Monday, April 27, 2009

Old School Mondays:: Easy Mo Bee - Part 1

I'll be honest, I have no idea where the inspiration for this week's OSM comes from. Well that isn't entirely true: somehow last week I came across the Easy Mo Bee interview below, but I don't exactly know how or why I came across it. It matters little though, as I've always enjoyed Mo Bee's work, and this is gave me a chance to dig into some of his earlier work. As you might've guessed by the title, I'm expecting to do a second Mo Bee OSM at some point, so go ahead and bate that breath in anticipation of that.

But who exactly is Easy Mo Bee? I hear some of you asking. I'm disappointed in those of you asking that question, but the Coles notes version reads something like "producer from Brooklyn, started his career as a member of hip hop & doo wop group Rappin' Is Fundamental, got his break as a producer on BDK's It's A Big Daddy Thing, won a Grammy producing Miles Davis' final album, and got hooked up with Bad Boy to do important early records for Craig Mack & Biggie." That's the general gist, but Wiki and the interview below have more info for you. I'm not sure exactly what it is I like about Mo Bee's work, but I've always found it to be really soulful - always with plenty of thump for the trunk, but at the same time retaining a really melodic feel.

So, a rundown of the songs amassed for part one of our OSM Easy Mo Bee retrospective:

Rappin Is Fundamental' - Rappin Is Fundamental - As mentioned, Mo Bee's original group, and he was not only the producer, but one of the MC's. This is lead track from their one and only LP, breaking down what RIF is all about - which happens to be a mixture of hip hop and doo wop backing vocals. Despite how semi-ridiculous that concept sounds, this album has aged better than one would guess. The beats are tight, and Mo Bee actually has some MC-ing chops.

Big Daddy Kane - Calling Mr. Welfare - This was always one of my favorite BDK tracks, it's not one of his most well-known jams, but anyone who loves It's A Big Daddy Thing likely loves this song too. The legendary Red Alert makes an appearance, and I had no idea Mo Bee produced this, but the killer bassline & horns combo always had me hyped. BDK was feeling it to, as he's in fantastic form here "Talking about 'Whaddup', can't even pro-nounce your words correct, now in retro-spect that's a shame." Great stuff.

GZA/Genius - The Genius Is Slammin' - I talked about Words From The Genius late last year, so I'm not going to go into any detail about it here, but it's the Genius and Easy Mo Bee, you can do the math.

3rd Bass - The Gladiator (Easy Mo Bee Remix) - Pete & Serch's last recording effort as a group, kind of sad, but an Easy Mo Bee remix is a good sadness antidote I'd say. The youngsters amongst our readers likely have no idea that this was from the soundtrack for Gladiator, a hip hop-flavoured boxing flick that featured Cuba Gooding Jr. I know what you're thinking, "that sounds awesome!" You would think, but sadly, no.

Prince Rakeem - Sexcapades (DMD Mix) - This song appeared on the EP with Ooh We Love Your Rakim, so unfortunately it played second fiddle to that awesome RZA/Rakeem jam, but it's pretty excellent in it's own semi-raunchy for '91 way. Mo Bee's Pete Rock-esque organ-laced track is also a winner.

J. Rock - Let Me Introduce Myself - I had no idea who this dude is, but he's become blog-famous (so, in reality, not famous at all) due mainly to the DJ Premiere and MO Bee production on the album this comes from, Streetwize. It's kind of old school, NY gangster stuff, but this one has a solid Humpty Hump sample, but no I won't do the Humpty dance for you, so stop asking.

Biggie Smalls - Party and Bullshit - Biggie, from the classic hip hop flick Who's The Man? Need I say more about this one? Likely one of Mo Bee's crown jewels.

Easy Mo Bee Interview

Rappin' Is Fundamental

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