Wednesday, April 22, 2015

FoXy BRoWn`s "CoMe FLy WiTH Me [CD SiNGLe]"...




Here`s another Foxy Brown single that was released in 2005 by Roc-A-Fella Records for the much anticipated (but yet to be released) "Black Roses" album, yes another unreleased Foxy Brown album! For those that may not have known Foxy left Def Jam around 2004 or so because they had cancelled the release of her "Ill Na Na 2: The Fever" album (although promo copies did see a limited release). Pissed off about the whole thing she bounced from the label, but after reuniting with Jay-Z while performing some shows during his Best Of Both World Tours she linked up with him on a business tip. She was originally set to be the first artist signed to Jigga`s S. Carter Records imprint, but once Jay-Z became the new president & CEO of Def Jam all plans for his imprint were put on hold/ cancelled. So he then resigned Foxy to Def Jam again as one of the first artists on his new roster. I can only guess that`s where the whole Roc-A-Fella/ Def Jam relationship stems from for the first couple of "Black Roses" singles that were released in 2005 by the labels...


Unfortunately "Black Roses" was also never released which sucks like $2 hooker$ on pay~day because it apparently featured production from the likes of Dave Kelly, The Neptunes, Trackmasters, Timbaland as well as Kanye West. Foxy Brown also confirmed that she had guest appearances from Spragga Benz, Baby Cham, Rakim, KRS-One, Mos Def, Shyne, Barrington Levy, Luther Vandross, Dido, Big Daddy Kane, Jay-Z & even Roxanne Shante. Both lists are pretty impressing, so one can only imagine what the album was cookin` up to be. Sadly Foxy announced on December 8, 2005 that she was experiencing sudden & severe sensorineural hearing loss in both of her ears. She had kept it a secret from most for about 6 months, I`m guessing she was afraid to tell anyone. Although I think that would be a silly route to take considering that as a recording artist you kind of need the use of your ears, but hey only God knows what was going thru her mind at the time. Anyway during this time she obviously pushed the "Black Roses" album aside to focus more on regaining her hearing...




Thankfully she was fortunate enough to have her hearing restored thru surgery around June of 2006 & she had planned to resume recording & working on the "Black Roses" album which was hopeful for a release towards the end of 2006 (December) although her label didn`t set a date. Rumors then began to circulate in November of 2006 that Jigga wasn`t too impressed with the progress, or lack there of, on her album & he was planning to drop her from the label. Shortly after these rumors began the some~what 'planned' December 2006 release for "Black Roses" was cancelled altogether. Eventually Brown once again left Def Jam in August of 2007 & linked up with Black Hand Entertainment for a management deal, Chaz Williams then became her manager. The plan after leaving Def Jam for the second time was that she was going to launch an independent label called Black Roses Entertainment that was going to have distribution thru Koch Records. To tide her fans over until she could release her much anticipated "Black Roses" album she decided to release a street album titled "Brooklyn Don Diva" which dropped in 2008 shortly before she was released from prison (that whole manicurists assault thing). Sadly the street album didn`t do as well as she expected & things began to sour between her & Black Hand Entertainment. Eventually they both parted ways & as for the "Black Roses" album it still remains unreleased. All that I have seen materialize from it are a few singles & this one that I`m sharing with y`all is one of them...





So excuse the long winded explanation about the "Black Roses" album, but I wanted to school those that may not have known about it. As for the single I`m sharing with y`all it`s titled "Come Fly With Me" & it features Reggae artist Sizzla. You get 4 tracks on here; Radio, Instrumental, Call-Out Hook & the Dirty Roc-A-Pella. It`s a shame that they chose not to include the LP version of the song, but hey if you`ve got some DJ~type skills you can take the Instrumental & just mix in the Roc-A-Pella & you`ll have the album version for your listening pleasure. The track itself is decent, obviously you`re gon` need to enjoy some X~rated hood flavored raps with a Reggae vibe to `em, but overall the track`s not bad. So check it out for ya`self & enjoy...






Foxy Brown - Come Fly With Me [CD Single]
Label: Roc-A-Fella Records
Released: 2005



1. Come Fly With Me [Radio] {ft. Sizzla}
2. Come Fly With Me [Instr.]
3. Come Fly With Me [Call-Out Hook] {ft. Sizzla}
4. Come Fly With Me [Dirty Roc-A-Pella] {ft. Sizzla}








SoLiDFiLeS LiNK...


MeGa LiNK...









N`JoY...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

FoXy BRoWn`s "Oh YeaH b/w B.K. AnTHeM [12 iNCH SiNGLe]"...


