Filed under: Ced Gee Special,Steady Bootleggin',T La Rock Special
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Everyone knows that Special K is T La Rock‘s brother, but many of you may have missed their little-heard collaboration from 1994’s ill-fated Treacherous 3 album. With a title like Old School Flava, I wasn’t exactly expecting miracles from Moe, LA and K, but songs like “The Mic Wreckers” and “We Come Phat” were blatant attempts at imitating the trendy sounds of the time, resulting in some really bad songs from one of rap’s most lyrical groups. To add salt to the wound, T-3 claim that they’re old friend and original DJ, Easy Lee, never paid them a dime after he released the project on his own label (which was distributed by Wrap/Ichiban, who were behind the popular MC Breed).
Regardless of the business side of things, this project still possessed some redeeming qualities. “We Wit It”, the promising posse cut featuring Grandmaster Caz, Big Daddy Kane, Heavy D, Tito, Melle Mel and Chuck D, isn’t one of them. It could have been dope had it been recorded in 1987 over a Marley Marl beat, but since it was made in ’94 with by some guy I’ve who thought that a really fast beat would bring out the best in everyone, it’s not.
The noteworthy moments can be found in the forgotten Ced Gee contribution “Ain’t Nothin’ Changed”, which provides the trio with one of the few solid drum tracks on the album. Special K delivers an inspired performance on “Sun Is Up”, a track he produced with T La Rock where he warns that “You can’t escape from the planet of Special K tapes!”. This song has a certain quality that I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s mixture of a sparse, atmospheric beat, weird chants and some radio announcer back-ups over the space of four verses prove to be a winning combination. LA Sunshine also earns his keep with his Hustler’s Convention -inspired “A True Story”. The less said about “Moe Money” Moe’s efforts on this project, the better.
Treacherous Three – Ain’t Nothin’ Changed (Old School Flava, Wrap!, 1994)
Special K – Sun Is Up (Old School Flava, Wrap!, 1994)
LA Sunshine – A True Story (Old School Flava, Wrap!, 1994)
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