Old School Mondays:: Twin Hype, Boomer Two-Flow Style

I think it's safe to say everyone made mix-tapes growing up. Well I should qualify that and say that everyone into hip hop made mix-tapes growing up - due to the rap fundamentalist-like stance of my youth, I can't speak for other types of music. Looking back, I think everyone tried to do a little something different to make their tapes unique. Usually that would be done through song selection, but every once in a while someone would try and change the game. Fairview legend John Boomer was one such mixtape maverick (Legend? You ask sceptically, but do you have a Thrush Hermit album named after you? Didn't think so).

He came up with the revolutionary idea to make a whole tape with two songs from the same artist playing back to back. For example it would be 2 Kid N' Play songs, then 2 Kwame songs, then 2 Heavy D songs, etc. This tape making style, or even just the playing of two songs in a row by the same artist was known henceforth in our clique as a "Boomer Two-Flow".

I think this idea was too revolutionary for us, as it resulted in nothing but ridicule. However, I still remember the concept to this day, so perhaps that means it was a success and Boomer was truly a man ahead of his time. Or not, who knows. For one reason or another, the only group I remember being on Boomer's Two-Flow was Newark, NJ's top ranked rappin' twins, Twin Hype. Twins Sly and Slick, joined by DJ King Shameek on the 1's and 2's were really quite popular for a minute, but ended up going to jail, and really, that Chris-boshed whatever popularity they had. Well that and the death of hip-house dance friendly rap which was a big part of their success.

mp3:: Twin Hype - Do It To The Crowd
The biggest song from their 1989 self titled debut, Do It To The Crowd starts off with the Monkees famous intro "Here we come, walking down the street..." before an incredulous New Yorker busts in and asks Shameek if he is "fuckin' stoopid" because there is a "fuckin' crowd out there". The point being, I surmise, is that The Monkees are horrendous and for old white people, while the assembled crowd of hip hop enthusiasts want some Twin Hype. Shameek obliges, and the awesome harmonica laced intro kicks off. Produced by Newark super-producer Hollywood, the beat is tinged with house synth's and impossible to resist. The song itself is the kind of DJ tribute jam all groups used to do back in the day with the Twins' lyrics paying homage to Shameek while the DJ breaks in with various cuts and slices. Shameek is rather skilled, and although the Twins have cool voices, their rap skills are fairly average, so I think Shameek steals the show. I think it's worth mentioning that when this song dropped we couldn't make out what Shameek's name was, so we called him K-Shamee. In fact, that was The Miz's nickname for a while. Perhaps that isn't worth mentioning but hey, you get what you pay for. Did I mention Twin Hype was down with the hip-house? If you weren't aware of that, the Fashion Television style breakdown near the end will clue you in. All in all though, a truly classic jam.

mp3:: Twin Hype - For Those Who Like To Groove
It's confession time! I believe the other Twin Hype song on the Two-Flow was Nothin' Can Save Ya off Twin Hype's 1991 EP, Double Barrel. But guess what, I couldn't find that song (aside: if anyone has that song, please send it to me. Thanks kindly). The show must go on however, and so I selected what I remember as the second biggest song from their debut For Those Who Like To Groove. This song is much more on the hip-house tip and sounds a lot more dated as a result. It sounds like 2 In A Room before they even decided to enter the room. Luckily King Shameek is on the set again, and his cuts during the choruses save this for me. The song is catchy, but I don't have much else to say except that this kind of jam was popular back in the day. So that's it, enjoy.

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