Monday, July 30, 2007

Old School Mondays:: Black Sheep & Ice Cube

I didn't really have a theme for Old School Monday's this week. Well, my theme was simply to post on time this week, but that isn't really a theme. But then I remembered that during my review of Grand Analog's new album, I said this:

Social Butterfly sounds like Strobelite Honey mixed with Parliament and/or Funkadelic. Nothing more needs to be said after that I'd wager.

I don't know if that even makes sense, but it's enough to drum up an Old School post wouldn't you say? Leading off we'll have Strobelite Honey, from Black Sheep's excellent 1994 debut A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing. Next up we have one of my favorite songs to feature a George Clinton sample, Ice Cube's My Summer Vacation from his slept on second solo outing Death Certificate.

mp3:: Black Sheep - Strobelite Honey
Black Sheep was comprised of MC Dres along with DJ (and occasional MC) Mista Lawnge. They were members of the much-celebrated Native Tongues crew, but because they tended to be much more focused on partying and trolling for slimmies, they billed themselves as the bad boys of the clique. The, ahem, black sheep, if you will. In retrospect, considering former Native Tongue youngster Chi Ali killed a guy, the Black Sheep don't seem all that bad. Anyway, Black Sheep's debut is certainly known for the party pleasing The Choice Is Yours, but it's a rather solid album all the way through, with catchy production and Dres' unique voice and smooth flow making for easy hip hop listening. This jam is a cautionary tale about judging the attractiveness of a new female acquaintance under the obscuring influence of a strobelight. The funky bassline propels the song along, while Dres gives his ugly new friend many humorous reasons why he has to go. My favorite line: "Anyway I'm out, out is what I be, I've got to step with the viscosity", a great example of Dres' quick-witted wordplay and certainly my #1 hip hop usage of the word viscosity. The video for this song is also rather humorous, so check it out after you enjoy this jam.

mp3:: Ice Cube - My Summer Vacation
Here's a little something about me you might not know: I loved Ice Cube. Not the We Be Clubbin', Are We There Yet, fairly harmless Ice Cube of today, but the whitey baiting, curl freshly shaved, No Vaseline Ice Cube you can find on 1991's Death Certificate. I call this album slept-on, which is kind of odd because it easily went platinum, but because of the controversial content of much of the album, it didn't get much radio or video play. Quite frankly, it scared the bejesus out of white people. To people who only know Ice Cube as the star of movies like Friday 7: The Friday After 2 Weeks From Yesterday, Barbershop, and those kids movies, hearing Cube on songs like Givin' Up the Nappy Dug Out, I Wanna Kill Sam, Black Korea, and the NWA evisceration No Vaseline would be rather shocking. The anger and emotion that comes across in these songs, could at times be misguided, but also it's simply undeniable and almost never heard in this day and age. My Summer Vacation flips George Clinton's classic Atomic Dog beat into a tale about LA gangbangers expanding their lucrative drug business to St. Louis, with disastrous results. The beat is catchy as hell, and Ice Cube's story was more than vivid enough to capture my imagination in a truly stereotypical "white kid loves black culture" manner. But enough about me, if you've never heard this, check it out, and check out Death Certificate too if you've never heard it , really a great album.

Posted at 9:17 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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