Remember when The Daily Mail ran a picture of D.M.C. in a story about DMX getting busted for possessing weed? Definitely a top 5 most unfortunate Daily Mail faux pas right there, but had they accidentally posted a pic of Davy DMX instead it would have been the greatest moment in the paper's fabled history. Why? Because Davy is one of the great unsung producer/songwriters of the pre-Marley Marl/Rick Rubin era of recorded rap and any publicity would have been good publicity at this point for a producer who should rightfully be lauded as the missing link between Pumpkin and Trevor Horn.
Alongside his Orange Krush bandmate Larry Smith, Davy is best known for being the man behind the music on Run D.M.C.'s debut LP and co-producing King Of Rock, but dude's discography is deep like Puffy's motivational Tweets: he played on Kurtis Blow's The Breaks and ghost-produced most of the songs Kurtis later took credit for like If I Ruled The World; he wrote, played on and co-produced Jimmy Spicer's Money (Dollar Bill Y'All which got famously beatjacked 20-something years later for Maino's Hi Hater; His spell at Fever Records in 1983 resulted in Love Bug Starski's You've Gotta Believe/Starski Live At The Disco Fever 12", Sweet G's Games People Play and it's superior female answer-version Gigolette's Games Females Play; The Fearless Four enlisted his services for a couple of songs for their debut 12" on Elektra in 1983, the B side of which embellished a certain De La Soul classic; he notched up at production credits at Tuff City Records with Spoonie Gee's singles The Big Beat and Street Girl and his own singles One For The Treble and The DMX Will Rock; he wove his magic on various songs for the Fat Boys including the best track they ever made Jail House Rap, which got jacked twice in 2011 by DB Tha General and Mysonne; Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde bore the fruits of his labour both officially and unofficially as he was behind the 80% of their The Champagne Of Rap LP which Andre Harrell & Alonzo Brown took credit for; he dropped an underrated LP on Def Jam in 1987 when his trademark sound was on the verge of becoming old hat; and he switched his whole style when he got hired to co-produce Run D.M.C's Tougher Than Leather LP in 1988 resulting in one of most incredible flips of Bob James' Nautilus sample on Beats To The Rhyme.
This compilation takes in 12 of my favourite Davy DMX productions from his peak of 1982 - 1985, although there's nothing from Run D.M.C because you should know that LP from front-back & side-to-side already, and nothing from King Of Rock because I'm not entirely sure what he was or wasn't involved with on that album. A handful of the tracks are 7" edits which work better in their truncated forms than they do at their 12" running times, but the rest are included at their original full-length versions. Can you dig the full 7 minute Money (Dollar Bill Y'All)? Find out below:
Orange Krush - Action (1982)
Jimmy Spicer - Money (Dollar Bill Y'All) (1983)
Davy DMX - One For The Treble (1984)
Davy DMX - The DMX Will Rock (1985)
Love Bug Starski - You've Gotta Believe (1983)
Gigolette - Games Females Play (1983)
Spoonie Gee - The Big Beat (1983)
Spoonie Gee - Street Girl (1985)
Fat Boys - Jail House Rap (1984)
The Fearless Four - F-4000 (1983)
Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde - Fast Life (1984)
Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde - Yellow Panties (1985)
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Honourable mention goes to Kurtis Blow's Hello Baby, a song I personally love but schmaltzy slow jams where Kurtis croons about his chirpsing techniques for over 6 minutes probably aren't everybody's cup of tea.