Thursday, July 25, 2013

CHoCLaiR`s "iCe CoLD [HeRBaN DeLuXe VeRSioN]"...

Re~uPP`d, originally posted 01.02.2013...

Today I have another joint to share with ya that gets the HeRBaN DeLuXe treatment. That album is Choclair`s debut album released thru Virgin Music back in 1999 titled "Ice Cold" (the American version of the album was released by Priority Records). The reason that I decided to 'enhance' the album by making it an HeRBaN DeLuXe VeRSioN is really simple; "Suave Dirt Dogs" the collabo` with the late & great Ol` Dirty Bastard never made it to the album due to label politics, the US version of the album actually has a track that`s not on the Canadian release; it`s titled "First Thing" & features Rahzel, finally there`s the lil` interludes that were at the end of some tracks, I just did a lil` editing & made `em their own tracks to make listening to the album a much smoother transition from track to track...

To make things a lil` more interesting I made this album a sort of choose your own adventure type thing....LoL, you can listen to the album as it is with tracks 1-23 or you could remove track #22 "Rollin` [Radio]" & replace it with the Rahzel collabo` "First Thing". The reason I suggest the latter is simple really, it`s not the actual 'Radio version' of the track, it`s pretty much the same as the album version with all the cussin` & ish it just has a shorter intro on the track which makes it about a minute shorter in length. Guess they just meant that it was a shorter track so it would fit better into a radio station`s playlist or something, `cuz honestly there`s nothing edited about the track.....LoL

Now for those of you that may not be up on just who Choclair is I`ll do my best to school ya. Choclair, reppin` Scarborough, Ontario (East Toronto) first stepped into the Hip Hop scene in the early 1990's eventually releasing his first 12 inch single "Twenty One Years" by 1995 thru his own independently run label Knee Deep Records. His track is actually on the B-Side of the single, another gem of a track is on the flip side & that track is none other than Saukrates` "Father Time". Two CLaSSiC Canadian Hip Hop tracks isn`t too shabby for a label`s first release. The following year (1996) the label would also go on to release another first, that first was from Kardinal Offishall. Knee Deep Records released his debut single "Naughty Dread" which earned him a Juno Award nomination, but that`s another story all together for another post....LoL, let`s get back to Choclair...

The underground quickly caught on to the emcee`s debut track "Twenty One Years" & it eventually led to other folks taking notice, not just the folks up in Canada either. The legendary DJ Premier even sampled the track for Gang Starr`s "You Know My Steez" (maybe that`s what led to Guru`s appearance on "Bare Witness" who knows?). Clearly Choclair was doin` something right so he continued working on his music & in 1996 he released another 12 inch single "Just A Second b/w What It Takes". Both tracks continued to impress the heads, I`m still a fan of "What It Takes" which also features fellow Circle member Jully Black on the hook. The Circle; a combination of The Figurez Of Speech crew & the Paranormal crew, is basically a collective of artists & producers from Toronto members include; Saukrates, Choclair, Kardinal Offishall, Frankenstein, YLook, Jully Black, Marvel, Solitair, Ro Ro Dolla, Thrust & Tara Chase...

With the success of his first two singles Choclair felt that it only made sense to take the next step, so he decided to release an EP titled "What It Takes" in 1997 using his Knee Deep Records label once again. It contained 4 tracks, an Interlude & 5 Instrumentals; 10 tracks in total. The EP did well, after all it did earn Choclair a Juno Award in 1997 for Best Rap Recording. The "What It Takes" music video & the 12 inch single for "What It Takes [Rmx]" helped Choclair`s project get more exposure.

After the EP he continued to release music to keep his name buzzin`. One thing that he did that`s cemented his name in the Canadian Hip Hop History Books is that he landed a feature on the now CLaSSiC collabo` "Northern Touch" along with fellow Canadians the Rascalz, Kardinal Offishall, Checkmate, Thrust. This Hip Hop anthem earned all the artists involved a gold record (sales~wise)...

 In 1998 he dropped another 12 inch single "Internal Affairs b/w Silver Surfer". The A-Side of the single "Internal Affairs" is a Choclair joint that also features fellow Circle members Frankenstein, Kardinal Offishall & Marvel, while the B-Side of the single is a Solitair solo joint titled "Silver Surfer". Following that single Knee Deep Records released the "Planet Mars EP", a short compilation of sorts that features joints from Marvel, Solitair & Choclair, Kardinal Offishall (ft. YLook), Nefarious, Frankenstein, Thrust & K-OS. It wasn`t too long after releasing the "Planet Mars EP" that Choclair decided that it was time to expand his team so he joined with Virgin Music Canada & in 1999 he signed with Priority Records so he could release his debut album titled "Ice Cold"...

Once he signed with the major label of course that`s when a lot of heads started hatin` on Choclair, claimin` that he had sold out. So he responded by releasing "Flagrant" as a single in 1999. The track was produced by Saukrates & it`s basically a 'BiG FuCK YoU' to the critics, very DoPe & it`s definitely a great way to shut the haters up. He followed the single up with his debut album "Ice Cold" which mostly featured production from members of The Circle (Saukrates, Kardinal Offishall, Frankenstein & Solitair), but Da Grassroots & K-Cut also had a helpin` hands with the beats. The album was certified Gold in Canada & the album`s hit single "Let`s Ride" featuring Saukrates has been a Summer anthem up in Canada since it`s release. With all that being said let`s get to the album shall we???

