Here it is yet again. When the twelve inch hits the fan and the needle smacks the caca, Lord Sear slaps you upside the head - my bad, that's a flashback of Bobbito (a.k.a. Cucumber Slice) and the CM Famalam. Free plugs aside, it's time to get it crackalatin once again on Volume 016 of the Singles File. As E-40 himself would say, oh boy!
Title: Sometimes b/w Detour
Label: SpyTech Records
Dope rappers from Guru to Kool Keith have all proved one thing on their albums over the years - leave the singing TO the pros and stick to your rap. Emanon fails to heed the lesson on "Sometimes" but an above average rap and excellent production by Exile smooth over the rough spots brought by the chorus. The funky piano of "Detour" with Droop (Dr. Oop) has enough nod factor to make Mad Skillz happy but has JUST a little bit of that evil singing thing again. The only thing this Emanon single is really missing is vocal assistance from Vinia Mojica. This is another fresh release from the SpyTech family that is sure to keep their growing legions of fans rocking the Casbah.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL: 7.5 of 10
Artist: Everliven Sound
Title: Prophesise the Comin' 12"
Label: SubVerse Music
When heads complain that indie hip-hop records don't bump and act too intelligent for their own good, they mean this record. The back cover has a small drawing of a 70's style hipster with an applejack hat dancing with a soul sista, but who is going to cut a rug to "No Entra En La Cocina"? They rap a lot about science fiction and being computerized, but the conclusion one draws from the other songs like "Higher Heights" and "Son Shine" is they should dump the computers and give James Brown a call; i.e. drop the verbal linguistics and MAKE THE BEATS FUNKY. It's great to be experimental and abstract, but if you can't make the shit rock then all you're doing is self-masturbation on vinyl.
Music Vibes: 3 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL: 4 of 10
Title: Sophisticated Atmosphere b/w B-Boy Cowboy
Label: Northrock Records
Although this single is not on the SpyTech label, the artist is from their camp and the production is by DJ Cheapshot. This is not among the strongest of their work though, which may be why it's on an outside label. The "Atmosphere" per say has strong drums but a muddy beat and a rather monotonous flow by Four. The flipside is clearly the winner - Four sounds more energetic and the whistling sound on the beat is Sega Master System meets "Bonanza." Thematically and musically, it's clearly the winner on this twelve inch. This is a take it or leave it single though - fans of SpyTech will definitely want a copy, but others may pass it up - the choice is yours.
Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL: 6 of 10
Title: Instructions/Tampa International
Label: Slop Funk Dust Int.
If you think Florida is all about Trick Daddy, J.T. Money and Uncle Luke then you got another thing coming - and Funkghost is just that thing. This nice little gem of a single is only marred by the fact the entire A-side is radio edited - but if this was done to make room for all three instrumentals on the flipside so much the better. As an extra treat for the kiddies Celph Titled flips the "Tampa International" remix with both beats and rhymes; spitting lines like "sample you screaming for help and make a beat with it." Don't mess with the Rubix Cuban! If you can't find this in your local wax bodega try shopping for it online; especially if you're a Celph Titled fan - this is not a joint you want to miss.
Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL: 8 of 10
Title: Played List b/w The Umpire
Label: Deep Con Recordings
The lyrical stylings of Maspyke on "Played List" and "The Umpire" are about average. The beats produced by Roddy Rod on both cuts are about average. In fact, everything about this supposedly "limited edition" autographed twelve inch is so average that it really has no appeal as either a collectible or for spinning. Good looking cover art and promotional gimmicks should never be used as a substitute for skills - skills Maspyke hints at but never really shows off on this mediocre debut single. The only really good thing I can say about it is it won't make your ears bleed. Anybody want a free twelve inch autographed by Kinsey? You can grab mine, it'll be in the bargain bin for fifty cents at Goodwill.
Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL: 5 of 10
Title: Home b/w The Come On
Label: PUTS Records
MC's Raaashan Ahmad and Moe Pope decided to get down with the funky organic band sound of Mission: and fuse the grooves together in a fashion reminiscent of the Black Eyed Peas or the Roots. There's no denying that "Home" is a very jazzy mellow song, and Mia Doi Todd adds on a nice sung hook. On the flipside "The Come On" is a little more strident, sounding almost like a marching band merged with a jazz trio. Even though neither MC distinguishes himself on this release, they achieve a level of groove just by failing to be wack. If you're looking to add a little hip-hop acid to your next mixtape and coming up short, this is a good place to start.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL: 6.5 of 10
Artist: Pace Won
Title: Secret b/w Bring it Out of Me
Label: Ruff Nation
Keeping Pace with Won is no easy task these days since he keeps dropping a new single every time you turn your head. Although "Secret" rocks a piano variation of "Hype-nitis" by Canibus that keeps his lyrics crispy, it's the "Bring it Out of Me" flipside and it's hypnotic "aieee-aieee-ahhh" singing that will put you in the mood for recreational drugs (but please use moderation). The only downside of this release is that there is no instrumental for the B side - curse you Ruff Nation! It's with no small amount of irony I interject this personal note - these are exactly the kind of songs the Outsidaz should've had on "The Bricks" LP and didn't. At least they give us hope Pace's solo LP will shine.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL: 7.5 of 10
Artist: Wee Bee Foolish
Title: The Main Attraction 12"
Label: Head Bop Music
Cuz Cuz is missing! While "The Main Attraction" exhorts you to find him a la "Where's Waldo?" on the cover art you'll probably spend more time searching the grooves of Yeshua DapoED and Ken Boogaloo. The lead track picks up right where Tribe left off with "Midnight" almost a decade ago with a plucky Yeshua produced groove he and Ken Boogaloo use to rap about "club hoppin, party crashin." This shamelessly fun vibe is carried over to "Whatcha Need" and "Doin' it Up" - the later two using assistance from DJ Bless on the beatwork. This release is nothin' but musical good times, Cuz. Don't waste your time trying to find him - just lay back and enjoy the ride as they bounce along looking for fun.
Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL: 8 of 10
Originally posted: July 10, 2001