Monday, September 8, 2008

Old School Mondays:: O.C. & Showbiz & A.G.

A happy old school monday to you all. Summer is not officially over yet, but the end is nigh friend, the end is nigh. But if you had the kind of deluge-filled August that we had over here in Halifax, then you probably aren't too worried. Either way, let's see if we can't slow things down and get a few more summery vibes by rewinding the hip hop clock. This week's OSM comes from a new section we debuted here on the hill a few weeks ago: BOX!, where I'll be posting groups of hip hop songs that tickle my fancy (word to Ed O.G.). Anyway, that debut post contained a new song from NY vets O.C. and A.G., and since I've never posted songs from either on OSM, it seemed like a natural.

For me, when I think of authentic, old school, New York hip hop, it's hard to do better that DITC. No matter if it's Showbiz, Diamond D, of someone else on the boards, they always have that thick, boom bap sound. Other than Fat Joseph, none of the MC's or producers in the collective really achieved large mainstream-ish success, but they also didn't go though club-banger route that their compadre did either. That's ok though, as DITC is revered in hip hop circles and are certainly considered legends by anyone old or wise enough to know what hip hop is actually about.

O.C. is Omar Credle, from Brooklyn, New York. He made his debut on Organized Konfusion's Fudge Pudge and despite being a tremendous MC with thoughtful lyrics and a tight flow, he remains criminally under-appreciated. He's likely known as much for his guest spots as much as he is for his own albums, but his '94 debut Word...Life is a classic by any measure. From that album we have the much-loved Time's Up, and the other single, the feel-good Born 2 Live. Showbiz & AG is the producer (Showbiz) & mc (Andre The Giant) combo from the Bronx. Show has that classic NY feel to everything he produces, and AG is a solid mc, one of those guys that is enjoyable to listen to even when he isn't actually saying anything. He's one of the more underrated mc's in the DITC camp I think. These guys have released some classic material, so we've got Soul Clap from their debut EP, and Fat Pockets from their debut LP Runaway Slave.

This is one of those albums I always wanted a copy of back in the day, and never found, so it's nice to re-visit it now. O.C. flows effortlessly, but with lyrics that are as smart and aware as you can likely get for '94 hip hop. These are both produced by DITC stalwart Buckwild, who doesn't get as much acclaim as the other dudes in the crew as he was never an album headliner, but his contributions can't be overlooked. Born 2 Live is a great song, an ode to childhood memories over a sunny track that samples Risin' To The Top. Time's Up, a cautionary tale for wannabee gangsters and fake MC's is as relevant now as it was back then, probably moreso. The beat is as ominous as O's lyrics, with every line. from start to finish, being really rather impressive.

Along with Pete Rock & CL Smooth's The Creator, Show & AG's Soul Clap EP was one of the most celebrated and cred-guaranteeing EP's of my high school years. I think Ack might've had a copy of Soul Clap actually, I didn't, but I think I have a copy of their debut long player Runaway Slave. Anyway, Soul Clap has one of the most infectious beats of the 90's, without a doubt. The bassline is tremendous. AG's verses are party-oriented, but on a beat this tight who could be rapping about Notre Dame football (it's on this weekend!), and I'd be all over it. Fat Pockets was a favorite of mine from Runaway Slave, just a solid jam. I think I actually forgot that Showbiz rhymed until hearing this song again, but he does ok, not bad as far as rhyming producers go ("Hoes give me head on the escalator" That is livin' fat!). Another solid beat on this one, funky drums for days and AG sounds like he's matured as an MC at this point. Such solid stuff the old hip hop, not sure how you couldn't enjoy this.


O.C. - Born 2 Live

O.C. - Time's Up

Posted at 11:14 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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