Monday, April 7, 2008

Old School Mondays:: Maestro Fresh Wes & Souls Of Mischief

I had nothing for OSM this week, and since I broke the tapes back out last week in order to treat you all to Tycie & Woody last week, I thought I'd go back to that well. The plan is simple, I just crack open the box and fish out the first two tapes I get my grubby mitts on. Using this highly scientific method, I came up with Maestro's sophomore effort, Black Tie Affair, and Souls Of Mischief's uber classic debut, 93 'til Infinity.

Fairly random selections, but I can come up with some almost-credible reasons why they make sense for this week if I try. Maestro is Maestro, truly the godfather of Canadian hip hop, and considering as I write this the Junos are on the TV behind me, it seems appropriate to post a Maestro song. Wes won the inaugural hip hop recording Juno in 1991, and it's not a stretch to say that without Maestro there would be no rap Juno. Considering this guy won the award this year, that might not be such a big deal, but I digress. There are some solid jams on the Black Tie Affair, but I had to go with the big song from the album, Conductin' Thangs.

How are Souls Of Mischief relevant this week you ask? Well last week I posted on Mochipet's new album, which features Opio on one of the songs (Casual is also on a song, but although he's Hiero, he isn't in SOM). So from 93 'til Infinity we have the awesome That's When Ya Lost.

MP3:: Maestro Fresh Wes - Conductin' Things
As I said, there are a number of songs I enjoy on this album - On The Jazz Tip, V.I.P.'s Only, Nothin' At All, Pass The Champagne, but Conductin' Things is really the jam. The big, jazzy beat and the female backing vocals provide a good counterpoint to Wes' aggressive flow. Plus there's an awesome horn solo at the end of the song. Really, if you aren't Canadian, and thus unfamiliar with the Maestro, he can rhyme his ass off. His flow is solid, and he peppers his lyrics with pop-culture references, some of which are Canadian in nature, which I find strangely enjoyable.

Cause I'm 5 foot 10 but big like Ben
Johnson I'm the black Charles Bronson

Because I'm from Canada
Don't think i'm an amateur
Cause I'm so fly I'm dropping dope like Panama
Last year I wore a black tuxedo
The chicks paid to see me in my silk black speedos

Oh you thought we'd turn our back on Ben Johnson because of that steroid unpleasantness? Think again. Actually, I think most of Canada did, but not Maestro, so kudos to him. Be sure to check the video too, it's rather awesome, with Maestro playing the Count Basie role but with a killer high top fade. Good stuff all around.

MP3:: Souls Of Mischief - That's When Ya Lost
Of course I was going to go with 93 'til Infinity here, because I had never posted it for OSM, and so that's kind of a must-do. But a little search reminded me that the Ack posted that song in a little birthday tribute post for me last year. I totally forgot my SOM tape got stolen out of his car, but I found the tape tonight, so obviously I spent the $15 he gave me on a new one and not a bottle of Crackling Rose. I was checking the liner notes of the tape to see who produced this track, as the huge, clanging drums are awesome, but it seems the liner has the first seven songs listed twice. Classic, that's the kind of thing that would infuriate me in 1993, and no doubt it did. What's to say about Souls Of Mischief though and this album, it's just really, really awesome stuff. Hearing this again, I'm also reminded that I loved the ad-lib at the beginning when Tajai (I think) says "so much losers". Not sure why, but I found that awesome for some reason.

Video:: Maestro Fresh Wes - Conductin' Things

Video:: Souls Of Mischief - That's When Ya Lost

Posted at 8:55 AM by naedoo :: 4 comments

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At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Whatever's Cool With Me did sayeth:

The production on early Maestro albums is incredible. It stands up to most anything being released nowadays.


At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

I've always loved Maestro. Little did I recently learn that he did a remix of 80's Canadian legend Gowan's song "Criminal Mind". Not only is he true to the original version the video features Lawrence Gowan himself as a criminal.



At 7:48 AM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

Agreed, on the production, especially the singles on the first couple albums. I believe the First Offence production team was responsible for the the first album, and then K-Cut did at least Conductin' Things from the second.

Gowan! I think I was vaguely aware that this song was on Maestro's greatest hits album. I'd never seen the video though, that deserves a posting at some point.


At 11:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

It even has the "Law & Order" music snippet...



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