Old School Mondays:: Ruthless & Raisins Edition

Quick, name some cities you associate with hardcore west coast rap! I think I know the ones that come to mind for most: LA, Compton, maybe Oakland, and of course, Winnipeg. The ‘Peg I hear you ask? Of course. Thanks to the awesome Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, last week I discovered that the founder of Priority Records, Bryan Turner, hails from Winnipeg. Priority is of course the label that agreed to distribute the records from the Ruthless Records stable, and without those first releases from Eazy-E and N.W.A., gangster rap as we know it might not exist. So sure, that puts Winnipeg on the Gangster rap map.

Want another fun fact about Priority Records? Prior (ahem) to releasing Eazy’s first smash street single, Boyz-N-The Hood, Priority’s biggest-selling albums were from the California Raisins. That’s right, one of the labels that helped birth some of what was considered the most dangerous music on the planet back in the late 80′s/early 90′s originally made it’s name putting out albums by singing raisins. I find that scenario kind of amusing.

But anyway, like any hip hop loving paleface in 1989, I loved me some N.W.A. It certainly helps that the music on their proper debut album Straight Outta Compton (whilst owning their mythical 1st album, NWA & The Posse, would’ve garnered you plenty of creds amongst your fellow tape hoarders, Straight Outta Compton was the the mind-blower) was amazing, but the whole LA gangland vibe was pretty irresistible. In fact I succinctly remember having my dad purchase Straight Outta Compton at some record store in Maine because I was too young and the clerk wouldn’t sell it too me. Dad even gave me some kind of “you know all of the stuff they say on here isn’t real….right?” mini-speech as he was paying for it. Classic stuff, and as an aside, it strikes me on the occasion of my son’s 3rd birthday, that I should send out a big up to my Dad for never depriving me of my hip hop fix, no matter how ridiculous he thought it was.

So then, after all that ramble, what are we posting today? Well of course we need Boyz-N-The Hood which Eazy & Co. had been selling with Lorenzo out of the trunk of the Benzo before having it be their first release on Priority. It sold something like 300,000 copies with zero radio play or promotion, which was likely a hint to the Raisin folks that they had some audio gold on their hands. So here’s two versions of the song, the original, and the remix version, which was featured on Eazy’s debut, Eazy-Duz-It. I found the cover pic posted up there on the left and went looking for the corresponding 12″ online, but couldn’t find it. However, I did find a Dopeman 12″, with 8-Ball as the B-Side, and that’s good enough, as both of those jams are awesome. Dopeman was surely my intro to the crack dealer rap genre, and both the merciless bass and the narrative certainly made one feel like you were sticking it to the man, just by listening. When you consider that doing Beastie riffs was all the rage for old-school LA rappers (Eazy’s early jam LA is The Place was almost a Beastie cover), 8-Ball was kind of lke a G’d out version of Brass Monkey - Beastie samples and all.

So there you go, some classic west coast hip hop for your Monday. Enjoy.

Oh, and RIP Eazy.


MP3:: Eazy-E - Boyz-n-the Hood

MP3:: Eazy-E - Boyz-n-the Hood (Remix)

MP3:: N.W.A. - Dopeman

MP3:: N.W.A. - 8-Ball

This entry was posted on Monday, July 27th, 2009 at 11:41 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Old School Mondays:: Ruthless & Raisins Edition”

Herohill » Blog Archive » Old School Mondays:: X-Rated Griptape Edition August 16th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

[...] swearing”, so he painted over that as well. Fairplay to him, he was likely still scarred from having to buy “Straight Out Of Compton” for me in a Maine record store ages ago. All in all, it brought back some fun memories, and it gave me a chance to ride that skateboard [...]

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