Thursday, May 21, 2015

50 CeNT`s "GueSS Who`S BaCK?"...

I know, I`s been a minute since my last post & I do apologize for that but hey what can I say Life as a father of a 2 year old keeps ya pretty busy...LoL, if I just wanted to be like every other music blog out there that just posts up albums, mixtapes or whatever without a write up I could have weekly posts, but that`s just not how I like to do things. I want to bring a little something extra to the table, maybe educate ya on a little something about the music that you`re going to listen to. I treat this blog like something that I would enjoy so that is why I take the extra time to do the write ups/ reviews. I want a little more substance with my music & since we are all in the digi[tal] days now folks are missing out on the linear notes (you don`t get that with your i-Tunes purchases) I figured that I`d give you something like the equivalent with my write ups. Anyway, I`m done rambling let`s get into the music now shall we???

What I have dug out to share with y`all this time around was released back in 2002 thru Full Clip Records by 50 Cent & it`s titled "Guess Who`s Back?". Most of my homies call this joint a mixtape, but I think that it`s more of a street album compilation type of joint because it doesn`t have all of its tracks blended into each other & well there`s also no DJ shouting all over the tracks either....LoL, anyways if ya don`t know who 50 Cent is well then you probably should just leave this blog right now. However if you still don`t know about him & you want to stay I`ll try & give ya the quick~fast story so we can get to the music...

Born in South Jamaica, Queens (New York) Curtis Jackson III (50 Cent to the Hip Hop world) was raised by his mother Sabrina. Unfortunately she chose the Life of a Cocaine dealer & when Curtis was only 12 years old in 1988 she was murdered. Apparently she was having drinks with someone, they spiked her drink with something & she blacked out. While she was unconscious whoever drugged her closed up all the windows in the apartment & turned on the gas stove closing the door behind them leaving her there in the apartment to die. Without anyone else to care for him he moved in with his grandparents. Not too long after that he took on the role of a drug dealer, this was during the late 1980`s at the height of the Crack epidemic. Just like his mother he was out for the quick cash...

He continued down this path for a few years until 1994 when he was arrested for selling 4 vials of Cocaine to an undercover cop. A few weeks later he was arrested again when police searched his residence & found 10 ounces of Crack, a starter pistol & some Heroin. Originally sentenced to a 3-to-9 [years] in prison he got off lucky & only had to serve 6 months in a boot camp type of program where he was also able to earn his GED. A few years later he began rappin` at a friend`s home where they had some turntables set up in the basement. There he`d record his raps over various instrumentals played on his friend`s turntable set up. Curtis chose the moniker 50 Cent because he said that it was a metaphor for change. It was also inspired by a infamous 1980`s Brooklyn stick-up kid, Kelvin "50 Cent" Martin. He chose it "because it says everything I want it to say. I`m the same kind of person 50 Cent was. I provide for myself by any means"...

In 1996 one of 50`s homies introduced him to the late great Jam Master Jay of Run DMC fame who was just trying to get his Jam Master Jay Records label off the ground at the time. Jay seen the potential that 50 Cent had so he decided to take him in under his wing schooling him on how to write hooks, count bars, structure songs & overall make records. This apprenticeship eventually led to 50`s first appearance on a record in 1998 on the song titled "React". The song was off of the album "Shut `Em Down" by Onyx another Hip Hop group from Queens that Jay was mentoring. 50 continued to work with Jay & during this period of time it`s been rumored that Jam Master Jay did the production for an album of 50`s that never got released. I guess that may be the reason why 50 Cent eventually left Jay & linked up with the production duo Tone & Poke a.k.a. the Trackmasters who helped get him signed to Columbia Records. Once signed the Trackmasters set him up in an upstate New York recording studio where he finished off 36 songs in a 2 week span. Out of the 3 dozen completed tracks 18 of them were used for his debut album titled "Power Of A Dollar" which was set for a 1999 release in October...

Fan made video...

With the release of the underground single titled "How To Rob..." 50 Cent really started to garner a buzz although most of it was controversy. You see "How To Rob..." was basically a flip of Biggie`s "Dreams", but instead of rappin` about all the R&B singers that he was goin` to have sexual escapades with 50 raps in a comical way about goin` on a robbin` spree stickin` up a lot of famous artists without worrying about who`s name he drops. Naturally some of the artists mentioned didn`t see the humor in it, got salty & decided to respond to the track with some DiSSeS of their own; DMX, Wyclef, Wu-Tang Clan, Kurupt, Jay-Z, Big Pun & Sticky Fingaz to name a few. Regardless of the hate 50 Cent was getting a huge buzz so the label was set to film a music video for "Thug Love", another single from "Power Of A Dollar" that featured Destiny`s Child. Unfortunately for 50 a few days before the scheduled filming took place he was shot 9 times at close range just outside his grandparents` home in South Jamaica, Queens...

