Monday, August 31, 2009

Old School Mondays:: Stezo

I had nothing in the hopper for OSM this week, so I went looking into my old boxes of tapes for inspiration, and like The Biz in '88, I picked a winner. Yes, Stezo. He's the funkiest Steve Williams New Haven, Connecticut ever produced, a former backup dancer for EPMD, and the creator of the Steve Martin.

Stezo of course moved on to become an MC himself, and put out Crazy Noise, his sole full-length album in 1989. Boy did I love that album. Back in the day I picked up a cassette copy from the US at some point after seeing the video for Freak The Funk, and everything about it was great. It's on a classic old school label (Fresh/Sleeping Bag) and most of the production was really awesome, chock-full of classic breaks (in fact Stezo and his main man Dooley-O introduced the famous "Skull Snaps" break to hip hop on It's My Turn. Stezo might not have been the most lyrical of MC's ("Off the record, this is the anthe-num / And if you're dry, I came to damp 'em") but his cadence and wordplay were pretty addictive.

Have I mentioned that I loved this album? I know it wouldn't show up on anyone's best albums list, but it's one of those under the radar golden age album I still have a fondness for. It does have some great jams though, I'd put songs like Bring The Horns, Freak The Funk, It's My Turn, and To The Max up against anything. The Google informs me that Stezo not only kept putting out the occasional 12" during the 90's, but he has a myspace and appears to still be on the grind. His '94 release Bop Ya Headz has a video and features Jim Slice, who I believe was one his DJ's on Crazy Noise. I'd never heard it before, and it's quite different from the Stezo I know (but it isn't a surprise, just look at the change from the silver lamé hammer pants/red shirt & shoes outfit he was rocking for It's My Turn, to the fatigued-out look in the latter video), but it's a pretty good example of the Das-influenced hip hop that was big in '94-95.

So there you have it, start your week with some Stezo - that's a no-lose proposition in my book.

MP3:: Stezo - Freak the Funk

MP3:: Stezo - It's My Turn

MP3:: Stezo - To the Max

MP3:: Stezo - Bop Ya Headz

Video:: Stezo- It's My Turn

Video:: Stezo - Freak The Funk

Video:: Stezo - Bop Ya Headz f. Jim Slice

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Posted at 2:23 PM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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