This week’s OSM is an Ack request. He made a clever Kid Frost reference in one of his tweets, where he name-checked La Raza whilst talking about a La Strada post (he spelled their name wrong, but hey, he’s tweeting my posts, so we’ll cut him some slack). Anyway, Googling La Raza and poking around the results will invariably lead you to A Lighter Shade of Brown, a Mexican-American duo from Riverside, California likely best known for their golden age summer anthem On a Sunday Afternoon.
Being honest, I’m fairly certain I’ve never owned any Lighter Shade of Brown albums, but as I said, On a Sunday Afternoon was a classic song that I heard plenty of times in the early 90’s – you can call it a mixtape staple if you’d like. As MC’s, the dudes in ALSOB (Wikipedia lists them as One Dope Mexican and Don’t Try to Xerox – really, can that be right, the guy’s name is Don’t Try and Xerox? I’m thinking I would’ve remembered that, but it rings no bells), are decent, not outstanding with the the smaller guy who looks 16 in the Sunday Afternoon video coming across a bit more natural.
But that’s not unusual for the early 90’s, and these guys are noteworthy for a couple other reasons, one because they were latino rappers who were reasonably successful at a time when there were not a lot of latino MC’s – they pre-dated Cypress Hill, who became the standard bearers for the latin rappin’ lingo. The other thing I remember about ALSOB is that they put some pretty catchy samples to good use in order to make songs that might not have been huge hits, but I still remember them. The afore-mentioned Sunday Afternoon, Hey DJ, and Spill The Wine come to mind right away.
So if you remember these guys, these songs will likely make you smile, and if they are new to you, they are pretty much ideal summer listening, so enjoy.
VIDEO:: A Lighter Shade of Brown – On A Sunday Afternoon
VIDEO:: A Lighter Shade of Brown – Hey DJ