While in the hospital recovering from the shots to his arm, chest, left cheek, hip, hand & both legs he was notified by Columbia Records that they were dropping him from the label. Some people say that he was dropped because the "Power Of A Dollar" album was heavily bootlegged, but I honestly think that it was more about the fact that the label was certain that he wasn`t going to truly be able to recover from his wounds & they just wanted to wash their hands of him. Either way he was dropped & blacklisted by the industry. Rumors have it that his shooting came as the result of his lyrics in the song "Ghetto Qua`ran" where he mentions & names the actions of Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff & other members of his Supreme Team (a South Jamaica, Queens based Crack distribution organization that operated in the 1980`s) as well as other street kats. Apparently he had exposed too much with the lyrics & that`s one of the reasons that he was shot in the face, they wanted to shut him up for good...

The shooting however did little to keep him quiet, it actually had the reverse effect. Once he fully recovered he decided to hit the mixtape circuit which at the time was a huge market used to help artists get noticed by labels. Seeing as how he was apparently blacklisted from the industry he felt that if he was able to flood the market & get on every DJ`s mixtape eventually the labels wouldn`t be able to deny the talent any longer & they`d cave & sign him to another contract. One trick that he had up his sleeves when it came to the mixtape game was that he`d take whatever artist`s song was hot at the moment & flip it in his own way giving them better hooks & honestly most of the time he did the songs better than the original artists did. It`s pretty much the norm` for mixtapes now~a~days, but I`m almost certain that up until 50 Cent started doing it no one else was. After working the mixtape circuit for a while 50 put together a street compilation album of sorts titled "Guess Who`s Back?" which featured tracks from his shelved "Power Of A Dollar" album, some undergrounds classics as well as a few mixtape freestyles & he released it in 2002...

Not to long after its release a copy of "Guess Who`s Back?" finds its way into Eminem`s hands. Liking what he had heard on the CD he flies 50 Cent out to L.A. & introduces him to his mentor Dr. Dre. Shortly after the meeting both Eminem & Dr. Dre sign him to a 1 million dollar recording contract. In 2003 50 Cent is finally able to release his official debut album "Get Rich Or Die Tryin`" & it goes on to sell a gang of records. It sold 872,000 copies in the first 4 days after its release & debuted at the Number 1 spot on the Billboard 200. The rest, my friends as they say is history & I`ll be leaving that for another post.....LoL, so much for the quick~fast story. Oh well, I wanted to give y`all the history on how this compilation album came to be so you could have somewhat of a better appreciation for it...

So now let`s get to the music shall we? As previously mentioned this album features 4 tracks from his shelved album; "Your Life`s On The Line", "Corner Bodega", "As The World Turns" & "Ghetto Qua`ran". It also includes some of his underground classics as well as some freestyles. At the time of its release "Guess Who`s Back?" was a way for 50 Cent to introduce himself to those listeners that may not have had the chance to hear him on the mixtapes that he was doing. Today lookin` back on this joint I think that overall it`s a great chance to hear 50 Cent at his best, you can definitely hear his hunger for success on here. The "Killa Tape Intro" starts things off on the braggadocio tip, but it`s definitely entertaining while "Rotten Apple" follows & continues the braggadocio style with a New York twist. The "Skit/Drop" isn`t anything special, 50 just mentions chillin` with the pre-Young Buck G-Unit (that`s Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo for those that don`t know). "That`s What`s Up" features the previously mentioned Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo delivering more of that braggin` style. It`s my least favorite track on this album, probably due to the beat on the track. I just find it too simplistic & boring, it doesn`t really make the lyrics stand out & grab your attention...

