Posts Tagged ‘unsung’

Unsung Heroes of The Hop.

August 3, 2010

For this instalment were going back to 1989. A year when one Texan sporting a LA Kings Cap moulded a west coast sound that would emanate through the nineties. Let me cut right to the chase here – nobody was spitting like this in ’89. The only people who even came close were sitting on another coast – with another sound.

D.O.C

Without The D.O.C, there is no N.W.A. The Texas native became one of the most prolific ghostwriters in hip hop, helping write classic tracks on Straight Outta Compton & The Chronic. The D.O.C. got his chance with No One Can Do It Better. With Dr. Dre behind the boards, The D.O.C. shined with a lyrical prowess unlike any member of N.W.A. (even Cube). D.O.C. broke all the conventions and rules for rhyming at the time. He interweaved his rhymes in and out of bars, ran off beat at will and never once insulted the listener with a sackful of verbiage. Tracy Curry looked destined for greatness before an unfortunate car accident damaged his vocal chords.

Back when Cube – was rollin wit Lorenzo in a Benzo
I was bangin wit a gang of instrumentals,
got the pens and pencils, got down to business;
but sometimes the business end of this shit can turn your friends against you
but you was a real nigga, I could sense it in you
I still remember the window of the car that you went through
that’s fucked up – But I’ll never forget the shit we been through
and I’ma do whatever it takes to convince you, cuz you my nigga D.O.C

No One

The D.O.C. continued to assist behind the scenes; working closely with Snoop and Dre’s on future releases. He was even introduced to a whole new generation (who may have never heard of him previous) through placements on Grand Theft Auto & EA Sports soundtracks in the mid noughties. Revisiting tracks like ‘It’s Funky Enough” “Mind Blowin” or “Whirlwind Pyramid,” it’s easy to see why The D.O.C. looked destined to be in everyone’s top 10 of all-time. No One Can Do It Better may not be as well known as The Chronic or Straight Outta Compton but it’s on the same level, if not higher.

Unsung Hero of the Hop.

The D.O.C

Dré

Unsung Heroes of The Hop.

September 11, 2009

Now, Hip-Hop has it’s legends. Held aloft on the mountains of commercial success, or the arse end of the Eighties. But what about the others?

Sure, we know of Dre, the Wu, the 18th Letter, L. Krishna, the niggles with anger, Dre 3k and the Boi. Marshall, Cliff and Reggie etc etc.

Its about time a few others got a mention, a few that possibly slipped under the radar of our die-hard reader(s).

I present to you, the first Unsung Hero of the Hop. Dj Sub-Roc.

The Roc

Perhaps best known as the launching pad for one M.F. Doom, Kausing Much Damage personified the early boom-bap sound that underpinned hip-hop throughout the nineties. While later Doom efforts showcased his ear for the obscure sample, under the moniker Zev-Love X – his K.M.D sound kept the ingredients rather simple.

Mr Hood

Base heavy, Check. Dusty break loop, Check. One bad-ass New-York Eazy-E sounding sibling, Check. While there is no doubt that Zev helped define the style of the group, it was his younger brother Sub-Roc who truly flourished over K.M.D’s distinct drowned percussion.

Just before the completion of the controversial second album Black Bastards, Sub-Roc was struck by a car and killed. A true loss to any fan of expression and more poignently, real hip-hop.

What Sub-Roc embodied more than anything, was a trait solely lacking in hip-hop in recent times. Fun.

Without getting too nostalgic and preachy. Hip-hop truly has lost that spirit that brought it out of the grid systems of New York, the sound systems of Herc and Co, and into the living room of the middle class gin-drinking yuppie.

T Shirt i am hip hop

It didn’t have to threaten to entertain, sure it could and would at times, but it had a point to prove to its fellow genres (no, not you emo! before then). It certainly proved its point, perhaps too much I would argue – given the parody it exudes at times. Perhaps the cover of Black Bastards was not controversial, rather, prophetic of things to come.

Black Bar Stewards

Do you remember when emcees had fun over a track?

If not, then I urge you to turn the volume up, anything less than a Spinal Tap eleven is truly sacrilege.

Ladies and Gents, our first Hero of the Hop.

DJ Sub-Roc (1973-1993)

Dré