I call him Jake-eye, snake this n*gga
before the funeral, awake this n*gga
bruh soft, cup-cake this n*gga
Harlem-shake this n*gga
like Dave Chappelle, Half Bake these, n*gga"
NhT Boyz ft. The Jacka - U Ain't From
And why is it slept on songs by Harlem rappers night? Because than a friend and I both agreed that there aren't enough lyrical references to Harlem-shaking these days after I introduced him the NhT Boyz the other day, because I need a decent topic for a thursday night music post, and because I can use it as a platform to slyly ask if anyone has an mp3 of G. Dep's Everyday remix with the supplementary Faith Evans crooning adding extra pathos to Dep's tales they could possibly hook up since I could really do with it and I can only find the clean version. Let's get to it :
Doug E. Fresh - Check It Out
Let's get the obligatory rap-to-movies analogy of the post outta the way : Doug E. Fresh was the John Carpenter of rap; flawless until 1988 with a large decline in quality thereafter, although his early nineties projects were worthy of brief investigation due to the odd good moment. Ergo Check It Out from Doug's 1992 album is, like, the equivalent of the best scene from Memoirs Of An Invisible Man where Chevy Chase pulls his man dem's kecks down. While this song keeps Mr E. Fresh's steez of rapping over party-rockin' breaks intact, it also bears a distinct Naughty By Nature influence as it's harder than your average Doug tune. I know we're suppossed to turn our noses up at O.P.P nowadays because Naughty jacked the beat from Tony D's Adam's Nightmare instrumental, but that's a pop-rap classic like Gin And Juice right there.
Black Rob - Business Never Personal
It's small wonder Black Rob got caught breaking into hotel room's to steal women's handbags in 2005 when he shelling out whatever extortionate price the Neptunes were charging for beats in 2002 and then ending up having to toss the result away on mixtapes a couple of years later alongside other officially unreleased gems like Permanent Scars AKA Live From The Eastside which Heavy D resold to Beanie Sigel for Feel It In The Air. Anyhoo, this is quite an interesting song as it's one of the only storytelling tracks over a Neptunes production I can think of, it's completely hookless so there's no intrusive Pharrell apperance, and it's full of those squiggly synths present in Neptunes beats before they made Grindin' and then ran variations of it into the ground for the next few years like Primo did with You Know My Steez from 1998 onwards.
Big L - How Will I Make It?
L's definitive sad-rap moment with In The Rain by The Dramatics providing a suitably morose foundation for Lamont to lament his lack of a hot sandwich and a father. This can't have been left off Lifestyles.. due to sample clearance because Bone Thugs, GZA, Master P, and Biggie used it back in the nineties with no problem and Beanie and AZ have used it in more recent times, so I can only assume it was shelved due to it sounding a little bit too downtrodden and grimey in the wake of Juicy and Life's A Bitch and L hastily recorded the more conscious Street Struck in its place as the album's token reflective song.
Byrd Gang - Ya Dig!
Basically, Byrd Gang's boss and the Lupe's deceased bredren Mr Bundles over some Biblical production with a handful of genuine L-O-L examples of Jim's trademark strained ad libbing ("*SHE COULDN'T HELP IT!*"). So, I'm really failing to see why various bloggaz have been rushing to belatedly put a ring on Max B this year. It's not that I don't get Wavy too, but that's just it : a wave can only be surfed briefly and, thus, Max worked best as solo cuts on the Byrd Gang mixtapes and verses/hooks on Byrd Gang & Jim's stuff rather than as a solo artist in his own right. While I'd agree that he did have joints after the Byrd Gang split, the rap game wasn't lacking Max's presence to the point that it needed his six Public Domain tapes, his two and a half Million Dollar Baby tapes, his two Coke Wave tapes with French Montana, and the other five or six various tapes of his released in the space of three years. This is why Lil B's steady drip of mp3s/viral video singles should be the modus operandi for pretty much 95% of modern rappers from this point onwards.
Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde - Doing The Do
I've posted this before a couple of years ago not long after starting this blog, but since I've never seen anybody else mention it before or since, it's coming out of the garage for another spin around the block. The B side to the bizarre Jeckyll And Hyde Dance from their 2nd single in 1982, this is a throwback to those 1980 Enjoy Records jams by Spoonie Gee and The Treacherous Three like Love Rap, New Rap Language, and The Body Rock as it's a rawer interpretation of the disco-band sound which was being usurped by the electro-grooves of records like Rockin' It by The Fearless Four, Planet Rock, and the Furious Five affiliated records such as Scorpio and The Message II (Survival) at that point in '82. You could maybe accuse a song like this of retroism, but, like Standing On The Top by Super Three, it captures what I imagine a live show at Harlem World by one of these flashy uptown groups in 1982 would've sounded like. Oh, and it's got some Seinfeld theme slap-bass in it which automatically qualifies as being top 27 of all time.