The rap game is filled with injustices, and the fact that Royal Fam's career has been basically non-existent is one of them. Like the Pyro post a few days ago
, "I Declare War" addresses dissatisfactions with the music industry, but through the eyes of a battle MC whose punchlines make the entire record quotable.
Whereas Pyro focuses on the morality of MC's and the industry, Royal Fam calls out the wackness. While this is obviously a common theme (especially in the mid-90's),
Royal Fam's voice and punchlines make this one of the best of the genre. The A-side of this record is actually "Summin' Gotz to Give", and details just how Royal Fam will remove your ass from the business of rapping:burning your disc and your reels
selling your DAT tape at crack rates, label it "no frill"...
...'cause I'm a smash that, bash that
fuck ASCAP - you catch a cap in your ass, black
you not an artist, mics you can't damage it
give up your publishing, motherFUCK your management
you not rugged, we housing your recording budget
jack your tour, we taking all your fucking luggage
The beat is rugged, on some hard-rock head nod shit, and Royal Fam literally takes you through every aspect of being a signed artist in the process of dismantling one. The Radio version of "Summin'" has its own charm, as cursing is overdubbed with sound effects. The chorus finds Royal Fam declaring "Summin' gotz to give in this biz/I don't give a FUCK who you are or who you is!" for the hook. The radio version replaces "fuck" with a sharp snapping sound, which ends up emphasizing it even more.
The B-side "I Declare War" is more of the same, but I slightly prefer it (primarily due to the James-bondish sample he rips over). It lacks the focus of "Summin'", but Royal Fam's flow is solid:I'm runnin' this like a marathon
my raps' beyond Babylon when the DAT is on
I take a rhyme then mold it like pottery
it's about time that we rule economically
Royal Fam ended up with guest spots on a few other records over the years, but none of his material ever matched the focus and intensity that's obvious on this one. Includes explicit, radio, instrumental and acapella for "Summin' Gotz to Give"; explicit, instrumental and acapella for "I Declare War."
[UPDATE, 7/12, 10pm: Re-archived, re-upped file]