Old School Mondays:: Run-DMC & Grand Puba

Ok, we've got two stellar NYC songs from the early 90's this week, which is pretty rare here on Old School Mondays as we don't often feature early 90's NY hip hop, oh wait... haha, all hilarity and hijinks aside, I love both of these songs, so let's get to it. You might recall my post from last week where I talked about Edmonton/Toronto producer Jon b.'s new remix album, Beat Diarya. Well in it I said this:

Herohill's old friend SJ The Wordburglar's aptly named The Wordburglar gets the remix treatment with a loop I absolutely recognize, but cannot place.
Well Jon himself was kind enough to give me a hint as to where I'd heard that particular loop before, and when I realized it was from Run-DMC's Down With The King I felt a little retarded. Not only do I love that song, but I heard it enough in high school that I would've thought I'd have been a lock to recognize the beat somewhere else. Well it would appear not. But no matter, I was glad to figure it out, even with some assistance, and so I'm glad to post it here for everyone to enjoy.

Today's other track is Grand Puba's 360 Degrees (What Goes Around). What does that have to do anything you ask? Well nothing really. However, I am currently reading Toure's book, Never Drank the Kool-Aid: Essays which is, as the title suggests, a collection of essays Toure had published in various publications like Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, and The New Yorker. He interviews all types of folks, from Politicians to athletes, but the majority of the essays focus on people in the music biz. There is an article on Puff Diddly Daddy Combs, which contains a passage about all the drama in Puffy's life, which contains this: "...gotten punched in the face by Grand Puba". Now I already thought Puba was awesome, so the fact that he socked Puffy in the grill almost makes him legendary. I knew nothing about this, and strangely I can find zero info on this incident on Google, so if you know anything about this, please leave a comment.

MP3:: Run-DMC - Down With The King
From their 1993 album of the same name, Down With The King is really just an awesome, awesome song. It's produced by Pete Rock and features a cameo from The Chocolate Boy Wonder as well as his MC partner, CL Smooth. You could often tell how good a Pete Rock beat was just by checking if Pete got to rap on it, cause although Pete couldn't rap his way out of a paper bag, dudes were so happy to get one of his beats that they'd happily let him have a verse. And what a beat this one is, the vintage Pete Rock track was enough to put Run-DMC back on the map as they'd kind of been forgotten at this point. Run and D must've been excited to be working with some new jacks, as they sound as hungry as ever despite the fact that they were probably already into their 30's. The video is also stellar, with cameos from many happenin' rap stars of the moment, such as Redman, Eazy E, Phife Dawg, and Kriss Kross! Enjoy it.

MP3:: Grand Puba - 360 Degrees (What Goes Around)
Considering Grand Puba Maxwell had already been in two groups (Masters Of Ceremony and Brand Nubian) before releasing his solo debut, Reel To Reel, he would've been legendary even without punching Puffy, but he certainly helps his case. To me Puba was always one of the most likable MC's. He was clever, always able to flip a word or line in his own style, and he had plenty of charisma on the mic. Plus he punched Puff Daddy in the face. This track, with it's thick, bouncy bassline, is an example of Puba at his best, just give him a catchy uptempo track and let him flow. He also shouts out Pos K on this song, which is always bonus points here on the hill.

Now Tic Tac Toe means I hit 3 in a row
If I do a show, you better have my dough
Low, low, how low can you go
Call on Grand Puba if you really need a pro
cause my shit's more rugged than G.I. Joe
Don't front honey, act like you know

Yes indeed.

Video:: Run-DMC - Down With The King

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