Just in time for back to
Just in time for back to
Move back mutha phuckaz, the Onyx is here! I just copped this new compilation of previously unreleased Onyx songs from the mid-90′s. Volume 2 of the Cold Case Files picks up right where the last volume left off. The sound quality is much better than the first and the rarity of the tracks is even deeper. The album only costs $6.66 and all proceeds actually go to Onyx. You can purchase here. Below is an in-depth review, track by track.
Check out the new official video for Liknuts (The Beatnuts + The Alkaholiks) “Grumpy Crocodile” directed by James Wade. Looking forward to the full project. Check out this earlier post to hear the original sample.
The Whatnauts were an R&B/Soul group out of Baltimore, signed to Stang Records (think The Moments). They are no stranger to being sampled, with their most famous cuts used being “Why Can’t People be Colors Too” and “Help is On The Way“. Their debut album from 1970 featured 2 minor hits – “I’ll Erase Away Your Pain” and “Message from a Black Man“. George Kerr and Sylvia Robinson handled the production, mimicking the sound of The Temptaions, who were blowing up the charts at the time. Despite having minor success, the group never really hit it big like some of their counterparts such as The Stylistics or The Delfonics.
In the mid-2000′s, it seemed like everyone was sampling the Norman Whitfield penned “Message from a Black Man“. Salaam Remi flipped it for the infamous “Untitled” album by Nas, RZA used it for his solo cut “You Can’t Stop Me Now“, and Necro (best use IMO) gave it a hardcore feel for Ill Bill. Check it out.
But it gets better… The track “American Me” also features Tony Touch and Queensbridge legend Tragedy Khadafi. To complete the all-star line-up, the track was mixed by Stretch Armstrong. I’m not sure if they ever released anything else but this one cut is enough.
E.S.G, the funk/punk band from the South Bronx is the subject of a current lawsuit. Why should you know E.S.G.? They are known for the cut “UFO” which has been sampled to death. Deborah Scroggins is suing her sisters Valerie and Renee for 10 million dollars (maybe she knows Lord Finesse?) According to her lawsuit, she helped write many of the hits Valerie and Renee have been performing and licensing for years. The sisters claim she had nothing to do with the song writing and was simply a compensated performer during live performances.
The judge dismissed the case and refferred to mediation. Hopefully they can work out their differences before Deborah or all sisters start suing rappers instead.
Mobb Deep was my favorite group during the mid to late 1990′s. It’s a shame how far they’ve fallen since the days of The Infamous. A few months back, rumours swirled that Mobb Deep was about to break up after Havoc supposedly tweeted comments about Prodigy. Shortly after the tweet, Havoc released a statement saying that his phone was stolen and someone maliciously tweeted the message. Sources close to the situation mentioned a fight between between the two and Havoc having a drinking problem. Last week, Hav finally admitted in an interview with allhiphop.com that the tweet was him and Mobb Deep is on “indefinite hiatus”.
Before Mobb Deep’s demise, they recorded the album Murda Muzik which was leaked months prior to release. It’s what I consider to be the last good (official) Mobb Deep album. The beat for the Alchemist-produced “The Realest” was originally intended to be an interlude. However, Mobb Deep and Kool G Rap loved the beat so much, it became a full song on the album. The main loop was lifted from Ecstasy, Passion & Pain’s “Born to Lose You“.
Ecstasy, Passion & Pain was a disco/up-tempo soul group that had decent chart success with multiple singles. The group was an actual band, but most of their hits contained instrumenation from the oft-sampled Philly group M.F.S.B. A look at the liner notes will reveal some familiar faces among the production credits including Norman Harris, Bobby Eli, and Vince Montana. The most interesting name on the back cover is actually Ronald Foster, keyboardist for the group. You probably know him better as Ronnie Foster.