This installment of “Forgotten Beefs” is also somewhat of a mystery to me, in that there is very little information on the basis of it. Freddie Foxxx has experienced many ups and downs in the rap game, but has maintained his position as one of hip-hop’s most enduring tough guys. Originally slated for vocal duties on “Eric B. Is President”, a young upstart named Rakim Allah turned out to be a more than capable replacement. Foxxx dropped his first solo effort three years later, and with Eric B. as executive producer it was no suprise that the album was equal parts classic brag rap (“Freddie Foxxx Is Here”) and sappy ballads (“Forever”).
The standout track – I’m Ready – sources it’s hook from Freddie’s first record as a member of Supreme Force “Handlin Things/You Gotta Come Out Fresh” (NIA,1986). But with the number of incredible hip-hop records being released in 1989, Foxxx’s confident, old-school influenced delivery may have come-off a little dated amidst the advanced techniques displayed by Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane and Kool Keith. But it was musically where the album really struggled, utilizing cheesy keyboard riffs over familiar breakbeats, which would have been fresh in ’86, but couldn’t compete with Marley and Ced‘s cutting-edge programming. That said, the five or so good tracks make this an album worth tracking-down if you don’t already own it.
KRS introduced Foxxx to a new generation of listeners after unleashing him on two tracks from the incredible Sex and Violence album, and before long he was aligned with the second incarnation of the Flavor Unit, which replaced hardcore members like Lakim Shabazz and Lord Alibaski with more the commercially viable Naughty By Nature and Zhane. The only original members remaining were Latifah, Latee and Apache. After making an impression with his show-stopping appearence on “Roll Wit The Flava”, Freddie recorded an album with S.I.D. Reynolds (the new in-house producer for the Unit after the 45 King‘s fall from grace). Possibly due to a luke-warm review in The Source, Crazy LikeA Foxxx (Flavor Unit/Epic) never saw a proper commercial release. The project did yield “So Tough” however, the b-side of which has had me scratching my head since it came out.
Crazy Like A Foxxx dedicates an entire verse to the original dismasters (no, not Raven T or Chuck Chillout), and details Freddie hunting down and stomping out Ultramagnetic members DJ Moe Luv, Ced Gee and Kool Keith (TR Love is spared for some reason). Considering that Ultra have never been afraid to take shots at the competiton, both on record and in their videos, this isn’t all that remarkable. The thing is, I can’t recall ever hearing anything about this feud. I have no idea what sparked it, and apparently Ultra never officially responded.
Could it be that the Bronx Bombers were, in the immortal words of Sponnie Gee and Jerry Lee Lewis, “all shook up” by this mic-wielding hardrock? Or was this aired-out on a radio show that I never heard?
The only possible link that I can make between Foxxx and Ultra goes back the First (and only) Annual Rappers Charity Boxing Title, which pitted rappers with handskills against their cross-coastal rivals. Match-ups included Willie D v. Melle Mel, and a scheduled fight between Ultra-affiliate Tim Dog and Dope E from The Terrorists (A Houston group signed to Rap-A-Lot). The thing is, Tim Dog never showed up, so Freddie had to step in and fight Dope E after having already won his own match. Bumpy Knuckles went on to win the tournament, and held it down for the East-coast. In his acceptance speech, he called-out the author of “Fuck Compton” for fronting on the event. I can’t find the original article, but I remember Freddie saying something about “rappers who make records like “Step To Me” but can’t get into the ring.”
Here’s an excerpt from a recent interview from Tha Formula:
ThaFormula.com – Willie D knocked Mel out?
Freddie Foxxx – One punch B, and Melle Mel is way bigger then him. Willie D wasn’t crying that skinny guy shit cause Willie D is not no big dude, but his hand game was together. This dude Dope E was fighting like a broad man. I was like “where the fuck did you all get this cornball ass muthafucka from?” Tim Dog should have came in there and broke his ass up. That’s what he should have did, but he didn’t even show up.
Since Tim was down with Ultramagnetic, it’s possible Keith and them may have dissed Foxxx somewhere in retaliation for his comments about Tim Dog, which in turn lead to “Crazy Like A Foxxx”. This is pure speculation however. Anybody who knows the real story behind this, please let me know. Apparently Foxxx has also shitted-on Dres from Blacksheep on a track or two as well.
Freddie Foxxx – I’m Ready (Freddie Foxxx Is Here, MCA, 1989).
Freddie Foxxx – Crazy Like A Foxxx (b-side of So Tough 12″ single, Flavor Unit/Epic, 1994).
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