Since the 'net is currently entrapped in a game of ascertaining which old hardcore band Odd Future are the rap equivalent of (ZOMG they're like the 1982 demo line up of Black Flag when Chuck Biscuits was on drums!!) it seems like a good opportunity for the first ‘Great songs from forgotten rap albums’ post of 2011. The ‘forgotten’ part of the title became a personal bugbear because it's not like I'm coming with any secrete material here, but it's a handy contrivance to post some slept-on songs I like from albums which don't get yapped about that often in one fell swoop, so it'll have to suffice.
Govna Mattic ft. Pacewon, Roz Noble, Tame One, Runt Dog, Redman & Young Zee - Family Day
(From Hell Up In Newark; 1998)
Drew Huge alerted me to this seldom-heard posse cut when he played it on one of the Fat Lace podcasts, and while Govna Mattic's Hell Up In Newark album is worth a pop if the notion of Dare Iz A Darkside-era Reggie rapping in a vaguely rastaman baritone is appealing to you, Family Day remains its high spot. The weed carriers hold their own alongside the 4 Jersey heavyweights, it's one of the few late nineties tracks to go for that whole ciphering-on-a-radio-show aesthetic and actually pull it off without sounding too cluttered, meandering, or amateurish, but the absolute best thing about Family Day is the okie-doke during the breakdown when it goes into the whole "and now, what you've been waiting for.." build-up speech which has you anticipating Redman's verse only for some dude called Runt Dog who'd never appeared on wax before and who wouldn't be heard of again for another decade to start rapping.
Backbone ft. Big Gipp & Slimm Calhoun - Believe That
(From Concrete Law; 2001)
Backbone for Dummies : his album was co-billed with Slic Patna even though the latter only appeared on 2 songs, it got lost in the shuffle alongside the Dungeon Family group LP following Stankonia's success, and he had a voice which, at times, was remarkably similar to what I'd imagine Jim Carrey's The Grinch doing Devin The Dude impersonations would sound like. The main single 5 Deuce 4 Tre where we get to hear Backbone's peculiar country tones unaccompanied over Organized Noize beats is a Dungeon Family classic, and the galumphing title track is pretty interesting since it attests to the influence Three 6 Mafia had over ATLanta by that point, but I'm gonna plump for Believe That here since it's probably the most typically D.F sounding song on there with that whomp-whomping bassline (like a swamp-funk version of For The Love Of Money by The O'Jays), and Slimm Calhoun's verse with the "got gorillas with banana clips who love to go ape" line predated Sigel's Beanie (Mack Bitch) with the "gorilla n*ggas goin' ape in this concrete jungle/banana clips 'll make them monkeys humble" line by mere weeks.
Cam'ron - Suga Duga
(From Dipset : More Than Music Volume 2; 2007)
AKA the 2nd best song on DukeDaGod's Dipset : More Than Music Volume 2 compilation after Byrd Gang's Anniversary and a relic from that brief period when Lil' Fame was tossing out great beat after great beat to every east coast Koch Records project. Much like He Tried To Play Me and Glitter this was an upgrade of S.D.E-era tracks like Whatever, and on it we find Mr Giles firing subliminals at Tru-Life on the first verse before getting down to business by chirpsing some broad like Humphrey Bogart in To Have And Have Not or The Big Sleep before claiming he's a work of art himself. It's a pity that Cam couldn't have used token female Dipset weedcarrier/Luther Blissett lookalike Jha-Jha as a Lauren Bacall figure in a song at least once because there aren't enough back-and-forth Battle Of The Sexes rap joints which use flirtatiously acerbic banter between a gentleman and his damsel/potential damsel as a form of foreplay, and it'd be funny to hear a female counterpart snap on Cam with a few zings about his I.B.S.
Lil' Keke ft. 8Ball & Kyleon - We Made It Out The Bottom
(From Str8 Out Da Slums; 2005)
Lil' Keke & The Jacka's Str8 Out Da Slums is your archetypal bicoastal collaboration album which doesn't even bother to feature its two protagonists on the same song together, but it does have a few joints from either camp; Jacka emerges victorious from the contest on points for the album's stand out Pigeons On A T-Shirt (apparently originally recorded for The Jack Artist as Thunder and left off due to the sound quality on Husalah's verse which was probably recorded in his uncle's pantry since it's from the period when he was on the run from the feds), but Keke wins the last round with this album-closing banger which features 8Ball and a young Kyleon before he prefixed the Killa to his moniker. Really smart move there by Kyle' now he's finally blowing up beyond the outskirts of Texas, seeing how it isn't like Ghostface Killah and Killer Mike have spent their respective careers hampered by aggressive rap nom-de-plumes or anything.
A related epilogue : Redman's "I got Tic-Tacs in my mouth with a big dick" line is often painted as his ultimate AYO! moment, but I 'unno, man, I find the "when I die I want one in my mouth burnin'/with my dick out while Krs One preaching a sermon" lyric from Family Day far more Pause!-worthy since it involves homosexual necrophilia with the batshit Blastmaster babbling on about how astronauts should be taught how to use fat cap nozzles on spray paint and how 9/11 victims who ended up jumping from the twin towers may have landed safely had they knew any breakdancing freeze moves.