The album opens up with some chick who goes by the name Manal ''Prima'' Hajj (not too sure who she is) babblin`, eventually she warns us not to bootleg the album or "you`ll get bashed"....LoL, tha album`s title track "Ice Cold" let`s the listeners what know what they`re in store for. Da Grassroots do a great job providing an iLL mellow but cool`D out beat for Choclair to flex his shit~talkin`, sexual & all around ice cold lyrics. The Kardinal Offishall produced "Let`s Ride" follows & it features Saukrates on the hook & intro of the track. It`s a great joint for the Summer & gets every BBQ movin`, Little X also did a good job directing the music video...

The first Interlude was just taken from the end of the "Let`s Ride" track & made it`s own. Saukrates produced "Rubbin`" & also appears on the hook, this one has Choclair expressin` his love for the ladies with it`s clubbish vibes it`s sure to get a few folks dancing. "Takin` It In" is another joint produced by Saukrates, Choclair targets the fakers & wannabe playas on this one exposin` `em for what they are. On "Bare Witness" Choclair connected with the late & great Guru of Gang Starr over a thumpin` beat produced by Kardinal Offishall with cuts by DJ Tony Touch, most definitely a banger! The second Interlude was just taken from then end of "Bare Witness" & made it`s own track, Choclair just let`s the listeners know that he likes to party & have a good time just as much as the next kat...

"Jambone" is another party~vibed track for the ladies produced by Kardinal Offishall that also features Ro Ro Dolla. Fellow Circle member Solitair steps up to produce "Fresh", Choclair does what he does best...talks that shit!....LoL, straight braggidious type flows here. After that Kardinal Offishall stops in & drops a quick P.S.A. for the ladies. Speakin` of ladies, Jully Black shows up & gives Choclair a hand on "Rollin`" a joint produced by former Main Source DJ K-Cut. Jay-Z`s protege Memphis Bleek makes a guest appearance on the Solitair produced "Young Gunz", it`s nothing spectacular but it`s far from wack. "Runnin` Wid Us" has Choclair flowin` over a beat produced by Kardinal Offishall who also lends a nice verse to the song. The previously released as a white label single "Flagrant" follows the Kardinal collabo` & as mentioned before it`s produced by Saukrates & it has Choclair clearly addressing his doubters & critics. In my opinion this track is the best on the album, definitely one to BuMP...

The third Interlude was just taken from the end of the "Flagrant" track & made it`s own. On "Die Hard" Choclair reconnects with the Rascalz over a track produced by Solitair with Saukrates on the hook, a decent West Coast/ East Coast collabo`. "S.O.T." is another Circle collabo` with Choclair sharing the mic with Kardinal Offishall & Solitair, while the beat itself was produced by Solitair. The fourth Interlude was just taken from the end of "S.O.T." & made into its own track. K-Cut provides the bouncy backdrop for "Da Chiznock". Choclair decides to put the partying on pause long enough to drop an iLL storytelling track produce by Frankenstein a.k.a. Frank Fallico on "Situation 9". It`s a great song warning folks about what they`ll get caught up in if they don`t pay attention to who & what surrounds them...

"Rollin` [Radio]" is pretty much the same as the previous version of the track on the album, it just has a shorter intro. "Suave Dirt Dogs" features the late & great Ol` Dirty Bastard & Saukrates, it was originally intended to be included on the retail release of "Ice Cold", but for whatever the reason was label politics prevented it from happening. It was released in 2000 however as a white label single, so I just decided to add it to the album like it was initially intended to be. "First Thing" is a collabo` with Rahzel that is only featured on the US release of "Ice Cold" for some reason. So there you have it y`all, go `head & check out the music for ya`self & enjoy...

Label: Virgin Music

1. Intro {ft. Manal ''Prima'' Hajj}
2. Ice Cold {ft. Ro Ro Dolla, Saukrates & Solitair}
3. Let`s Ride {ft. Saukrates}
4. Interlude #1
5. Rubbin` {ft. Saukrates}
6. Takin` It In {ft. Giz & Saukrates}
7. Bare Witness {ft. YLook & Guru of Gang Starr}
8. Interlude #2
 9. Jambone {ft. Ro Ro Dolla}
10. Fresh {ft. Solitair}
11. Kardi`s P.S.A. {ft. Kardinal Offishall}
12. Rollin` {ft. Jully Black}
13. Young Gunz {ft. Memphis Bleek}
14. Runnin` Wid Us {ft. Kardinal Offishall}
15. Flagrant {ft. Saukrates}
16. Interlude #3
17. Die Hard {ft. Rascalz & Saukrates}
18. S.O.T. {ft. Kardinal Offishall & Solitair}
19. Interlude #4
20. Da Chiznock
21. Situation 9
22. Rollin` [Radio] {ft. Jully Black}
23. Suave Dirt Dogs {ft. Ol` Dirty Bastard & Saukrates}

First Thing {ft. Rahzel}

R.i.P. GuRu & OL` DiRTy BaSTaRD...

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