Thursday, 2 April 2009

Great songs from forgotten rap albums

Big Mike - Made Men

Big Mike - Hard To Hit

Who didn't sleep on this album when it came out in 1999? Shit, in those pre-internet days when you could only find Rap-A-Lot releases in a handful of shops here in the UK i was still struggling to find 'Face's My Homies and Devin's debut from the previous year so thanks to Chek for puttin' me onto this. It's no Somethin' Serious but it does feature some classic Peterman with production from Mike Dean and Mr Lee as demonstrated on the above tunes.

Big Daddy Kane - The Beef Is On

Big Daddy Kane - Rest In Peace

After It's A Big Daddy Thing 'Kane fell off like Hans Gruber at the end of Die Hard and spent the early 90s pumping out schmaltzy r&b/njs rap (as opposed to the good r&b/njs rap that Heavy D did) but briefly rediscovered his mojo in 1993 with the Looks Like A Job For.. album. It's generally considered that, while he only got production credits on a few tunes, Easy Mo Bee was behind much of the production on here and it shows as it's very much in the same vein as the tracks he did for Biggie on Ready To Die.

Juvenile - Solja Rags

Juvenile - Pimpinabitch

A year before Juvenile blew up with the overrated Ha! in '98 (U Understand? was a far superior song with the same concept) and Cash Money Records signed with Universal for 50987 trillion dollars he dropped Solja Rags, which was his debut album for Cash Money and his first album with Mannie Fresh on the beats. Juve' had clearly been studying Broken Language by Smoothe & Trigga when writing Pimpinabitch, which was fair enough because a few years later NY rappers were clearly studying Ha! and U Understand?, with the most obvious example being Whoa by Black Rob.

Black Rob - Help Me Out

Black Rob - Smile In Your Face

And onto Black Rob himself. Did you know that Whoa is the biggest selling Bad Boy Records single ever? Meaning that it's outsold any of the Biggie or Puffy hits. Well, apparently it is. Who'd a thunk that, eh? Black Rob has spent more of his career in prison than Rosicky has spent time at Arsenal injured and his 2nd album suffered from sample-clearance problems (not to mention Heavy D re-selling a beat he'd sold to Black Rob to Beanie Sigel) and the usual awful collabo tracks which pepper any Bad Boy release but it still turned out as a suprisingly solid effort, particularly these 2 tunes with Rob gettin' busy over piano samples.


Rob Pursey said...


The Black Rob album was heavily slept on and at the time I'll be honest the Big Mike passed me by.

I remember buying Mike's first album on CD (in fact one of the few import CDs I bought at the time) - and on the same day from the same shop Andy Cole also bought it! I also remember him buying 'Play Witcha Mama' instead of a Brand Nubian or Pete Rock album or something he was being recommended which made me chuckle at the time

Sha Deezy said...

"Swipe your face with the Bad Boy corporate card" A great line.

Martorialist said...

Was he still at Newcastle then, Rob?

I'm hoping it was as i've now got a mental image of him and Peter Beardsley in the dressing room rappin' along to Play Witcha Mama with him as Willie and Beardsley as 'Cube.

Rob Pursey said...

Yeah it was when he was still at Newcastle - my mate used to have a tiny hip-hop store not far from St. James' Park - he would always trot in with his tracksuit bottoms and monotone patter to buy £15 import CDs.

That image of him and Beardo is a good one - ha ha.

Boothe said...

Oh man, I rediscovered that particular BDK album earlier this year.

Despite its over reliance on punchlines (many of which don't work), my favorite track was and still is "Give It To Me".

I'm a huge fan of the Pleasure sample.

Martorialist said...

Chocolate City is a good tune too.

Give It To Me was the first tune i ever heard with that Pleasure sample but i think my favourite use of it would be It's Supposed To Bubble by UGK.

I wonder if Andy Cole bought the Odd Squad album back then too?

brad said...

excellent post, mart

just bought a copy of that bdk album off ebay for £3.50

Davey Boy Smith said...

Solja Rags was my shit growing up, was gonna do a post on that one soon but you beat me to it! And you picked one of my favourite tracks off there too!

Boothe said...

Decided to list some of my own favorite slept on gems.

Martorialist said...

Roll With 'Em is another favourite off Solja Rags.