What`s happenin` y`all? Hope all is well in your Life. Today I figured that I`d post up a single since it`s been a while since I have shared any with y`all. So without any delay, let`s get to it shall we? This single is from one my favorite female emcees Foxy Brown, it was released back in 2001 by Def Jam. This single contains 2 songs; "Oh Yeah" & "B.K. Anthem" both joints from her 2001 released album titled "Broken Silence" (also one of my favorite Fox Boogie albums). There`s 6 tracks in total on this 12 inch single, each song includes the LP, Radio & Instrumental versions. Out of the 2 songs my favorite on here has got to be the Eddie Scoresazy produced "Oh Yeah" with the backing vocals of Spragga Benz. Don`t get me wrong the Robert "Shim" Kirkland produced "B.K. Anthem" isn`t too shabby either, but man you simply just can`t really compare it to "Oh Yeah". The war~like chant & the Reggae infused beat make for a great listen. While Foxy spits some pretty decent bars only to compliment the beat even more... 




I`m not sure why they censor out Diddy`s name in that one line; "Niggas say I`m too pretty to spit rhymes this gritty. Fuck y`all thought? Be dancin` around in suits like I`m (**Diddy**)"...I could be trippin` but I think the advance copy of "Broken Silence" doesn`t have it edited out (I`ll have to DiG it out of my collection to find out). I don`t see what the deal is anyway, it`s not like it`s a huge DiSS & besides everyone knows who`s implied in the line so why bother to censor it out? Other lines that I dig in that song are; "Bitches smile up in your face, turn around & pop shit. You a industry bitch, I`m a in~the~streets bitch"... as well as this one; "Listen, never trippin`, never catch Brown slippin`. Fuck, y`all only nice around mics like Pippen"...Alright now let`s move on to "B.K. Anthem" which isn`t a bad tune either, it was definitely made with them mixtapes in mind. Fox shows some love to her home turf of Brooklyn, the only thing that I don`t really like much is that she tries a lil` too hard with all the guns & drug references on this one, it`s just a lil` overbearing, but she still manages to keep it somewhat interesting...




So in a nut~shell this is a pretty solid single overall, definitely worth checking out. Like I mentioned before these songs are off of "Broken Silence" which in my opinion is one of Foxy`s best albums (if not the best). If you are a fan of Foxy Brown & haven`t heard this it`s definitely worth the listening time spent. Something to note, the cover art that I`ve included & added in with this post isn`t the original cover for this release. I couldn`t find a decent quality pic so I just used the cover art from the UK 12 inch release instead. Besides this picture of Foxy is waaaaaay better than the boring & plain text cover that was used as the original on this release. So there ya have it, check it out & enjoy...









Label: Def Jam
Released: 2001



1. Oh Yeah [Radio Edit] {ft. Spragga Benz}
2. Oh Yeah [LP Version] {ft. Spragga Benz}
3. Oh Yeah [Instr.]
4. B.K. Anthem [Radio Edit]
5. B.K. Anthem [LP Version]
6. B.K. Anthem [Instr.]















N`JoY...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

E MoNeyBaGs` "iN E MoNeyBaGs We TRuST"...

Re~uPP`d, originally posted on 06.01.2008...


Max H said...
Dunn, I've been looking for this for a minute for a minute good looks on the post. G Rap's verse on 'Friend Of Ours' is straight bananas!!!
 

Keep doing your thizzle, one
^ Comment from the original post ^ 





What`s up y`all? Hope all is well & Life hasn`t been stressin` ya too hard! If it has don`t let it get you all down & depressed because Life itself isn`t as long as ya think, you may not wake up tomorrow. So enjoy your days alive while you have them, I know it`s a lot easier to say than it is to do but trust me you don`t want your last day on Earth to be spent being mad at someone you love because of some petty ish! Anyways I`m done rambling on about Life, guess I just got a lil` caught up since the month that just passed (March) reminded me of how precious Life really is. The reason? Well Hip Hop lost Magic (of No Limit Records fame) on March 1st, Biggie on March 9th, Nate Dogg on March 15th, Eazy-E on March 26th & Freaky Tah on March 28th. I`m sure if ya wanted to get technical every month of the year probably has a big list of fallen soldiers, I may have even missed a few in March, but it just hit me hard because 3 of my favorite emcees (Biggie, Eazy-E & Nate Dogg) died in March. Unlike 2Pac these kats didn`t leave behind much unreleased material, at least to my knowledge anyway. So it just made me think about how short & precious ya` Life really is. Then after diggin` up this album from fallen emcee E Moneybags (because folks have been requesting a re~up) & hearing the potential that this kat had that was cut short, it`s really sad. Hip Hop has lost many great artists before they even had a chance to reach their prime, but that`s a story for another post...

