Title: Saturday Night b/w Do It Do It - 12"
Label: Schoolly-D Records - 1986
"It was Saturday night and I was feeling kind of sporty/Went to the bar, caught me a forty..." "It was Saturday night and I was feeling kind of funny/Gold around my neck, pockets full of money..." Schoolly rocked this funky-ass beat with stories of wild Saturday night experiences in North Philly with big butt bitches, cheeba, forties, and the classic Schoolly style of rhymes. "Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet/smokin' a "J' and scratchin' the itch/Along came a spider and sat down beside her/and said, 'Yo, what's up with that bitch?" Unfortunately, all the later Schoolly-D cut - with the possible exception of "Smoke Some Kill" - don't even come close to rockin' it like this one. The B-side is just a call to the ladies to "just do it" with DJ Code Money cuttin' "who's afraid of the big bad wolf."
Artist: The Real Roxanne With Hitman
Title: Bang Zoom (Let's Go-Go!) - 12"
Producers: Full Force
Label: Select - 1986
As most of you know, the Real Roxanne is best known for her answer/dis response record to UTFO'S "Roxanne, Roxanne." While this record is no where near as good as that one, it does have a few major things going for it. If you are a scratch DJ, you'll want this for the some of the classic sound bites enclosed therein, including the records' intro "You are now rockin' with the best"/"The lady devestator with the big drum beater!"/ and "Sorry, huh, wrong beat...". The real meat and potatoes of the record, but breakdowns further into this spiraling percussive rhythm apparently caught Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis's ears because they stole a piece of this beat for Janet Jacksons' single "If." This record will definitely go down in the history of Hip-Hop as a classic, for DJ's and other crate diggers out there, two pieces of this wax are essential.
Artist: Stereo Crew
Title: She's A Skag - 12"
Label: Epic - 1986
Producer: Lonzo Williams & Dr. Dre
Yeah, yeah--the Predator and the Chronic getting live on an old school jam back in the day. Despite relying on the then common formula of the 808 and DMX drum machines, Dr. Dre still manages to come off with a hype track as he always does. This man has had the skills since day one. As far as the lyrics, the content is actually quite similar to more recent tunes by Cube. Even though Cube's voice is much higher, his delivery hits you like Hiroshima in characteristic style. Shorties rock it in '96, but Cube could kick a lyric when he was that age too. The other rapper, Kid Disaster, has a good delivery too. (What happened to him after CIA?) A slice of history as well as a funky jam. Incidentally, this is one of Ice Cube's most heard records as it was featured (albeit briefly) in Michael Jackson's "Bad" video. Go back, and see if you can find it.
Title: Cold Gettin' Dumb - 12"
Label: Fresh - 1986
Producer: Curtis Mantronik
Just-Ice (aka Sir Vicious) is one of the true original gangsters of hip-hop. Although Ice T was on wax earlier, Just-Ice is equally qualified to call himself O.G. as he has been kicking lyrical gangsterism for years now. This record is a perfect example of everything that was (and is) so dope about Just-Ice. While many see him as just a blunted, gun-toting gangsta which on the surface... he is, Just Ice goes much deeper. Listen to the intricate, articulate lyrical patterns on this track. Similar to G Rap, Just Ice draws you into his rhyme and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. This mic skill is complemented by Mantronik who, in '86, held the same status Dr. Dre and Premier hold today. His track takes a "Breaking Bells" basis and builds on it with a funky, tightly produced sound which, to me, sounds kinda like an old party jam like the Treacherous Three. Definitely an important record in the development of the distinctive South Bronx sound; and as a bonus, flip the record over, and you get part 2 as well. As Just-Ice says, "What more can you ask for?"
Artist: DJ Polo & Kool G. Rap
Title: It's a Demo b/w I'm Fly - 12"
Label: Cold Chillin' - 1986
Producer: Marley Marl
Over a set of James Brown samples (what else does Marley do?), Kool G Rap stakes his claim: " people in the audience Kool G Rap is my name / I write rhymes and insert them inside your brain / and DJ Polo the man up behind / operates the turntables when I'm rockin' my rhymes". The lyrics are impressive and include the heavily sampled " psychopath on the phonograph" description of DJ Polo. This cut reminds us that Kool G Rap is at his best when he flows at a rapid pace. This cut also appears remixed on the " Road to Riches" LP where the recording doesn't sound as raw. The B-side is a heavy boastin' cut about Gucci wear, limos, and bikini clad ladies with the Kool G Rap style of lyrics: " I put my friends in the Benz / I put my girls in pearls / I got the finest epidermis with the silky curls". Epidermis? I wonder if Marley could even spell it. Even though his name appeared after Polo's on the album, this record shows how one of the most understated lyricists in hip-hop was kickin' it back in the day.