Sunday, 27 June 2010
Rappaz R.N Prizun # 2
I could use this post to vent about the England result (but only because I lost cash on calling it a 2 - 1 win to Germany) or how fucking Wimbledon on BBC2 has meant no Eggheads, but, nah, we're back to the topic of rappers spending time in the bing tonight. Here's 5 of my favourite rap songs which were released when the rappers who created them were doin' time. And, no, none of them are by X-Raided (his over-the-phone-from-prison recordings are completely unlistenable) or 2pac (the only songs of his I like are on All Eyez On Me.)
Slick Rick ft. Doug E. Fresh - Sittin' In My Car
One of the most puzzling things of recent times is the popularity of British beatboxers like Kela and Beardyman with the student population/outdoor festival goers (you know - the type of people who don't start issuing curses on humanity if they have to use a portaloo) of the UK. I'm someone who listens to La Di Da Di about 10 times in a row whenever it comes on my MP3 player during a throw-the-thing-on-random session but even I have a 5 minute threshold on listening to dudes on stage making funny noises which are supposed to sound like rap records. Realistically, beatboxing should only ever be acceptable when Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh get together, as they did here for the first time since the Tougher Than Leather version of Treat Her Like A Prostitute, on Rick's Behind Bars LP which he recorded during a quick work release visit home sometime in 1993. The Show and La Di Da Di will always be the 2 songs which sold me on this rap shit as a kid in 1985, but Sittin' In My Car is possibly their finest moment together. Def Jam even shot a video for the vastly inferior video remix with Jermaine Dupri, which lots of dolts apparently appear to prefer to the original, with a Ricky D doppelganger, but I have so much contempt for that version I'm not even gonna hyperlink it.
Mac Dre - My Chevy
Fact : Mac Dre's Back N Da Hood EP is the only recorded-over-the-phone-from-prison release which is anything approachable to listenable (it's pretty good, in fact) and this, the song where Mac rhymed over the beatswitch bits in California Livin', is its highlight. The other version of this with the Khayree breakdown and Mac Mall goin'-off-on-one verse from the Young Black Brotha compilation tends to be better known and is probably the definitive version of the song, but as Mall outshadows Dre on his own shit, the original works best here. It's a pity that a rapper as prolific as Mac Dre didn't go back and re-record these when he got out of prison, but he was probably too busy thinking up politics/drug based shit-puns for his album titles. Shame on him for never thinking up Kush Limbaugh, Amyl Houghton, or Dank Johnson. If he'd ever have done a collabo with a UK artist they could've called it The Ketaminers Strike.
Shyne - Diamonds And Mac Tens (Just Blaze remix)
Things Shyne's post-prison voice sounds like : the plumbing in a Deeside call centre, Federico Marchetti's panicking hands, Joe Budden doing an impression of Jesse West on the Dolly My Baby remix, the grunts Jon Venables makes when whacking off to kiddie p0rn.
Things the Just Blaze remix of Diamonds And Mac Tens sounds like : one of the three great Shyne songs (Bad Boyz and Commission being the other two) which don't leave me cursing Puffy for not giving them to Black Rob or G. Dep instead.
Bun B ft. Pimp C, Z-Ro, Young Jeezy & Jay-Z - Get Throwed
We got a Prisoner Cell Block H(ouston) situation here with both Pimp C and Z-Ro doing porridge when this initially appeared back in 2005, which is enough to counter the fact that Bun B wasn't counting bars in this instance. I'd always wondered why the hell Z-Ro didn't actually rap on this, and it turns out that it was because he was inside at the time at the time of its recording and his contibution was some studio scrap J. Prince and Mike Dean gave to Mr Lee to fashion into a hook with a little help from Jeezy.
Harmony was thankfully restored to the world when both Pimp C and Z-Ro got out of clink to appear in the new extra Pimp & Bun verses video version, and 'Ro rapped over a slightly rejigged approximation of the beat alongside Trae on Still Throwed on the 2nd A.B.N album.
Husalah - Talk It Out
Released while he was in prison, and recorded as he spent about 3 years on the run from po-leese, so, yeah - top that, Gucci Mane. There's a couple of tracks I prefer to this on Huslin' Since Da 80's like Gear and It's Kinda Hot, but this is one of Hus's best self-mythology songs and anything which uses some harmonica which sounds like it's from the Gum-Leaf War episode of Round The Twist automatically secures itself top billin' around these parts. It's also notable because this is one of the songs where Hus refers to himself as "young Felix" which lead to the "your name isn't Felix, it's James!" tete-et-tete in the sprawling and hilarious A-Wax vs. Mob Figaz beef.