 
Let`s get to this re~up shall we? The album in question is E Moneybags` "In E Moneybags We Trust". First thing`s first, I`m not sure if the tunes I have to share with y`all are from a cassette rip or maybe the CD source they were ripped from wasn`t of the best quality sound~wise or maybe that`s just how they originally sound like, either way the sound quality isn`t that great. Forgive me for not knowing much about this album, I believe that it was released independently in 1999 thru Grand Imperial Records, a label that Moneybags co-owned along with Majesty of the Live Squad. It`s not that long of a listen with its short running time of just over 35 minutes in length, but that doesn`t mean that it`s not worth checking out. E Moneybags definitely had some talent, but sadly Eric Smith a.k.a. E-Money Bags to the Hip Hop world, had his recording career along with his Life cut short on July 16th, 2001 while he sat in his Lincoln Navigator parked on a street in Queens Village, New York. His Navigator was reigned on by a hail of bullets, over 40 rounds from 3 different shooters. Moneybags was hit by 10 of the shots fired & died shortly after. Eric`s shooting was planned out by Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff in retaliation for the 1999 murder of Colbert "Black Just" Johnson, an associate of McGriff`s. A month later (August 2001) police found a videotape & on the video filmed from July 13, 2001 to July 16, 2001, E Moneybags is seen driving & parking his Navigator on the Queens Village street where he was later gunned down that night at 9:45pm...

 

The video was filmed by 2 of McGriff`s associates; Dennis "Divine" Crosby, a drug~dealer & his girlfriend Nicole Brown. Six years later in February 2007 the Supreme Team`s founder Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff was found guilty for ordering the hits on Eric "E-Money Bags" Smith & Troy Singleton in 2001. He was sentenced to Life for the murders & other drug~related crimes. As for E Money Bags, I don`t know much about him. Actually the only thing that I knew prior to doing a little research was that he repp`D Lefrak in Corona, Queens, had lots of ReSPeCT in the streets & had worked with the likes of Kool G. Rap, Prodigy, Nas, Capone-N-Noreaga, Live Squad & even the late great 2Pac to name a few. "In E Moneybags We Trust" was his first & only album released in 1999 with featured appearances by Nature, Nas, Capone-N-Noreaga, Live Squad, Kool G. Rap, Horse, Maze, Musolini, Diesel & the Show Boyz. So let`s get into my thoughts on it shall we???

 
Things open up with an Intro (how surprising, I know right?....LoL) that apparently features Capone of Capone-N-Noreaga fame, but it`s actually just a vocal sample taken from the "Capone Phone Home Outro" off the "War Report" album mixed into a pretty nice beat. The sample just gets looped thru~out the beat, so it`s not really anything that you`ll need to hear more than once unless you really like the beat of course. The first song on the album is "Regulate", a DoPe song backed by a sweet instrumental. It`s just a shame that they cut it so short. I know that there is a version of this song that features Prodigy of Mobb Deep (probably released posthumously) & it does seem as though they just cut out the rest of the song for some reason. It would have been great to hear the entire song, but it is what it is. "Ain`t Got A Clue" uses a Foxy Brown vocal sample taken from "Affirmative Action" for the hook. The beat uses a loop that is somewhat simplistic, but it doesn`t matter much once the drums kick in `cuz it holds a definite New York vibe to it. E Moneybags spits that street braggadocio ish, but he does it well...

 



"All They Do Is This" features the Show Boyz, I ain`t got a clue....LoL, on who there are unfortunately. If you know please feel free to school me! Anyways this joint is probably my least favorite on the album. It`s not completely wack, but in my opinion it is just too long & the beat feels uninspired to me. I think it`s a play on Goodie Mob`s "They Don`t Dance No Mo`" except they flip it; "Niggas don`t fight no mo` all they do is this"... which is followed up by guns being cocked & fired. It was kind of entertaining for the first 2 minutes or so but about 4 & a quarter minutes of it gets a little boring to me. "What You Need?" features E`s homies the Live Squad, the beginning of the track has somewhat of an interlude where they snatch up some kat & eventually kill him, well you don`t really hear that but you do hear a gun cocked so you can only guess that dude gets shot, then the song starts. One thing that you`ll notice is the chemistry that E has with Live Squad. Anyway the beat`s got a mellow vibe to it, while each emcee takes turns spitting some street tough talking business. The song`s not super spectacular, but it`s definitely not wack either...


