...

Both fairly equal really.

Can't fuck with the tracks Marley did for Spoonie, though.