BB! Presents: Rap Music History #7

Lesson #7:

Eazy E
Eazy Duz It

Again, we revist Alameda, CA 7th Grade

It always seems to be sunny, never too hot or cold. I can remember owning a light, plaid-colored, fleece jacket. That was my winter clothing.

One of those sunny days…sitting on bench outside one of the auxillary buildings sitting behind Chipman Middle School. These benches faced both the school and, on the other side of the auxillary buildings, the playground, a couple of football fields worth of spacious, flat concrete banked by basketball courts.

I’m on one of the brown benches. The next bench over sits Charetta Long and several of her friends. She and her friends are doing a little freestyle rapping. I’m sitting with a couple of my friends, not really talking, just kind of hanging out on our lunch hour. The girls break into a rhyme I know…Eazy E’s Eazy Duz It. I know Eazy’s debut album by heart. I’m living on the West Coast when this album is released and everybody and their momma has a copy of Eazy Duz It and N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton – everybody. I can’t even relate how these two albums infect my middle school like a virus.

So the girls get into the first verse and stop about 2/3 of the way through. Without even thinking I pick up the rhyme:

Fill my stash box and start rubbing my gat

Feeling good as hell because my pockets are fat

A hardcore villian cold roaming the streets

And wit a homie like Dre just supplying the beats

Charetta, who was a friend of mine, looked my way, smiled, and said, “Daayum…J got the flow,” which embarrassed me greatly. Must’ve shown because all the girls giggled.

I sang Eazy’s album to myself the entire walk home.

Eazy’s delivery and voice made him the break-out star of N.W.A., hence his being the first member of the group to get a solo record. Unfortunately, Ice Cube wrote the majority of Eazy Duz It and the lack of Cube’s skills shows on Eazy’s follow-up solo efforts. E’s voice alone wasn’t able to deliver. Without Cube writing – or Dre producing – E’s records lost most of their appeal. But damn if those early years of Eazy E and N.W.A. won’t be forever etched in my musical memories.

Eazy died from AIDS almost ten years ago – March 26, 1995.
I hope he’s hittin’ his switches in some heavenly ‘hood.


(The following disclaimer, stolen by me from Zombie and by him from Bob Mould, slightly modified to my purposes, will be standard for the BB! Presents: Rap Music History series unless otherwise stated.)

MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Availability is limited: one week from the day of posting. Through this series, I’m trying to educate, share my passion for good music, and promote that good music to others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know.

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BB! Presents: Rap Music History #7

BB! Presents: Rap Music History #6

Lesson #6:

The World Class Wreckin’ Cru
“Cabbage Patch” (4.25MB)

7th grade, Alameda, CA, 1st dance attended at my new middle school

This song comes on with some dudes rappin’ about how we could all do a dance called ‘The Cabbage Patch’. I ask a girl next to me what is ‘The Cabbage Patch’? She looks at me like I’m crazy. “Fool…you don’t know howta Cabbage Patch? How you sposed to do the Troop or the Pac-Man if you cain’t Cabbage Patch?” I told her I didn’t know how to do any of those dances either. Incredulous. “The Robocop?” Nope. “The Roger Rabbit?” Uh-uh. “Whatchoo doing at a dance then?” I was beginning to wonder that myself. At my other middle school in Florida they barely even played rap let alone pressured one to learn an entire pantheon of dances to go along with the songs. “Will you show me?” “Shoot…hell yes…,” and she grabbed me by the arm and showed me how to bob my head and thrust my arms and tilt my body to the rhythm…and then she and all her friends laughed at me when I tried to do it – but they laughed in good spirits. I laughed with them. Hey, I didn’t expect to be able to cabbage patch right out the box. The funny thing is – I eventually learned to Cabbage Patch, Troop, Pac-Man and Roger Rabbit but never again went to a dance where people might care.