"Want It" features both Nas & Horse, even though Horse is uncredited he`s the one spitting the second verse on this track. This song also has a mellow`D out vibe to it, but even though it`s soft & relaxing in sound it still holds its street character. Of course Nas outshines all that are featured on the track, but Moneybags still manages to hold his own. "How Cool" features Nature & sounds like it could have been done for one of those late `90's mixtapes. Both kats take turns trading braggadocio rhymes & the end result is a decent effort. "Thugged Out" features Noreaga & a few members of his crew; Maze, Musolini & Diesel who for some reason are just credited as Thugged Out. This joint was probably done for some DJ Clue mixtape seeing as how they give him some shout outs on here. Like the previously mentioned Nature collabo` "Thugged Out" is another decent listen. "Friend Of Ours" is a collabo` that features the legendary Kool G. Rap as well as Nature. Unfortunately the sound quality of this song isn`t that great because this joint is a banger! The beat has a nice killer Soul sample that some may recognize (think Mood`s "Karma"). Hopefully I can eventually track down a better sounding version of this track someday. G. Rap steals the show on this one, my opinion of course -- even if he did later recycle his verse from this track for "3 To The Dome" on Sway & King Tech`s "This Or That" album...

 
The "Esco Intro" is simply just the last few seconds of Noreaga`s "Da Story" & serves basically as a shout out to E Moneybags from Nas. The album closes out with "Thugs Calm Down" featuring Nas & Noreaga, a great tune without question. I just love that beat, the piano loop is catchy as fuck! This version is the original from what I can tell, but I know some of y`all probably heard the other version of this track that is out there that features Tragedy Khadafi instead of E Money Bags. The story behind the 2 different versions is that Tragedy took E`s verse off the track because he felt that it was wack, you can peep a little article about that story here. So there you have it, do I think that this album`s a 5 mic masterpiece? No, but it does give us a glimpse at the potential that E Moneybags possessed. He wasn`t the best rapper, but he did have his moments. I think that this kat was more concerned with his street hustlin` than he was with his rappin` hustle though, which is kind of a shame because he may still be alive had he chose to spend more time in the booth & less time hangin` out in them streets. Then again ya never know, look at what happened to Biggie. Anyway you should probably give this joint a listen if you`re a fan of that late `90's New York sound, enjoy...







E Money Bags - In E Money Bags We Trust
Label: Grand Imperial Records
Released: 1999  




1. Intro {ft. Capone}
2. Regulate
 

3. Ain`t Got A Clue
 4. All They Do Is This {ft. Show Boyz}
 5. What You Need? {ft. Live Squad} 
6. Want It {ft. Nas & Horse} 
7. How Cool {ft. Nature} 
8. Thugged Out {ft. Noreaga, Maze, Musolini & Diesel} 
9. Friend Of Ours {ft. Kool G. Rap & Nature} 
10. Esco Intro
11. Thugs Calm Down {ft. Nas & Noreaga}






SoLiDFiLeS LiNK...


MeGa LiNK...








R.i.P. E MoNeyBaGs...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

SNooP DoGG`s "FuCK DeaTH RoW [BooTLeG]"...

What`s happenin` y`all? Hope all is good & Life`s treatin` ya right. Today I decided to reach into my BiG ol` collection of CD`s to dust off a decent bootleg that dropped way back in 1999 titled "Fuck Death Row" by Snoop Dogg. Now obviously it was a compilation type joint probably put together by a major Snoop Dogg fan that had access to some unreleased joints, or maybe Snoop did have something to do with this on the down low - who knows for sure? What I do know is that this bootleg features a gang of Snoop Dogg tracks that would appear a year later on the somewhat controversial Snoop Dogg album titled "Dead Man Walkin`" released by Death Row Records in 2000. I know that Suge Knight put that "Dead Man Walkin`" album out as somewhat of a threat to Snoop for leaving Tha Row, but hey maybe Suge got a hold of the bootleg album "Fuck Death Row" liked a few of the tracks that were featured & said 'fuck it I have most of these recordings in the vault, why not give `em an official release'? Anything is possible when it comes to Death Row....LoL...


I honestly don`t know a whole lot about this bootleg aside from the fact that it came out between Snoop`s first & second No Limit Records albums "Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told" & "No Limit Top Dogg". At the time it came out it featured some unreleased joints as well as few joints that were released previously, out of the bootleg`s 13 tracks 3 of them were previously released ("Rock Ya` Body", "Snitches" & "Goldrush"). The rest of the songs were pretty much unreleased aside from "Ride On", but the version on this bootleg is different than the one that`s featured on the "Caught Up Soundtrack" that dropped in 1998. Six of those unreleased joints would later be released by Death Row on the previously mentioned "Dead Man Walkin`" album. Anyways, let`s digest the bootleg now shall we???


