doin’ it: children of the corn
the children of the corn are pretty much the “before they were famous” super group of all time. the line up consisted of cam’ron (known then as killa cam), herb mcgruff, big L, mase (then know as murda mase) and cam’s cousin bloodshed. with the exception of bloodshed, all these guys eventually went on to bigger things , ranging from underground hero to puffy’s arm candy. in these early days, they were just on some straight up harlem shit and this was during a time when harlem wasn’t really being represented much in hip hop. the group eventually broke up and they all went their separate ways. years later cam became Harlem’s ambassador and pretty much carved his own niche through his gaudy braggadocio style. mase got as famous as will smith by wearing shiny space suits but then found jesus. he then attempted a comeback but no on really cared. herb mcgruff was an underground favorite for years but never really got the proper large scale release he deserved. big l, arguably the most talented mc of the crew, put out a solo album and a bunch of great singles but was tragically killed before we ever got to see how good he could have gotten. also, bloodshed was killed in a car accident.
dolly my baby: supacat featuring puffy, biggie and third eye
obviously, this song is mad famous and even drunk sorority girls know it. however, i really wanted to highlight the progression of puff daddy…as a rapper. it’s no secret he’s pretty much jumped from style to style throughout his career. he’s sounded like mase, he’s sounded like biggie and he’s even sounded like Pharaoh monch. but who was his first influence? apparently, it was 3rd eye. known for his distinctively early 90’s “whiny baby talk” style, it’s clear puff was feeling the kid when he kicked his verse on “dolly my baby”. which is funny considering biggie murders the track and puff opted to sound like the guy sounds like he could have easily been a member of the mystidious misfits (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gHBqNFvlFw)
i first saw everlast in ice-t’s “what ya wanna do?” video. he stood out cause, well, he was a white guy and back then there weren’t many white dudes popping up on yo!mtv raps. around that same time (1990), he released his horrific solo album “forever everlasting”. seen in his video for “i got the knack” rocking a suit and slicked back hair, his cocky pretty boy steeze never took off so he vanished, only to pop up two years later looking a little different. now he had a shaved head, tattoos and he was really really irish. as lead rapper of “house of pain” , he pretty much made one of the most popular rap songs of all time in “jump around” and made tons of money.
“house of pain” knocked out a few more albums but eventually vanished as well. then, in 1998, a man bearing the same name as everlast came out busting second rate tom waits songs over hip hop tracks (produced by the highly underrated SD50’s). indeed, the man who once had “the knack” had returned to music after a heart attack , as well supposed bouts with drug addiction (it was probably weed).
sexcapades: prince rakeem (aka the RZA)
right before Wu tang changed the game, prince rakeem AKA the RZA was signed as a solo artist to tommy boy records. he released a 12” with the kinda known joint “ohh, we love you rakeem”. yes, much like his counterpart , the GZa, early RZA was on some sex shit. for the ladies…but the beats were still dope and you could obviously tell there was skill there. a few years later, you’d never guess the same guy was the brain behind one of the grimiest and most influential groups to come of of NYC ever.
young man rumble (smooth philly style mix): max and sam
this one is of particular interest to me cause these guys are actually from my neighborhood. max and sam kellerman grew up on 10th street in downtown manhattan. not exactly a hotspot for rappers but , hey, i certainly can’t knock them.
if you’re wondering “great, but where does the who “before they were famous” part come in?” well, max, the older of the two, was known in nyc for his public access show “max on boxing” where he would discuss boxing with random callers and just talk shit. that show went on for years and, eventually , max got noticed and was picked up by espn to host “around the horn” , as well as work with HBO boxing. he definitely knows his shit.
in 93/94 ,after the success of house of pain and 3rd bass, labels were scrambling to find the next white cash cow. ruffhouse somehow landed on these two. around the same time, tommy boy had “the whooliganz” and east/west records had “the knuckleheadz” (white rappers were all about the “z” instead of “s” move). all three groups dropped 12” and what seemed like surefire success would eventually end up in three way tie for last place. they never released anything after that.
as for sam , he took over for his brother on the public access show and kept it going while pursuing an acting career. he eventually left NYC and moved to L.a. where he was shockingly murdered at the hands of a chemically imbalanced boxer who was also a close friend of his.
2)young man rumble: max and sam
3)doin it: children of the corn
4)dolly my baby
5)sexcapades: prince rakeem
6)i be (remix): mystidious misfits