Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saukrates "Hate Runs Deep" (1996)

I don't know how much I have to add to what's been said about Saukrates, as we've previously posted "Father Time" and "Action", but I slept on this joint right here for about a decade. Anyone with the most casual interest in mid/late-90's hip-hop knows about "Father Time", but somehow this joint slipped through the cracks for a lot of cats. I'd go so far as to say that overall, this was his strongest 12"..."Father Time" and "Action" were monster cuts, but were ultimately good for one joint each. "Hate Runs Deep" delivers two:

"Hate Runs Deep" is as dark (and subtle) as the title suggests; shit isn't just about surface aggression. Like other Saukrates gems, the track is cold: strong break, ill sample, simple but effective chorus. In this case, the samples coalesce to produce a slightly unsettling effect that only serves to complement Saukrates' aggressive delivery.

The cut that deserves the most attention on the 12" is buried on the b-side, "Get Touched" (the "Hate Runs Deep" remix is a throwaway). Again, Sauk rocks over a classic break and an ill sample, with lyrics framed by a chanted chorus. Lots of style shit here, printed lyrics can't quite do the flow justice:

Disgusted -
with all the carry-on,
confused 'cause ya always vary on:
nomadic, Asiatic, strong
Gettin' ill, here's my testimonial, G:
Fuck everything ya see, main focus is ME

Saukrates' wordplay shines as well:

Generatin' street ruckus with my nouns and verbs
Cater to real muthafuckas with a thirst for words
Bionic, hydroponics -
I rap 'til I'm blue like Sonic, delivery's monotonic,
but my style's octophonic
I hate to say it,
but you're weak and your style's prosaic

Damn, remember the days when MCs got props for using diverse vocabularies effectively? Includes "Hate Runs Deep" (Vocal & instrumental), "Hate Runs Deep Remix" (Vocal and Instrumental), and "Get Touched".

Monday, September 03, 2007

Mad Skillz "It's Goin' Down" (1996)

1996 is the time most ppl considered to be hip-hop in its prime or as some would call it the final stretch of the "Golden Age." This was the time everyone who was coming out or dropping material were set to a certain standard (heavy drums, banging loops, samples, scratchin on the hook.) And as a result a lot of artists gave the fans a lot of dope shit and it was great for hip-hop, but with the transition of hip-hop to the next era alot of acts from said "Golden Age" got lost in the shuffle. One of them being my man Mad Skillz, who now just goes by Skillz. His debut on Big Beat entitled From Where???, was a solid and damn near classic. It met and exceeded the standard of the time with heavy named producers like Large Professor, Buckwild, Jay Dee (aka J-Dilla), Psycho Les, Nick Wiz, Clark Kent, EZ-Elpee and Sean J. Period. One of the singles chosen from this album was the It's Goin' Down EP.

Now this joint featured one of my favorite cuts, "Doin' Time In A Cypha" which was produced none other than Buckwild (no surprise really). The beat is real chill, with a simple drum pattern while Mad Skillz talks about the coming of age that every real emcee should go thru, which is doing time in a cypha and building with other emcees. In a day and age where myspace, ringtone rappers are a dime a dozen and paying dues don't really mean what it use to, this song is just a testament of the era that it was made in, when real really mean real! The other 3 bangers on this single are dope too, with 2 joints from Jay Dee ("It's Goin' Down" & "The Jam") and Nick Wiz doing "Tip Of The Tongue." "The Jam" is prolly my favorite among the rest, the beat has that vintage Jay Dee sound that reminds u of some classic Slum Village with the voices in the background and low bass. The instrumental for All 4 cuts is also included, so ya'll know what to do. Also feel free to leave comments and opinions, All bloggers love when their visitors add feedback and we're the same over here. Peace and Happy Labor Day! .............