Things start off on a good note with the mellow`D out vibes of "Don`t Do The Crime", I`ve also seen this track being labeled "Fuck Death Row" which is probably why they titled the bootleg as so. They got the idea from Snoop`s opening bars on the track where he spits; "I ain`t fuckin` with them niggas no mo`. Shit I feel the same way y`all feel, nigga fuck Death Row! I cut `em loose"...One can only assume that this track was either released during the period of time when Snoop refused to record anything for Death Row because they didn`t want to release him from the label or it was recorded after he left for Master P`s No Limit Records. I tend to lean towards my first guess though because I remember back in the day whenever P was talkin` about his label he would say that he wasn`t down with all the beef ish between artists or coasts, so I doubt that P would condone such bold actions from his newly signed artist. Either way the song`s pretty sweet although it`s somewhat simplistic in style with its long~ass verse it`s still got a nice smoked out Snoop freestyle flow to it...


"Last Meal" follows the bootleg`s opener, I believe that it`s produced by Snoop`s homie Soopafly. I think that this joint was included as a part of bootleg versions of Snoop`s album with the same name that came out in 2000, but never made it to the retail version. It`s not too shabby, far from mind blowin` but the beat`s decent enough to get ya` head noddin`. "Too Black" is the first of the joints that ended up on that "Dead Man Walkin`" album, it`s produced by L.T. Hutton. You can sort of see where Snoop was trying to go with this one, but honestly his flow sounds somewhat uninspired even though the beat`s actually pretty funky. This song may have been one of the scrapped joints from Snoop`s "Doggfather" sessions. Thankfully things perk right up with the banger of a track titled "Rock Ya` Body" which also features The Click (E-40, Suga-T, B-Legit & D-Shot) & Tha Dogg Pound. This song is definitely my favorite on this here bootleg, the beat`s got a nice thumpin` Bay Area vibe. Since I liked it so much I did a lil` more diggin` on it & found out that this joint was officially released on a 1998 compilation~type album titled "D-Shot Presents: Boss Ballin` 2". It`s kind of hard to believe that with a song as DoPe as this not too many folks knew about it, maybe that D-Shot compilation was more of a localized joint? I`m just guessing though, either way it`s definitely worth checkin` out...


"Snitches" follows the body rockin` & just like the previously mentioned track this joint was also officially released being featured on Master P`s double disc album titled "MP Da Last Don" which came out in 1998. Although P kind of ruins it towards the end of the song with all that talkin`, I still think this track`s pretty decent. It was definitely one of my favorite joints off that "MP Da Last Don" album anyway. "I Will Survive" is the second song from this bootleg to be featured on that "Dead Man Walkin`" album. It features Kurupt as well as Technique (or Techniec as I`ve seen it spelled) & is produced by Soopafly. This song`s alright, it was probably put together more so to give Technique some shine. I`m guessing that maybe he was an artist that Snoop was grooming for his Doggystyle Records label at the time. Either way it`s not too bad, but it`s far from "Rock Ya` Body" status....LoL, that`s a given. "Cee Walkin`" is another one of the joints that made its way onto "Dead Man Walkin`", but that version has a totally different beat than the one on this bootleg & it`s also slightly changed to "C-Walkin`". I don`t know who produced the bootleg`s version, but Big Hutch provided the beat for the "Dead Man Walkin`" version. Aside from the beat differences though, lyrically they`re both identical. On this song Snoop reflects back on his past Life`s gang affiliations as a Crip while kickin` some smooth`D out flows with somewhat of a freestyled vibe to `em, worth giving it a listen for sure...


"Tommy" is once again one of those songs that`s also featured on that "Dead Man Walkin`" album, although it`s renamed "Tommy Boy" it still has the same beat & lyrics. It`s produced by Daz & he`s also featured on the track. The beat has some nice funky piano~synth type chords to it as well as a snappy tempo. I dig the beat more so than the lyrics, but overall it`s a decent track. "Hit Roccs" is also featured on "Dead Man Walkin`", renamed "Hit Rocks" of course. I think both versions are produced by DJ Pooh, but I may be wrong so don`t quote me on that. The tracks are slightly different beat~wise with the version on "Dead Man Walkin`" having more of a polished sound to it, but lyrically they`re the same. The beat on the bootleg is still somewhat funky but the D.M.W. version is much better, my opinion of course. This song sounds like it could have been another one of the joints scrapped from the "Doggfather" sessions. On a side note a slightly different version of this song with the title "Buss`n Rocks" produced by DJ Quik would eventually make its was on to Snoop`s 1999 album "No Limit Top Dogg"...


"Hoez" features Luke & Tha Dogg Pound, I think that I remember hearing this song on the bootleg version of Snoop`s "Last Meal", but I could be mistaken. Honestly I was somewhat surprised to hear Luke on here seein` as how he wasn`t so kind to Snoop on that "Cowards In Compton" joint, although to be fair it was most JT Money & that other kat DiSS`n Snoop. Either way they obviously squashed the beef or they wouldn`t have done the song together.....LoL, overall it`s nothing super spectacular but Snoop definitely outshines all the featured artists on this song about lovely women. "Goldrush" was actually labeled as "Gold Rich" on this bootleg, but I retitled it to its original title since it`s from Snoop`s "Doggfather" album & whoever put this bootleg together probably just had a hearing problem.....LoL, Kurupt & a couple kats from the LBC Crew are featured on this song, I think Bad Azz is one of `em. Anyway it`s a decent tune with a wild West vibe to it & some gold rushin` tales...


