DITT: Rodney O & Joe Cooley - Get Ready To Roll

Rodney O-Joe Cooley, Rodney O & Joe Cooley, or just plain Rodney O Joe Cooley. No matter how you slice it, you've got MC Rodney O, DJ Joe Cooley and one of the most underrated west coast hip hop groups of the early 90's. Well I guess that's a matter of opinion, as Rodney O & Joe Cooley's brand of west coast, old school funk & hip hop might not've been for everyone, but I loved it. Rodney O-Joe Cooley made a bit of noise in 1988 with their debut album Me & Joe and it's hit jam Everlasting Bass. But I didn't really get hip to this Riverside California duo until 1991 when they dropped this album, their third, Get Ready To Roll. If memory serves, I read a review for this album in The Source (once again before The Source fell the f@ck off, sold out, became irrelevant - take your pick) and picked up the tape at Soul 2 Soul records in Halifax.

Even back in the day when this album came out, most people hadn't heard of Rodney O & Joe Cooley, but anytime I played this album for someone they loved it. It's pretty much just solid hip hop party music. Rodney O isn't saying anything too heavy, just talking about kicking it in the hood and wrecking sucker MC's. But he's got an awkward flow that sort of makes him sound like he's yelling all the time which is enjoyable in it's own way. I haven't mentioned General Jeff up until now. General Jeff is pretty much the third member of the group on this album. He raps on most of the songs and wears a leather civil war hat on the cover, so he rules. But really, the General has a decent flow and a charismatic style, so he's a welcome addition. Joe Cooley is a quality DJ as evidenced by the cuts he does on this album. He goes off on DJ Nightmare, cutting the hell out of some classic LL samples and also does a bit of rapping himself.

Ready To Roll is solid from start to finish. The classic breaks and funk samples they use in their beats make every track solid. Hit List kicks things off hard with Rodney O letting chumps know he isn't worried about suckers trying to take him out. Get Ready To Roll and You Don't Wanna Run Up continue the theme of mashing wack rappers over some classic west coast beats. Oldie But Goodie features the fellas reminiscing over One Way's classic Cutie Pie beat. Side A finishes with the comical Fo Funky Stories which is notable because General Jeff mentions Ack's long lost cousin: "In through the door came brother Joe Acker, plays basketball like a middle linebacker". Pretty much describes Ack's hoops style as well.

Side B is just as solid kicking off with the hyper funk of Let's Do It Like This which features a crazy sample of (what I believe to be) Michael Jackson scatting. Dose Of Dope is probably the best track on the album with it's pumping baseline and handclaps providing the background for Rodney's best vocal performance and General Jeff coming strong as well. I mentioned DJ Nightmare earlier and it's another of my favorites with Joe Cooley rapping in his crazy deep voice and then scratching the shit out of some LL and James Brown samples before Rodney & The General diss the wack DJ's of the world. Roll Call finishes things off with the help of Shakespeare, The Lyrical Pimp EMDEE and DJ Streak The Crossfade Beast of Insane Poetry, so you know it's good.

Well enough gushing, in case you haven't noticed I enjoy this album way more than I should. But it's a classic for me, I make no excuses. Enjoy a couple of my favorites from Ready To Roll: Dose Of Dope and DJ Nightmare.

Dose Of Dope

DJ Nightmare


@ 3:15 PM, guero canadiense kicked the following game:

Let's see if the current state of hip hop matches with MethodDan's theory of the 20 year shift: i.e. the 70s to hip hop what the 50s was to rock.

Well, we are in the 80s, so we can expect mainstream hip hop to suck.

Q.E.D.

 

@ 4:57 PM, naedoo kicked the following game:

Well I can't argue that mainstream hip hop is pretty sucky right now. If it didn't suck I probably wouldn't have the need to make mp3's from tapes I bought in 1991.

As far as being in hip hop's 80's, the only good thing to come out of that would be a hip hop version of Hall & Oates. Or maybe that would be terrible. No, if it's Hall & Oates related it would have to be good.

 

@ 1:12 PM, ragz kicked the following game:

Im from the west, and I love me some Rodney o and Joe Cooley, but "Fo Funky Stories" is one of the worst rap songs of all time. I listen to it to get a laugh.
"4 down, no more to go!" hahahah

 

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