Mannish "Jive U The Mann" (1995)
As I was digging through a local spot in Philly a few weekends ago, though, I started to reconsider the whole idea. This spot was selling bonafied gems for $2-$5, and the only reason I could think of (confirmed by clerks) was the great Scratch Live sell-off. Fuck selling, now is the time to BUY...I'd almost given up hope of finding a pristine copy of this twelve, but here it was for cheap:
For a lot of heads, Mannish was one single -- "Expect That" -- that ultimately got buried in the avalanche of dope mid-90's indie hip-hop. The B-side to the "Jive U The Mann" 12" -- "Mannish", pictured above -- was a MONSTER cut that hardly saw the light of day.
"Mannish" is effortlessly ill, and definitive of the mid-90's hardcore underground hip-hop sound that made no one any money (see Da King & I). The beat is simultaneously thick and minimalistic; the kick & snare are heavy, but the sampling is sparse with a sinister bassline. The effect is complete: the instrumental still bangs just as hard, thirteen years later.
MC Jekill's style on this cut reminds me of Da King & I's Izzy (which isn't a bad thing), and serves as a tour of tight mid-90's delivery. It's not quotable lines as much as consistently solid wordplay, cadence variation, battle rap bravado, and MC-as-hip-hop-cultural-critic:
Real artists, the ones that can relate to what I'm sayin'
The lyrics: no bullshit, no playin'
Some of these hardcore niggas is straight gay
Slappin' women 'cause they get it up the anus every day
Aww shit -- it doesn't make any sense
'84 I dropped my metaphors on pages galore
Jekill's the general givin' my listeners lyrical mineral
Mineral lyrical listeners give in general
Consider "Mannish" essential listening if you've slept, a testament to the sound a lot of heads won't forget. Includes "Mannish" album, radio, and instrumental, as well as "Jive U The Mann" album, radio and instrumental.