"Ride On [Rmx]" features Kurupt, this joint has the same lyrics as the song that Snoop had featured on the "Caught Up Soundtrack" released in 1998. That version is titled "Caught Up/ Ride On" & has a different beat than the one on this bootleg, so I`m not totally sure if this one is an official remix or just the original/ demo version of the song, so I just left it tagged as a remix. The bootleg version`s not too shabby, but I still like the version off the "Caught Up Soundtrack" more. "Change Gone Come" closes out this bootleg & features Jewell (uncredited) singing on the hook, she does a great job. Always felt that she could`ve had a bigger career if she had the chance to put out more music during Tha Row`s time on the top, but hey that`s story for another time. Anyway Snoop kicks some smooth & hungry soundin` flows over the L.T. Hutton produced beat that carries a sweet mellow vibe to it. This joint may have been recorded during the "Doggfather" sessions, either way this song`s a great way to end things...


Overall I`d say that this bootleg makes for a good listen, if you`re a BiG Snoop Dogg fan then you should really check it out. There`s a nice range of good tunes on here, not too much filler at all. Something that I should note, after finishing this write up I stumbled upon another Snoop Dogg release from 1998 called "SmokeFest World Tour" & it turns out that most of the songs on there are the same as what`s on this "Fuck Death Row" bootleg just with a different track line up. So at the end of the day I still don`t know much about this "Fuck Death Row" bootleg....LoL, but either way it is a nice addition to the collection regardless, go `head & peep it for ya`self...




Label: N/A
Released: 1999



1. Don`t Do The Crime
2. Last Meal
3. Too Black
4. Rock Ya` Body {ft. The Click & Tha Dogg Pound}
5. Snitches {ft. Master P}
6. I Will Survive {ft. Technique & Kurupt}
7. Cee Walkin`
8. Tommy {ft. Daz}
9. Hit Roccs
10. Hoez {ft. Luke, Tha Dogg Pound}
11. Goldrush {ft. Kurupt & LBC Crew}
12. Ride On {ft. Kurupt}
13. Change Gone Come {ft. Jewell}























N`JoY...

Sunday, January 25, 2015

CooLiO`s "iT TaKeS A THieF [HeRBaN DeLuXe VeRSioN]"...





I hope y`all have been having a good start to the new year so far! Mine has been alright, I won`t complain. Anyway, I have another album to share with ya that I decided to give the ol` HeRBaN DeLuXe treatment to. I actually had this album put together before the end of 2014 & forgot about it because I had misplaced it in a different folder on my PC. Well I just so happened to stumble across it a few days ago & figured that it was about time to share it with y`all. So without any more waiting let`s get down to it shall we? So the album in question is Coolio`s 1994 debut titled "It Takes A Thief" which was released by Tommy Boy Records. Folks may clown him now~a~days because of his TV appearances & well that lil` video he did with PornHub didn`t help his case either, but early on in his career his music was pretty DaMn good -- at least his first 3 albums anyway (this is of course my opinion)...





Now if for some reason you never took the 'Fantastic Voyage' with Mr. 'Gangsta`s Paradise' & have no clue about who Coolio is I guess after I laugh a lil` at that corny pun I could school ya real quick. Ha~hah, anyway Coolio reps Compton, California & first stepped on the scene in 1987 on a Electro style Hip Hop track titled "You`re Gonna Miss Me" by Nu-Skool (which consisted of Coolio & Spoony I believe, if I`m wrong please correct me!). Very few liked this love song overall & it was a flop sales~wise so Nu-Skool recorded another track titled "(I Wanna Know) What Makes You Dance" & released it the following year in 1988. This joint was more on the Bass Music vibe but still has some Electro elements to it. Again it wasn`t anything super spectacular although it was better than their first outing that`s for sure. Then in 1991 he linked up with WC & his group The Maad Circle & landed a feature on their hit single "Dress Code"...






Later in that same year, now a member of The Maad Circle, they released their debut album titled "Ain`t A Damn Thang Changed". Coolio was featured on 5 of the album`s tracks; "Back To The Underground", "Behind Closed Doors", "Get Up On That Funk", "You Don`t Work, U Don`t Eat" & the album`s title track "Ain`t A Damn Thang Changed". Then in 1994 Coolio signs a contract with Tommy Boy Records & they release his debut album titled "It Takes A Thief". The album does well, becomes certified Platinum reaching the #8 spot on the Billboard 200 with the help of it`s lead single "Fantastic Voyage". "County Line" & "I Remember", the albums other singles were also minor hits as well. The following year, 1995, Coolio released his best selling album to date "Gangsta`s Paradise", but I`m not going to get into all of the because I want to focus on his debut so I`ll save that for another post...