 "U Not Like Me" is one of my favorite joints on here, the Red Spyda produced beat backin` it is awesome (I`ve always dug Red Spyda`s production)! Again 50 comes with the braggadocio style but hey that`s what homie is known for, shit talkin` at its finest. Just peep the lyrics from his first verse;

"Niggas wanna shine like me, rhyme like me
Then walk around with a 9[mm] like me
 They don`t wanna do a 3-to-9 like me 
And they ain`t strong enough to take 9 [shots] like me
Ay yo, you think about shittin` on 50? Save it! 
My songs belong in the Bible with King David
I teach niggas Sign Language, that ain`t def son
**CLiCK-CLiCK** You heard that? That mean RUN!
Ask around, I ain`t the one you wanna stunt on pa! 
Pull through, I`ll throw a fuckin` cocktail at ya` car
From the last shootout I got a dimple on my face
It`s nothin` I could go after Ma$e[`s] fanbase
Shell hit my jaw, I ain`t wait for doc` to get it out
Hit my wisdom tooth **HuCK-Teww** spit it out
I don`t smile a lot `cuz ain`t nothin` pretty
Got a Purple Heart for war & I ain`t never left the city
Hoes be like,"Fiddy you so witty!" 
On the dick like they heard I ghostwrite for P. Diddy
You got fat while we starve, it`s my turn
I done felt how the shells burn, I still won`t learn (won`t learn)..."

How can ya not like this joint? It actually made its way onto "Get Rich Or Die Tryin`" as a bonus track (which was a good decision in my books anyway). "50 Bars" brings a new vibe to the table, some storytelling (something that I`ve always been a fan of when it`s done well). Staying true to the song`s title 50 Cent does spit 50 bars, but it`s far from the average emcee rhymes. 50 takes the time to spit a well crafted story while droppin` some infamous street hustlers` names like Alpo, Rich Porter & Nicky Barnes to name a few. The beat on the track provides a nice backdrop for the story to take place. Next up is the Terence Dudley produced "Life`s On The Line", most kats know this track as the braggadocio Ja Rule/ Murder Inc. DiSS. Although 50 never mentions any specific names once he gets to the hook you can pretty much figure it out on your own;

"Scream MURDA! I don`t believe you
MURDA! Fuck around & leave you
MURDA! I don`t believe you
MURDA-MURDA! Your Life`s on the line"... 

This track hits hard, the drums in the beat help 50`s lines pack that extra punch. The song was originally released as the third single from his shelved "Power Of A Dollar" album, but later found its way onto his official debut album "Get Rich Or Die Tryin`" as a bonus track. "Get Out The Club" follows, once again it has 50 flexin` that 'I don`t give a fuck shit talkin` style' but this time around it`s directed towards the lyin` ass gold diggin` chicks that hang out in the clubs giving out fakes names & numbers to the fellas. There`s some good lines in there, some are pretty comical but it`s really how 50 spits the lyrics that`ll hold your attention the most. 50 gets right back to the DiSS`n on "Be A Gentleman", unfortunately I can`t tell ya who produced the beat for this one because there`s no linear notes with the CD. Anyway this time around he takes some shots at Jay-Z, again he doesn`t outright say his name but after hearing the first verse you exactly who it`s aimed at -- just take a look;

"Yo, no more freestyles & verses killin` Sticky [Fingaz] & Ja [Rule]
I`m movin` on now, I got bigger fish to fry
Since "How To Rob..." a lot of niggas been naming names
Monkey see, monkey do -- I done changed the game
Still niggas actin` like I don`t get down or somethin`
Like I ain`t the next nigga to wear the crown or somethin`
You gonna talk about your chips `til we run in your crib
And you gon` ask dumb questions like, "Can I Live?"
Look, if I shoot you I`m famous
If you shoot me you`re brainless, you said it yourself
I`m slick enough to twist your lines & send `em back at you
Swift enough to snatch the Mac & pop that at you
 Take it personal, see if I won`t send you to Hell
I done told Tone & Poke they better have my bail
But if it`s over a mill` don`t put the crib dunn
`Cuz if 50 get free, nigga 50 gonna run..."

As you can see 50 came slick & witty with the DiSSeS, definitely one to peep. The next joint titled "Fuck You" is another one of my favorites on this album. Although I can`t tell you for sure I believe that DJ Clark Kent is the one responsible for producing this banger. Some folks claim that it`s a DJ Premier beat because of the way the hook is all scratched up with various vocal samples, but I still don`t agree. Either way this song has all the ingredients for an underground classic; DoPe beat, wicked hook & some iLL lyrics. You can`t really ask for more than that! Just peep his second verse; 

"Maaaaaaan, I told niggas not to fuck with me they still push me
Figured they`d get away with it `cuz Tone & Poke pussy
I been goin` through static, shot at with automatics
Since `90, when Nas came out with "Illmatic"
If Suge [Knight] was home, Death Row [Records] would be good for me
`Cuz Tommy Mattola ain`t shootin` out in the `hood wit` me
I`ve been shot 9 times my nigga, that`s why I walk funny
Hit in the jaw once, that`s why I talk funny
With a Rugger on my hip I walk the street with no cares
Thinkin` my grandma`s prayers the only reason I`m here
My wrist icy, keep my ears icy
Keep my neck icy, that`s why your bitch like me
Son I`m a heavyweight, how dare these niggas take me lightly?!
I ain`t come to make friends & niggas ain`t got ta` like me
My own homie sayin`, "50 you done lost yo` mind!"
`Cuz I shoot out in broad day, run & toss my 9[mm]..."

