Will The Real Pubah Please Stand Up? – Krown Rulers & Masters of Ceromony Review
Thursday November 24th 2005,
Filed under: Albums,Reissues,Reviews
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Some bright spark over at Traffic Entertainment came up with the idea of releasing a bunch of ’80’s albums on CD, which is a pretty decent concept since most of these are tough to find for anyone under 30 who wasn’t around to buy them when they first came out. Plus only stuff like Run-DMC was getting pressed on fancy-pants Compact Discs in 1988….

Their latest two reissues have a few things in common. Not only did they both hit the racks in ’88, but both The Krown Rulers and Masters of Ceremony featured guys named after a character from The Flintstones. In an effort to confuse rap fans of the time, Grand Puba Maxwell (straight outta Now Rule) and Grand Pubah (Camden’s Finest) both sported the same eccentric moniker, apparently with little concern over the similarity. Not only that, but both Pubah’s were quality vocalists, which raises the question – who was more deserving of the “Grand” handle? Actually, who gives a shit? Let me stick to comparing the albums.

Dynamite and Paper Chase offer two very different sides of hardcore ’88 rap, in that the Krown Rulers’ sounds like a classic Philly record and the Masters’ is more Bronx than New Jersey. With beats from the Tuff Crew, the Rulers stick to the PA legacy of drum machines, sparse breaks and a truckload of turntable work, following in the footsteps of Schooly D and Steady B. No sign of ballads, dance crazes or Hip-House, this is ten tracks of the raw shit. Sorry kids – no Fender Rhodes here, just tales of skeezers, suckas and a couple of remixes of “Kick The Ball”. Just the way I like it.

Guided by the legendary Jazzy Jay, the Masters of Ceremony start off strong with “Dynamite” and “Keep On Moving”, but Puba Maxwell’s “smoov” side was already steering his formidable skills off track, as painful ragga/R&B style joints like “Redder Posse” and “Rock With The Master” interupt the flow of proceedings with those cheesy keyboard sounds that didn’t even sound good back then. These missteps are quickly forgiven when you hear winners like “One To The Knot” and the classic “Cracked Out”. The previously unheard “Hard Core” is included as a bonus track, which I’m not complaining about.

Another feature shared by both of these LPs are their bizarre cover art. The M.C.’s are seen maxin’ on a pile of rubble, sporting Thiller-style leathers while cheap sparklers burn in the background, while the Rulers strike their best Excalibur pose in front of a castle, dressed in 16th century armor! I guess it’s better than some loser standing there with his shirt off.

Any way you look it, even if you have these on vinyl, it’s always good to have a clean CD copy of this kinda shit, plus it’s better than most of the shit coming out these days.

Now with added Beck-O-Meter!

The Krown Rulers – Paper Chase [Paper Chase, Warlock/Traffic, 1988]

Masters of Cermony – One To The Knot [Dynamite , Strong City/Traffic, 1988]

Review copies supplied courtesy of Shogun Distribution.

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14 Comments so far
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I play that Masters album even today, lyrically Puba & Dr.Who still hold to some of the stuff I hear today. Don Baron was also featured on several cuts and had a solo album release 89 I believe, Question, I know later recorded a track with Heavy D but he wasn’t he the first between the 2 to hit that Diddly Diddly Dee! stuff?

Comment by khalli-vegas 11.24.05 @

I’m glad to see albums like these see some reissue light. I hope Traffic Records keeps it coming (Skinny Boys 1st joint on Warlock). Your parents had Motown and TSOP, we have the golden age of hip hop!

Comment by Elphonics 11.24.05 @

I’ve got Don Baron’s Turski album somewhere. It had a couple of good beats on it.

The first Skinny Boys on CD would be be a bonus.

Comment by Robbie 11.24.05 @

i’m feelin the beck-o-meter…

Comment by thesurgeongeneral 11.25.05 @

yeah, i’m also feelin the beck-o-meter! greetz from germany 😉

Comment by Chillz 11.26.05 @

The reviseted version of the krown rulers “paper chase”, released in 2004 (?) on Williekidrecords (Grand pubah’s label), feat. an interview with Gran pubah and he explains the whole situation from back in the day on a radio show. Very good anecdote.

Comment by Gambit-the-goatrider 11.26.05 @

Warlock Records just re-released — actually repackaged — the Krown Rulers Paper Chase album into a compilation CD featuring “Kick the Ball” and “B-Boy Document.” It’s on some compilation disc I think it’s called Philly/NJ Connection. 10 songs are NJ’s own Krown Rulers and the other ten tracks are from Philly’s own Tuff Crew.

The packaging is on some weak shit, but I might just cop it only for “Kick the Ball,” “B-Boy Document and the Tuff Crew’s “My Part of Town (So Damn Ruff).” Those songs ruled Philly radio during the ’80s.

Comment by Trent 11.29.05 @

Did we forget “kings of Pressure” “Slang Teacher” Album? It was on Next Plateau Records. If you look on the back on the album cover they have a chalk board with Ced-Gee and Kool Keith’s names written on there. There classic joynt was “you know how to reach us”!!

Comment by Marc Davis 12.05.05 @

I still have some old tapes but, I do remember the Masters, I’m a redda, I’m a redda if i see a fly girl best beleive i go getta her…..CLASSIC

Comment by Andre Thomas 12.21.05 @

Has any old school heard of Cut Master DC????

Comment by Andre Thomas 12.21.05 @

The original Kings of Pressure were dope, but the SLang Teacher album had a different line-up that weren’t nearly as good as the first squad.

I remember DC, he’s a legend.

Comment by Robbie 12.22.05 @

“dynimite” & “rock steady” are some of the best songs of the 80’s i’ve heard were there any other masters releases and what happened to “dr who”?

Comment by cunt spell 05.24.06 @

Krown Rulers Paper Chase Album is a CLASSIC..When this album came out.I was in Pennsauken 41st and Westfield Ave….Pennsauken High School,Camden High School,Woodrow Wilson High School..Stand up ,if anyone knows anything at all about that time frame 32nd St East Camden,,was crazy.Tuff Crew ..Three Two across da bridge,know what I mean..Inn of The Dove to let her skirt come down..Whatcha know bout that..South Jersey..Kick The Ball..Anything you Want..

Comment by Morris(Morris's Lounge Camden N.J 09.07.06 @

Both are great MC’S ..80’s HIP-HOP was great..can we get it back.That Philly and South Jersey sound from the Krown Rulers,Tuff Crew,3 Times Dope,Steady B,Cool C,Schooly D..all great albums. Good Hip Hop…

Comment by Billy 09.12.06 @

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