With this HeRBaN DeLuXe VeRSioN I mainly just boosted the volume up on a few tracks & added some joints from a few of Coolio`s singles. There`s not really any rare B-sides that he released during that period of time around "It Takes A Thief" so that`s why I just added the 2 remixes of "Fantastic Voyage". Sure wish that there was an uncensored version of that Funk Flex Remix, the Dave Bellochio Mix is decent though. I added the Radio Versions of "County Line" & "Sticky Fingers" because they have alternate lyrics instead of just being censored annoyingly with beeps. The Original Version of "I Remember" is pretty similar to the album version, but there is a slight difference in the beat & honestly I think that they should have just used the Original Version for the album instead because it does sound better. Now let`s get into my thoughts on the album...





The album opens up with it`s lead single "Fantastic Voyage", Coolio puts his twist on the Lakeside`s `80's hit with the same title. It`s a nice funky & danceable joint produced by Dobbs The Wino with Stan "The Guitar Man" Jones rockin` the guitar on the track while G.A.T. a.k.a. Gangstas & Thugs (Snappz, Blue, Drew Baby & Tycco) a singing quartet from Compton, California sings on the hook. It opens the album up on a light~hearted funky party vibe & of course it`s the track that most folks remember the album for because it received a lot of radio & music video play during the time of it`s release. "County Line" follows with it`s funky vibes provided again by Dobbs The Wino. On this joint Coolio kicks the somewhat humorous tale about his experiences while waiting in the County Line trying to get a check. "Mama, I`m In Love With A Gangsta" features female emcee LeShaun, that`s right before she was 'Doin` It' with Mr. Smith she was rappin` love songs about her locked up gangsta boyfriend with Coolio. The two trade verses back & forth; Coolio rappin` from the perspective of the locked down gangsta while LeShaun plays the role of the down~ass girlfriend on the outside waiting for her man. It`s a decent song as far as love songs with a gangsta twist go, Dobbs The Wino`s beat also helps make this joint a lot more enjoyable with it`s laid~back funky vibe...







"Hand On My Nutsac" is basically a joint for Coolio to flex some braggadocio style lyrics over another Dobbs The Wino beat, it`s alright but nothing that`ll blow your mind. The Reggae influenced "Ghetto Cartoon" follows, it features Junior P. on the hook & is produced by Rashad Coles. Coolio kicks a ghetto tale using famous cartoon characters in the story, similar to Spice 1`s "187 Proof" except without the drug & liquor references. I find it to be entertaining & it gives Coolio a chance to flex some of his storytelling skills. "Smokin` Stix" is produced by Billy Boy & it has Coolio detailing his experience smokin` Stix (Sherm` mixed with embalming fluid & a cigarette). Although I can`t relate to the experience myself I can`t deny that the beat will have your head bobbin` & maybe it`ll even get ya up dancing. Dobbs The Wino handles the production for the somewhat depressing but Jazzy vibes of "Can-O-Corn", a joint that has Coolio speaking on the struggles of growin` up on the poor side of the tracks. Coolio keeps The Maad Circle vibe alive by featuring WC on the Crazy Toones produced "U Know Hoo!", it`s a decent rugged track...


The album`s title track "It Takes A Thief" follows The Maad Circle reunion, CS Coleman provides a great backdrop for Coolio to flex his tales of thievery. This joint is one of my favorites on the album, the storytelling is done well & definitely captures the vibes of thieving. Coolio`s Nu-Skool homie Spoon a.k.a. Spoony even shows up on the track providing background vocals. Dobbs The Wino hits the boards again to provide the beat for the decent sounds of the 'don`t forget where you`ve come from anthem' "Bring Back Something Fo` Da Hood" while Stan "The Guitar Man" Jones handles the Bass G-tar action. Coolio decides to delve into the dark days of his past as a Crack~head with the Dobbs The Wino produced "`N Da Closet" which features G.A.T. providing some of the background vocals. Clinton Sands plays the Bass while Coolio utilizes his lyrics to capture & express the experience that only one that was truly on the pipe could describe. "On My Way To Harlem" is a Jazzy~vibed joint that has Coolio taking a trip out to the East Coast detailing his experiences. It`s a decent joint, I really dig the beat so I don`t mind that the song doesn`t have a hook...