The gems on the album continue with the Nas & Nature collabo` titled "Too Hot". The track delivers just what you`d expect from emcees of this caliber, they definitely don`t disappoint with the lyrics. As for the beat, again I can`t tell you did it because there`s no linear notes included with the CD, but it`s nice. If you happen to know who did it, by all means please school me `cuz I really like it. "Who U Rep With" is another Nas collabo`, but this time around he also brought along the Bravehearts as well. It`s a decent track, Nas & 50 Cent do their thang with the first 2 verses & 50 also does a decent job handling the hook. The third verse by the Bravehearts however is a little on the hit & miss side. The first part handled by Millennium Thug is a bit on the weak side. Then Horse comes in with 4 bars & revives ish, it`s too bad his part was so short. I think he should have had more time on the mic than Millennium Thug, but hey that`s just my opinion. Anyway back to the verse....LoL, Jungle follows up Horse`s bars with a short burst of his own that isn`t really all that impressive. I mean c`mon son you used "back" to end your bars 3 times in a row, not too much skill involved there. Thankfully Wiz comes in towards the end of the verse to finish things up on a better note, sure his lyrics aren`t mind blowin` but his delivery is quite nice...

"Corner Bodega" is a song that first appeared on 50`s shelved album "Power Of A Dollar". It`s a real short joint, just over a minute & a half in length. 50 kicks a short lil` rhyme about hittin` up the Coke spot so he can cop a pack & sell it out of town, L.E.S. handled the production on this one. I kind of wish that it was a little bit longer, but whatever it`s still a good track. The controversial "Ghetto Qua`ran" follows, just like the previously mentioned track this song was originally on the "Power Of A Dollar" album. The Trackmasters handled the production for this joint & provide 50 with a nice backdrop for his `hood tales. Now I won`t take any more time to discuss this song because I have already mentioned it a few paragraphs above this one, feel free to re~read it if ya like. "As The World Turns" is the fourth & final track taken from the "Power Of A Dollar" album. Red Spyda produced the beat & U.G.K.`s Bun B is also featured on this one. The tracklisting on the back of this CD lists the song featuring U.G.K., but Pimp C is nowhere to be found on this joint which is too bad. Although the beat`s got more of a Southern vibe to it, 50`s still comfortable ridin` it while Bun B delivers a good verse as well...

The CD closes out with 3 freestyles from various mixtapes that he had previously been on. The first is a short "Whoo Kid Freestyle", it`s nothing super spectacular but 50 ends it on a comical note saying, "Yeah that`s it, it`s a freestyle. The fuck you want for free? Fuckin` A-rabs just ran the planes into the fuckin` building. Coke price went up 10 grand this fuckin` week"...LoL, one can only assume that the mixtape this was from dropped shortly after the whole 9.11 thing happened. The "Stretch Armstrong Freestyle" is a lot iLLeR than the Whoo Kid one in my opinion, again it`s pretty short but DoPe nonetheless. The "Doo Wop Freestyle" closes out the CD & I can see why 50 chose to leave it as the closer, it`s fuckin` DoPe! I think that it`s a freestyle that 50 did for a Doo Wop tape that dropped in 1999. He sounds real hungry here spittin` some iLL lines, no question! So there ya have it y`all, peep the tunes for ya`self. It`s definitely worth it, especially if you`re a fan of 50`s earlier work. My apologies for the long write up, but hey I just wanted to ensure that you thoroughly enjoy the music with a little back~story. So go `head & dig into it...

Label: Full Clip Records
Released: 2002

1. Killa Tape Intro
2. Rotten Apple
3. Skit/Drop
4. That`s What`s Up {ft. G-Unit}
5. U Not Like Me
6. 50 Bars
7. Life`s On The Line
8. Get Out The Club
9. Be A Gentleman
10. Fuck You
11. Too Hot {ft. Nature & Nas}
12. Who U Rep With {ft. Nas & Bravehearts}
13. Corner Bodega
14. Ghetto Qua`ran
15. As The World Turns {ft. Bun B}
16. Whoo Kid Freestyle {ft. Lloyd Banks}
17. Stretch Armstrong Freestyle
18. Doo Wop Freestyle


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...


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.]


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}