Guilty Pleasures

A few months ago I shared with you my security blanket, this month I’m going to share with you some of my guilty pleasures.

Everyone has a few albums in their collection they’ve been questioned for liking or you might even question it yourself. Maybe it’s an album that received lukewarm reviews or an album you flat out know is bad. Maybe it’s an album most people have grown out but regardless you still appreciate the fuck out of it.

I have a few of these in my collection and I have no problem admitting they are some of my most listened to albums. The first one is what I like to think of as the ultimate summertime soundtrack. Ill and Al were far from dope lyricists but they had swagger and even though this album only has 12 songs, it centers around three standout tracks and the rest were either remixes or they switched some of the lyrics around to make them appear like different tracks.

I remember hearing “Where My Homiez?” (click for video) play constantly on Yo! MTV Raps and every time I’d have to stop what I was doing to watch it. When I said Creep Wit Me was a great summertime album I meant it.

Whether you took a ride down Fulton Street or A1A this was the ultimate backdrop. I distinctly remember taking those late-night trips to Denny’s with the crew after a night of partying & bullshit. I remember the weekend excursions to the beaches rockin’ the Nike visor cap (as seen worn by Al in the video) that became popular in the summer of ’94 or how right before a game of b-ball we’d get amped to “Creep With Me” (title track) because the Snoop sample was the definition of perfection. I remember making the quintessential date night mixtape that had both “Summertime (It’s All Good)” and “I’ll Take Her” featuring Brian McKnight on there.

Yeah, Ill Al Scratch were the shit and Creep Wit Me is my guilty pleasure for sure.

[click image to download]

Next up is an album that most of us probably grew out of by 1996, but not me. What’s crazy is that when the album dropped (1994) I was in 10th grade and I remember thinking how dope this little kid was but now after doing some research I found out the kid is actually older than me.

Shyheim aka The Rugged Child was born in ’77, in Brooklyn. His affiliation had everything to do with his semi-success in rap as he was considered the youngest Wu-Tang Clan affiliate in the game. If you remember back in ’94 the Wu phenomenon was absolutely crazy. Also having Ghostface Killah as your cousin couldn’t hurt either.

Shy moved to Staten Island from Brooklyn living in the Stapleton Houses, where many Wu members lived. At the age of 14, Shy recorded his debut “On & On” for Virgin and months later the album, AKA The Rugged Child dropped. All but one track was produced by RNS. Many may not know about the RNS and that is the way he likes it. He’s never been into the spotlight but that doesn’t mean he didn’t deserve it. RNS has worked with other Shaolin artists such as UMC’s, GP Wu, King Just and RZA’s Gravediggaz. It’s also been mentioned serval times that RNS was the one who taught RZA the art of production.

AKA The Rugged Child is an album I thoroughly enjoy and even though I’m three decades old and cannot stand listening to kid rappers, I’ll never turn my nose up to some Shyheim. He might have been young at the time but unlike many kid rappers Shy had some great tutelage and never came with those infantile raps.

So if you’re new to the album I suggest you give it a shot. Some of my favorite cuts are On & On, One’s 4 Da Money, Napsack, Here I Am and Headpiece. I’ve also added some b-sides and remixes for your listening pleasure. –Philaflava


[click image to download]

Bonus Tracks:

On & On (DJ Premier Remix)

Pass It Off (Underground Remix) feat. GP Wu & Big Daddy Kane

Licka Shot

One’s 4 Da Money (Remix)

GP Wu – Hit Me With That Shit (Remix) feat. Shyheim

Shit Is Real (Remix)

Shaolin Style (Remix)

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