10Dec/09Off

Producer Highlight – Pee Wee

Damn, I really miss detailed credits on albums.

Credits are what made me keep an eye (ear) open for The Beatnuts, Battlecat and Sam Sever. But in the late 80’s, the producer’s role still wasn’t really prominent, it was usually a list of musicians that could tell a story before you even heard the song. So going to my bay area favorites, as long as it said Shorty B on bass, I KNEW it was going to be deep, slow and funky.

Another name that kept popping up in the bay area was Pee Wee. Mainly this was because I have always been a big “Digital Underground” fan, and by 1991, Pee Wee was a mainstay in the group.

Once you popped in their third album “Sons of the P” into your yellow sony walkman, the first verse we heard was Pee Wee’s:

DIGITAL UNDERGROUND – THE D-FLO SHUTTLE

Let me give your ears a baptismal
Dip into the pool and let me chisel
Chunks of ignorance out your brain system
As I implant wisdom in the name of d-flo
Here we go with this, let me flow with this
Holy glory, how the dolio flow in this

He came off as a new Digital Underground MC, since they are known to add new MC’s on each album. But, a quicker look to the credits would prove that he also a major player behind the boards, ass he grabs the Producer credit for “D-Flo Shuttle”, and to be behind the sounds that came out of that album was, and still is, quite impressive. I had to dig deeper.

It wasn’t too hard, because Pee Wee and hiphop’s deepest baritone voice ever, Big Money Odis, got together to put out “A Day In The Life of a Player”, as the duo “Gold Money”. It lacked charisma, but still had some absolutely ridiculous tracks in between, starting with the funkiest motherfunken pimp track ever “Youngblood” (everything played by himself!) and finishing the track with the most “pwnest” track ever recorded. It was a one on one conversation between Pee Wee and the group called “The Young Black Teenagers”. They get served. then chilled. And are never to be heard of again. Throughout the production of the album Pee Wee really takes full control and let’s the album slide through hundreds of genres within 11 tracks. “Mnniiggaahh” starts with Beethoven – Fur elise and crashes into a heavy-rock induced track, while “Nothing” starts funky, goes into jazz, and then just gets deep into some “Pink Pantherish” finger-snappin’ nouveau jazz movements.

GOLD MONEY – YOUNGBLOOD

Now, this was a GREAT time for Digital Underground, because just a year before Raw Fusion came out with “Live From the Styleetron” and Tupac debuted with “2Pacalypse Now”. I liked both albums equally at first, but every time I realized that Live From The Styleetron was kickin harder, I would be held back to the fact that “Trapped” was slowly becoming my favorite rap song, so that would keep my interest for Pac’s album. The credits on his album were disgusting and fucked up beyond belief. For example, I could clearly hear Pee Wee rapping on “I Don’t Give a Fuck”, but nothing in the credits. So for many years I thought that Pee Wee was just MCing and probably lending a hand in production. And not bad, his lyrics BLASTED the cops and became Pac’s anthem for his second album.

Niggas!, isn’t just the blacks
also a gang of mother-fuckers dressed in blue slacks
They say niggas hang in packs and their attitude is shitty
Tell me, who’s the biggest gang of niggas in the city

When I grabbed that “Trapped” single from someone’s record crates, the credits were much clearer. It said in three words. Produced by Pee-Wee.

TUPAC – TRAPPED

Pee Wee’s voice would pop out again on the Dangerous Crew’s album “Don’t Try This At Home”. The track “Gone With The Wind” was so dope that it must have been on every mixtape I made during the next 8 years.

DANGEROUS CREW – GONE WITH THE WIND

When I had the opportunity to ask him about this project with the Dangerous Crew, he told me that the crew was actually him, Shorty B and Father Dom:

“We used that album to feature Ourselves, Bad Influence (for some reason didn’t make the album), Father Dom, Goldie, the Lunies (ended up going to another label) and all of the groups on Shorts new Dangerous Music Label. That’s why every body thought the DANGEROUS CREW WAS ALL THOSE PEOPLE. Hey if you have that album and you look at my picture, that’s NOT ME. Somebody switched the pictures at the label. I still don’t know if it was done on purpose or if it was an accident. But, I guess that “gone with the Wind ” was my pre-warning to get out of there. I’m still cool with Short and Shorty B and all the Rappers”

This all sounds typical of the Industry Rule #4080.

You will hear Pee Wee poppin’ up all over the place during the years that Bay Area rap was running things. “Menace II Society” has his sounds on Ant Bank’s “Packin a Gat” and Too Short’s “Only the Strong Survive”. Goldy, a Too Short affiliated MC, also had quite a few tracks with Pee Wee’s production. He got busy on the white and black keys all over Too Short’s albums “Cocktales” and “Get In Where Ya Fit In”. I am sure his guitars got some licks on those too. A few tracks on Spice 1’s “Black Bosalini” album got the Pee-Wee treatment too.

As the Bay Area lost it’s “hiphop clout”, Discogs.com slowly loses trace of any more current things Pee Wee’s on.

The last time we chatted, he didn’t mention anything specific, but this was quite a long time ago, so I’ll shoot him a quick message and let’s see if he adds his two cents to this piece!

For now, I hope you enjoy the Gold Money album, VERY rare, but sadly I think that my CD Rip skips on one track. I will add a few other tracks mentioned here to the zipped file.

— cenzi stiles

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