Monday, April 6, 2009

Old School Mondays:: Three Times Dope (Original Stylin' Edition)

Greetings. This week's OSM found me a little light on new ideas, so I had to consult my little list of OSM ToDo's I keep on hand for just such an occasion. The first name that caught my eye was Three Times Dope. I posted the quintessential 3XD song, Funky Dividends at the start of this year in a little 89 to '09 retrospective, and whilst writing that post I figured that Three Times Dope were do their own OSM at some point. After all, as I said in that post: "Just the thought of my cassette copy of Original Stylin' makes me happy."

For those not in the 3XD know, Three Times Dope was the Philly threesome of EST, Chuck Nice, and Woody Wood. That's MC, producer, and DJ respectively, and their '89 debut Original Stylin' is very much a classic. Now it may not be considered a classic by the world at large, but if you're like me, and in 1989 you were a skinny, huge-goggled rap obsessive interested in hearing as much non-mainstream hip hop as you could, then you probably have the same kind of warm feelings towards the album that I do. And for good reason, it's a solid album from top to bottom, with 12 songs full of thick, chunky drums and the confident, braggadocios rhymes of EST. Like so many great albums from this period, it's a reminder of how satisfying an album with ten to twelve solid songs can be.

I think the album as a whole has aged really well, but of course, its showpiece is Funky Dividends. EST's verbal rebuffing of Michelle, a "greedy Gretchen", looking to take E's wealth by administering a "Super Bowl sack" to his wallet, is easily one of the best, if not not the most famous, use of the Melvin Bliss/Synthetic Substitution drums. Plus the scratches and verbal snippets just fit perfectly. From the opening line ("Cruising down the ave with my homeboy Boob, laying back like jack, mellow and into the groove" - Steady B. references are always welcome), to the JFK scratched outro, everthing just works (including EST's awesome, side-bubble fade in the video) Seriously, it's one of those hip hop songs for which I cannot envision a scenario where I would get tired of hearing it.

Funky Dividends is indeed the jam, but as I said, there are plenty of solid songs to be found on Original Stylin'. Greatest Man Alive is one of the better hip hop Stingray-style ("here's to me, the best there is") jams one could find. The chorus also introduces "acknickulous", the synonym for dope that 3XD invented, and I have to say, inventing words is the kind we here at the hill can get behind. But EST shows that 3XD also have a serious side, as Increase The Peace does a competent job of trying to quell the materialism in hip hop that was only in it's infancy at this point. There are also a number of uptempo, party-approved jams, like Improvin' The Groovin', From The Giddy Up, and Straight Up that can keep the hypothetical party moving.

So there you go, a little Three Times Dope for your MOnday afternoon, can't be mad at that. As for the songs, we have the two big songs from the album, Greatest Man Alive and Funky Dividends, as well as a remix for both, and the From The Giddy Up, just becasuse I enjoy that one. Enjoy!


Three Times Dope - Funky Dividends

Posted at 2:02 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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