Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Rap Thangs That Shoulda Done Happened #4
Rap as a genre is full of "looseys". Tracks that as a result of poor A&R decisions, sample clearance issues and just being recorded at the wrong time, were never able to attach themselves to an album and so - up until just over ten years ago - were often overlooked by your average Hip Hop consumer, perhaps denying them being certified classics in some cases.
With that in mind, theses tracks would've been ideally been included on the following albums*...
Ghostface 'Guerilla Hood'
from Theodore Unit '718'
should be on: The Pretty Toney Album
The standout track from the otherwise forgettable Theodore Unit LP, not including 'Pretty Tony Shoulda...' as that's essentially off De La's The Grind Date LP. Anyway, 'Guerilla Hood', first heard in a muffled and possibly unfinished form with Kay Slay bellowing over it (the initiation process for any potential street classic) would've slotted in nicely alongside The Pretty Toney Album's gullier moments such as Run, Biscuits and Metal Lungies.
Run DMC ft Prodigy & Nas 'Queens Day'
from Run DMC 'Crown Royal'
should be on: Stillmatic
Nas is probably the biggest offender for leaving great tracks off albums but I'm going with Queens Day in this instance because I love it and it's inclusion on Run DMC's 3rd (third) comeback album meant a lot of people slept on it. I first heard it when Westwood played it in 2000 but as Crown Royal didnt drop until 2001 Nasir could easily have swiped it for Stillmatic. We'll ignore the fact that Prodigy got dissed on there.
I'm always down for a track with a soulful piano led beat and reminiscing-on-back-in-the-day type lyrics. Especially when it could've replaced 'Braveheart Party'.
Dr Dre ft Snoop, Kurupt, Daz & Rage 'Puffin On Blunts...'
from Dre Day 12"
should be on: The Chronic
Obviously. Maybe not in its 9 minute form but you can cut off the last few minutes of adlibs at the end and stick this on side 2 on The Chronic. As much as I love that album I always felt it was a bit heavily weighted towards side 1. This would balance things out a bit and give one of Kurupt's best verses a more suitable home.
Dogg Pound 'Niggaz Dont Give A Fuck'
from Poetic Justice soundtrack
should be on: Doggystyle
Death Row again. This song is the perfect example of how to do dark and sinister gangsta rap properly. Sticking it on a soundtrack with joints by TLC and Usher isn't good enough. It would've suited Doggstyle down to the ground. In an ideal world it would replace 'Whats My Name' - seriously, anyone listen to that anymore? - but as that was the lead single I'll sacrifice 'For All My Niggaz...' instead.
The LOX ft Biggie 'You'll See'
from Cant Nobody Hold Me Down 12"
should be on: No Way Out
A personal favourite since it opened up the classic Bad Boy Mixtape Volume 3. I went on to become a big fan of The LOX and Jadakiss and Biggie was already in his prime back then. Unfortunately 'You'll See' was confined to promo 12" status. The label of that 12" states that the A-side - Puff's 'Cant Nobody Hold Me Down' - was due to appear on "the forthcoming album entitled Puff Daddy and The Goodfellaz" which I assume became 'No Way Out' (which you may recall was to be titled 'Hell Up In Harlem' at one point). This shoulda done been on that. It's one of the standout tracks of 1996 and it a wider audience deserved to hear it in better quality than the mixtapes and bootleg 12"s allowed. Quite what the pop audience that copped Puff's LP on the strength of 'I'll Be Missing You' would've made of it is another thing but stick it alongside I Love You Baby, Benjamins and Young Gs and it's a wrap.
Royal Flush 'Rotten Apple'
from 12" single
should be on: Ghetto Millionaire
Royal Flush's 'Ghetto Millionaire' album is one of those 90s LPs I played alot at the time that I think more people need to know about. After he'd caught people's attention with 'Movin On Ya Weak Production', the Nas sampling 'Rotten Apple' was the one that started building a buzz for the album. Unfortunately it didn't make the cut. Whether that was down to sample clearance or not I don't know but the promo still sells for respectable money even now which speaks volumes.
Jay Z 'In My Lifetime'
from 12" single
should be on: Reasonable Doubt
I like Reasonable Doubt alot. I can honestly say I was one of those who bought it when it dropped, mainly on the strength of 'Brooklyns Finest' and 'Dead Presidents'. 'Ain't No Nigga' however, stands out like a sore thumb on that record. I liked it at the time and it was obvioulsy a huge club record which along with its appearance on the Nutty Professor soundtrack effectively launched Jigga's career (that and the envelope of cash he gave Kevin Liles to push the track) but 'In My Lifetime', which had appeared on a Payday Records 12" a year earlier is much better suited to RD's overall vibe.
*obviously once CDRs, MP3, Spotfiy etc appeared things like this were made possible to a degree but you see know what I'm getting at.