Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Afternoon Record Shopping at Boom Wow and Mississippi.

I didn't plan on going record shopping today, but after hitting an estate sale and unexpectedly finding a few weird records like this and this, I got a taste and I couldn't turn back. I decided to hit Boom Wow! because I hadn't been there in a month or two and as always, they had stuff you rarely see in Portland at prices as good as anywhere in Portland. Love that place. Here's what I got:

Grayskul - Deadlivers (2005)

Ashamed to admit that I'm pretty sure this is the first Grayskul album I've ever owned. This one features verses from Canibus and Aesop Rock, as well as a posse cut with 15 members of Oldominion. Yeah, 15. Now that's rolling deep. Double LP on Rhymesayers.

Ca$h Money and Marvelous - "Play it Kool" 12" (1987)

AKA DJ Ca$h Money and Marvelous Marv, who I actually don't know anything about. But, spell "cool" with a K, make a point of showing off your dope Trainers on the back of your 12", and I'm in. The B-Side is "Ugly People Be Quiet," a jam meant to kickstart any party by getting people to yell - and maybe even think a little.

Capital Tax - The Swoll Package (1993)

I went record shopping a few weeks back and picked up a 12" by Capital Tax, a group I'd never heard of. Today, I find a sealed copy of their 1993 major-label debut. It's not that weird, because stuff like that happens when you dig through enough records, but it's something. Here's the video for the lead single. Actually sounds really promising.

Greg Mack - What Does it All Mean? (1989)

A lot of people my age probably know Greg Mack from one thing: his appearance as the DJ on Eazy-E's "Radio." His name is also dangerously close to Craig Mack, but lucky for Greg, they're no relation. This is a compilation, and in a weird move it features one song from some of the artists and two from others, and when they have two they run 'em back to back. So that's kind of stupid, but the real story on this one is the appearance of The Outlaw Posse, run by David "Grandmaster B" Faustino and featuring Robert "Eddie Pinetti" Jayne in some capacity. There are also two other goons. They all rap and I can't believe it's not on YouTube. Also interesting: DJ Pooh does a lot of the beats on this thing.

Romeo & Rhyme - "Comin' Up Short" 12" (1988)

Of course as soon as I started talking about weird things happening when you buy enough records, I realize that these guys, Romeo & Rhyme, only have 3 appearances listed on Discogs: this one, a random Delicious Vinyl 12", and two tracks on - you guessed it - that Greg Mack compilation above. These were probably from the same collection, but still.

This record is wild: I don't know if you can see it clearly on the cover, but the duo is standing by a gravestone that says "Easy E" (sic) and "N.W.A." on it, but those names are crossed out, and "187um" is written below them, in a move eerily similar to one Eazy-E would make in the title of an EP 4 years later. The B-side of this is called "Just a Fan" and it's a full-on N.W.A. diss track, but there's no mention of Cold 187um on it anywhere, and there shouldn't be, because Above the Law's debut didn't even come out for two years after this. Then it hit me: They're not talking about Cold 187um, and neither was Eazy-E, which clears up why that album title was so confusing. (It never made sense to me why Eazy would be threatening to kill Cold 187um - which it what I took away from the album title It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa - when 187um made beats for that very record.)

Turns out it was just a street thing, which is where Cold 187um took his name. Boom. I might post the N.W.A. diss track somewhere because it's not on the internet and hearing these two jokers trying to take down MC Ren with a Kurtis-Blow flow is pretty priceless.

Twin Hype - "Do it to the Crowd" 12" (1989)

I bought Twin Hype's sole full-length album on cassette a few months back and I've actually listened to it quite a bit. This is the 12" for what I think was the lead single from that LP. It's a pretty sweet song, plus I'm a sucker for any track called "Bonus Beats," and there is one on the flip. Bringing it back to the Greg Mack comp one more time: there is a group on there called Throw Down Twins, and they too are a twin-centric rap group, of which I did not know there was another. Always learning.

Young & Restless - Something to Get You Hyped (1990)

Like a Shetland 2 Live Crew, these kids crib oldies ("Poison Ivy," "Louie, Louie") for hooks, and while they aren't nearly as nasty, "Gimme Them Guts" is in the ballpark. Here's the video for "B-Girls" which, along with "Poison Ivy," was one of the hot club hits from this thing.

I decided to hit Mississippi Records after I left Boom Wow! because I hadn't been there in at least a year, and it's only about a mile away. When the clerk reminded me that they only accept cash or checks, I remembered why I don't go there more often. I had to put back a $20 record that I will absolutely not go back and buy because Jesus dude get a fucking Square and stop being so goddamned cool.

Here's what I had the cash-on-hand to purchase:

Radical T - Radical But Critical (1991)

I bought this LP based solely on the name and cover, but now that I've looked into it, I'm realizing this record features the first recorded verses from Eightball. He's on two tracks: "Peace on Earth" (which features a shittier version of Big Daddy Kane's "Smooth Operator" beat) and "Coming Straight from the South," which is a much better song, and from what I've been able to gather, one of the earliest examples of the new breed of Southern anthems.

Run-D.M.C. - "Faces" 12" (1991)

"Faces" is a not-great song off Run-D.M.C.'s not-great fifth record, Back from Hell. (If you watch the video, keep an eye out for Faith No More's Mike Bordin, as well as Jam Master Jay rapping and making a blatant plug for his side project, The Afros.) But the B-Side here is a remix of "Back from Hell" featuring Kill at Will-era Ice Cube swearing more on one song than Run-D.M.C. did in their entire career, and Chuck D charging through like he's recording "Tales from the Darkside" again because he really needs to get his point across. It's pretty sweet.

3rd Bass - "Gladiator" 12" (1992)

This was the last official song 3rd Bass did together, and it's a non-album soundtrack cut that sort of leans toward the weird-ass dark shit Pete Nice and Daddy Rich would start doing a year later. Surprised it took me so long to find this.

And that was that! Now I think I'll start saving for April's Night Owl.

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