And here’s a funny thing about The World Class Wreckin’ Cru: the same year that N.W.A. dropped Straight Outta Compton (one of the hardest gangsta rap albums ever committed to wax) The World Class Wreckin’ Cru was topping the pop charts with their single, ‘Turn Off The Lights’ (one of the cheesiest songs about seducing a lady ever released). What’s so funny about that?

Dr. Dre and DJ Yella were in both groups.


(The following disclaimer, stolen by me from Zombie and by him from Bob Mould, slightly modified to my purposes, will be standard for the BB! Presents: Rap Music History series unless otherwise stated.)

MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Availability is limited: one week from the day of posting. Through this series, I’m trying to educate, share my passion for good music, and promote that good music to others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know.

BB! Presents: Rap Music History #6

BB! Presents Rap Music History #5

Lesson #5:

Ice T
“Colors” (4.3MB)

So my family moves to California the summer of ’87. This move gave me access to more rap music than I knew what to do with. And that was great. The albums came and went. Some I’ve forgotten, others I’ve memorized for life. The music was a backdrop to my education in social nastiness. We moved to California and I learned about gangs.
The most notable gangs where I lived weren’t black or latino – they were filipino, samoan and guamanian. The most fearsome gang in my neighborhood was the Bathong City Jailers, the BCJ. The BCJ wore black clothes, grew their hair long and swept it back (not unlike a pompadour mullet, now that I think about it) and sold drugs and the like. The BCJ scared me and the other 12-year-olds. ‘Nuff said. We heard stories of the trouble they would get into and those stories were vivid enough so that when we were out skateboarding we’d always keep one eye open for those black trench coats and long, flowing, black hair.
About the same time as I was learning to avoid local gang members, a movie about gangs dropped and with it came a song that hit home with me. The movie and song: Colors. Dennis Hopper directed the film, which isn’t all that great. Ice T rapped the title song, which I think is a work of lasting art.
When that movie came out none of my friends or I were allowed to go see it. People were getting shot in and outside of the theaters (or so the rumors went) and the Bloods and the Crips became household names. And when I heard that song…the opening synth, the gunshot, the drum…it held me rapt. Ice T’s portrayal of a young gang member’s psyche seemed so spot on to me (and, in hindsight, it was)that I latched on to it as a way to understand the gangstas in my neighborhood. Now I didn’t run out and embrace the BCJ and offer them some gummi bears or anything. But when I’d see them from then on, I’d think to myself, “Pyschoanalyze try diagnosin’ me why? It wasn’t your brother that brutally died,” and it would remind me that some people have more on their minds than finding the best parking lot to skate in.

I was a fan of Ice’s for many years after that – all the way up to ’91’s O.G. – but none of his songs has stuck with me like ‘Colors’ (well, except for maybe ‘L.G.B.N.A.F’, that’s a fun one).


Comments:

If you were to cut me open and put me under a microscope, every cell in my body would be sayin fuck you. Ice T

Posted by: Death at February 9, 2005 10:12 AM
(The following disclaimer, stolen by me from Zombie and by him from Bob Mould, slightly modified to my purposes, will be standard for the BB! Presents: Rap Music History series unless otherwise stated.)

MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Availability is limited: one week from the day of posting. Through this series, I’m trying to educate, share my passion for good music, and promote that good music to others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know.

BB! Presents Rap Music History #5

BB! Presents: Rap Music History #4

Lesson #4:

Eric B. & Rakim
“Paid In Full” (3.8MB)

This is a short but powerful lesson, friends, because
1 – I can’t remember the first time I heard this song, and
2 – this jam speaks for itself.


Thinkin’ of a master plan…


(The following disclaimer, stolen by me from Zombie and by him from Bob Mould, slightly modified to my purposes, will be standard for the BB! Presents: Rap Music History series unless otherwise stated.)

MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Availability is limited: one week from the day of posting. Through this series, I’m trying to educate, share my passion for good music, and promote that good music to others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know.

BB! Presents: Rap Music History #4