Wednesday, 10 March 2010
The odyssey to find Mello-T
For nigh on a decade now I've searched for info about Mello-T from the Gang$ta-Rap episode of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends (Louis fact # 1 : his favourite rap album is Efil4zaggin) to no avail. If the episode where Mello imparted profound musings like "it seem like when a woman got a pistol to her head, it seem like she seem to listen better" on Louis wasn't enough, Louis's excellent Weird Weekends postscript tome The Call Of The Weird where he visited Mello and various other characters from the Weird Weekend shows like April and the Prussian Blue twins 4 or 5 years later and found Mello now in a perpetual state of personality flux inbetween Elijah Muhammad and Suga Free (Louis fact # 2 : he turned down Crooked Lettaz era David Banner in 1999 to interview Mello-T instead) only managed to further whet my appetite.
But a name like Mello-T is relatively Google-proof and just brought up that Greg Nice associated rapper Mellow-T who made Keep It Real back in 1993 and a DC DJ with the same name, so I was shit outta luck until I happened to come across this video on Youtube a couple of weeks back :
And, whaddaya know, it's a Warren Comission report of trivia about the man who can bust off six shots at a static tin can and not come close to hitting it once. Where do we begin? Well, Mello generally went by the moniker of the Godfatha/Godfather Mello-T which brought up his not accessed since 2007 Myspace page where he instructs world weary damsels to contact him if they're sick of the hussle and bussle of the 9-to-5 in trademark Necro styled caps lock text :
DON'T NATURE DO IT FOR DA PAPER.
IF YOU DA BITCH MAKIN DEM GO DOWN THEN CONTACT HOLLYHOOD ENTERTAINMENT SEND US A MESSAGE WITH PICTURES AND LETS GET DAT MONEY HONEY IF YOU BELIEVE CHEDDA MAKE LIFE BETTA TIRED OF DOIN IT FOR DA MINIMUM READY TO GET DA MAXIMUM GET AT ME.
LOOKING FOR DANCERS/MODELS FOR VIDEOS, COMMERCIALS, AND TOURS, VIP PARTIES IF YOU MAKE EM GO DOOOWWWNNNNNN ..
(Ummm, let's just pretend he isn't wearing Roca Wear here, though, okay?)
More importantly, Mello mentions his music starting with his old group Wildliffe Society. A mint copy of the first EP with the songs Nuthin' But A Come-Up (Move, Muhfucker, Move) and Bald Headed Ho's Suck Dick was available on Discogs for the suprisingly cheap price of $13.99 before I snapped it up, but, interestingly Discogs lists a couple of other early Wildliffe Society records including a 1991 debut 12" called (Throw Up The) Peace Sign from when they were a Brand Nubian rip-off act, and a later 1993 4 track EP which the excellent title of Ho's Ho's Ain't Nothin' But Ho's.
But all roads to Wildliffe Society lead to their national debut in 1995 when they signed to - and this is a bizarre pairing of the Corey Haim (R.I.P) laying pipe to Posh Spice back in the 90s calibre - Blunt Records, the then home to various grimey Q.B dunnies like Mic Geronimo, Royal Flush and Ja Rule's first group Ca$h Money Click, and released their debut album Jacktown (601) and its main single :
Wildliffe Society - Jacktown
Wildliffe Society - So Much Pain
Kind of a Country-Rap meets early Bone Thugs meets The Diary-era 'Face ambiance goin' on here, no? I'm feelin' the opening seconds of So Much Pain which sound like the intro effects on videos on the Blastro.com site.
Of much more interest to fans of the Weird Weekends episode are Mello's next group Children Of The Cornbread (oh stop LOLin'), which he was in the process of recording the debut album for in the show. His 'yatch Sunshine is even featured on there. Anyhoo, this beat should be instantly recognisable for any Louis & Mello-T fans (or, um, anybody who watched the first video up top) :
Children Of The Cornbread - Mello-T & The BNJ
And you sit there waiting for him to break into the rap about not wantin' to be a balla no mo' or even adlibs from Louis (Louis fact # 3 : he's written for HipHopConnection), but they never come as this is little more than the prerequisite album shout-out track where Mello and his mate, the suspectly nom-de-plumed Big Nosed Jew, shoot the shit back and forth. It's an entertaining shout-out, mind, with Mello reminding us that "conversation don't rule the nation, paper participation what we lookin' fo'" and even saluting Bigalow and Reese, who were the two hefty lads who helped Louis come up with his radio freestyle battle rhymes :
But the centrepiece to the album is the title track, which is some off-kilter Country-funk with a tube and a bunch of the Cornbread weed carriers. Vaguelly reminiscent of Crooked Lettaz or early Banner if he'd have let a bunch of his mates on a song with him :
Children Of The Cornbread - Rather Be Hated Than Loved
And there the trail goes lukewarm. His Myspace is linked to the Myspace page of his company HollyHood Entertainment who put out an album called Chevys And Impalas by someone called Ice Cold (unfortunately not the Ice Cold from N*ggaz With Hats in Fear Of A Black Hat) a couple of years back. I 'unno, maybe i'm just too easily pleased by any generic southern-rap with a link to Mello-T, but the Ice Cold shit on his Myspace sounds pretty good, especially Chevys & Impalas and Top Of The Line Playa.
So, what next? I might procure a copy of the Ice Cold CD and I'm gonna try and track down a copy of the Ho's Ho's Ain't Nothin' But Ho's EP, but until any more concrete info on Mello comes to fruition (that's "Mello-T" from the "Louis Theroux Weird Weekends" episode should he be vanity-Googling and find this page. If so, then hit me up for an interview, Mello) then it's back to searching out albums on the wall of the Pen & Pixel studio wall when Louis visits :
That Mass 187 Real Trues Paying Dues cd has some cuts if heavily G-Funk influenced 90s Houston Gangsta-Rap with more uses of Funky Worm than the combined careers of every NWA member happens to be your thang.
Mass 187 - Gangsta Strut