Eric ‘Vietnam’ Sadler was the Bomb Squad‘s secret weapon. It was his programming expertise that kept their ‘wall of noise’ production style in the pocket, assigned to translate Hank Shocklee and Chuck D‘s musical chaos into sharply welder tools of war. You can pick the tracks which have Eric’s heavy fingerprints in the way that the drums swing and the finely-woven loop changes, perhaps best demonstrated by his work on Ice Cube‘s first solo album.
‘Eric was, to me, the producer. Keith was the street guy who made sure the street was gonna love it and the beat was hot – the engineer. Hank was the guy who kinda put the stamp of approval, who did the final mixing, came in and listened and then was on to other things. I loved working with Eric Sadler. It was a great pleasure being in the studio with him, watching him make “Oval Office” and “Steppin’ To The A.M.”.’
For such an iconic group, Eric B & Rakim really had a rough trot as far as having shitty UK clun remixes tacked on to their singles. For reasons still I’m still trying to figure out, I thought it would be interesting to compile a collection of the least horrible remixes that were released over their four album career as a duo. While none of these actually surpass the originals, it’s still mildly enjoyable to hear Rakim delivering his timeless lyrics over some different versions of these classics. I know everyone loses their shit over the Coldcut remix of ‘Paid In Full,’ but I always thought it was a little overrated, despite it’s ‘historical significance.’
It could be said that the world doesn’t need another DOOM compilation, but considering that most of them are amateurish fan mash-ups I’d argue that a definite collection of the Metal Faced Villain‘s post-Zev Love X period is long overdue. These are the seventeen best examples of DOOM, as officially sanctioned by the CRC Advisory Board.
There’s nothing like pretending to rap like it’s 1985 (or better yet, 1977) well after the fact, or recruiting some veteran MC’s to kick some old styles. While some of these attempts have fallen flat (Ugly Duckling and People Under The Stairs being two examples that spring to mind), others have made an entire career out of it (J-5). So break out your Lee jeans, mockneck sweater and Puma suedes for this faux trip down memory lane. Special shout out to Dr. Butcher‘s old school style freestyle at the end of Kool G Rap and DJ Polo‘s ‘Jive Talk‘ and the first verse of The Arsonists’ ‘Rhyme Time Travel.’
Before mastering engineer Jay Burnett named himself Burzootie and got dusted in the studio with MCA for the Def Jam maroon label sure shot, ‘Drum Machine,’ he released an early version in 1982 on his own Jayco imprint. I assume that’s him rapping on this as well.
What do you get when you combine Babe Ruth, the Olympic Runners and Stetsasonic? This demo track, which the YouTube poster guesses to be from ’86/’87, but considering how rough it sounds in comparison to their 1986 album On Fire I’d venture that it’s from 1985. Thanks to noz for putting me onto this, you can go and buy some rap from his Park Blvd Records and Tapes shop in Oakland as thanks.
To complete the theme that I’ve running with these past few weeks, here are fifteen rap songs which were either scrapped altogether, released as promo only or re-recorded for the album. It’s limited to one pick per artist, otherwise this would have ended up as yet another compilation of Ghostface and Nas songs that couldn’t be cleared.
*LL Cool J voice* You didn’t think I could do it again, did ya? [laughter] Another Zippyshare album! [laughter] The jokes on you jack!
Following on from last week’s Demo Versions comp, this is a collection of original versions of rap songs which had their beat completely changed for the album. Unlike tracks which have to get redone because of sample clearance problems, these tracks all seem to have been decided not to be musically strong enough and were taken back to the lab. In the majority of cases, the final versions are far superior, but there a few songs here which were deemed to be ‘too old sounding’ and suffered from shitty remixes before they were finally released. Since most of you would have have had the retail versions of these songs imprinted on your brain after years of constant rotation, it can be both disconcerting yet refreshing to hear them over totally different beats.
Cole James Cash was cleaning up his mom’s basement last week and found this old record which features not one but two rhymes which are ripped off word-for-word from other rappers. Apparently Lo Down had some connection with the Wu-Tang, with Islord from Killarmy contributing the final verse which is actually the Raekown’s rap from ‘Meth Vs. Chef.’ This either means that:
1. They both shared a ghostwriter who sold them the same rhyme without telling the other one;
2. Islord from Killarmy used to write Rae’s raps; or
3. The dude was so weeded out when he heard the Tical album that The Chef’s verse blended into his subconscious so deeply that he somehow convinced himself that he made it up himself. (more…)