Much to the disappointment of any Onyx fans "Sticky Fingers" isn`t an ode or tribute to Mr. Black Trash, but rather the tales of Coolio`s career as a thief before he was a rapper. It`s a humorous track with a simplistic beat, but overall it`s not too bad. PS of 40 Thevz fame & Billy Boy are featured on "Thought You Knew" another braggadocio joint. All three deliver decent G`d up verses over the bangin` instrumental provided by Dobbs The Wino. The album`s humor continues with "Ugly Bitches" a cautionary tale warning the fellas about the iLLs of linkin` up with women from the ugly side of the tracks. To this day it still makes me laugh whenever I give it a listen, maybe it`s because I used to bump whenever I was chillin` with my homie Forbes because he was always braggin` about the chicks he was baggin` when most of them came from the side to the tracks I was just referring to in the previous sentence....LoL, "I Remember" closes out the album & features Billy Boy & J-Ro from the Alkaholiks. It`s a nice way to finish off things, each emcee spits verses reminiscing about their childhood over a good & funky beat while it`s hook is sung well by some uncredited artist...





Now on to the bonus treats that I have added to the album, first off is the Funkmaster Flex Remix of "Fantastic Voyage". The only thing that I don`t really like about it is that it`s a censored version, I seriously searched & searched for an uncensored one but came up short unfortunately. The horn~infused beat makes for a good backing to Coolio`s flow. The David Bellochio Mix of "Fantastic Voyage" is definitely one of the better remixes out there & yes this one`s the Street Version, the change~ups in the beat help to keep things interesting. As I previously mentioned towards the beginning of this write up the Radio Versions of "County Line" & "Sticky Fingers" were added because they contained alternate lyrics instead of just being censored with annoying beeps or muted silences, so they`re definitely worth a listen. I always respect the artists more when they choose to rewrite their lyrics for the Radio Versions because it just shows that they really want to keep the listeners listening. The last & final song that I added was the Original Version of "I Remember", overall it`s pretty much the same as the version that appears on the original album. The only things that I noticed was that the beat is slightly different, you really need to listen to both tracks side by side to hear it though. The other thing is that the Original is a few seconds longer than the version that`s on the album. Regardless of these small differences though I still prefer the Original Version over the one off the album & feel that they should have just used it instead...


So overall I really think that "It Takes A Thief" is Coolio`s best album, sure "Gangsta`s Paradise" & "My Soul" are decent but I feel that his debut didn`t really feature any forced commercial joints. True there`s "Fantastic Voyage" & even "I Remember", but honestly they come off as natural sounding songs to me whereas on his later albums is seems as though he went out of his way to ensure that he did the commercialized songs. His debut album is more honest with it`s gangsta sounds & the added humor within Coolio`s lyrics help keep the album from trying to come off as being too hard. At a time when everyone was trying to show/ front about how hardcore they were Coolio wasn`t afraid to kick rhymes that showed that he was just an average kat from the `hood even if it meant talking about a past drug habit that he had overcome. Truthfully whenever I give it a listen I don`t skip over any songs because as a whole I really dig it. The production definitely helps keep the album interesting. Dobbs The Wino did a great job with the majority of the album`s beats since he handled the bulk of it, but even the ones that he didn`t produce are good. So in a nutshell I honestly think that "It Takes A Thief" is a well executed album. I`m sure that there`s some folks out there that will disagree with my me & that`s fine. Either way I think you should give this a listen & come up with your own opinion, so check it out...


Coolio - It Takes A Thief [HeRBaN DeLuXe VeRSioN]
Label: Tommy Boy Records/ BuDD@H BLe$$eD EnT.
Released: 2015 (Originally Released In 1994)



1. Fantastic Voyage [Timber Mix] {ft. G.A.T.}
2. County Line
3. Mama I`m In Love With A Gangsta {ft. LeShaun}
4. Hand On My Nutsac
5. Ghetto Cartoon (Includes Cleo`s Mood) {ft. Junior P.}
6. Smokin` Stix {ft. The Homies}
7. Can-O-Corn {ft. The Homies}
8. U Know Hoo! {ft. WC}
9. It Takes A Thief {ft. Spoon}
10. Bring Back Something Fo` Da Hood {ft. The Homies}
11. `N Da Closet {ft. G.A.T.}
12. On My Way To Harlem
13. Sticky Fingers
14. Thought You Knew {ft. Billy Boy & PS}
15. Ugly Bitches {ft. The Homies}
16. I Remember {ft. Billy Boy & J-Ro}
17. Fantastic Voyage [Funk Master Flex Rmx (Clean Radio Edit)]
18. Fantastic Voyage [Dave Bellochio Street Mix]
19. County Line [Radio Version]
20. Sticky Fingers [Radio Version]
21. I Remember [Original Version] {ft. Billy Boy & J-Ro}





















N`JoY...