May 2, 2012

Suga Free - Street Gospel (1997)


1. Intro 0:48
2. Why U Bullshittin'? 4:25
3. I'd Rather Give You My Bitch 5:04
4. Doe Doe and a Skunk 5:08
5. Don't No Suckaz Live Here (feat. Playa Hamm) 5:13
6. Tip Toe (feat. DJ Quik & Hi-C) 5:16
7. I Wanna Go Home (The County Jail Song) 3:43
8. If U Stay Ready (feat. Playa Hamm) 4:47
9. Fly Fo Life 4:48
10. On My Way 4:29
11. Secrets 4:43
12. Table Interlude 1:06
13. Dip Da 4:32
14. Tip Toe (Reprise) 3:42

The mid to late 90s was a bitch for West coast rap since it was defined by The Chronic and arguably bettered on Doggystyle, so releases after that would be declared derivative and so on since the death of Pac whereas the south and east still had canon artists like Gang Starr or OutKast receiving critical acclaim and attention, and maybe only 2001 in 1999 would have the coast in critical favour again and even then prejudices against the west are still common, the area being perceived as producing misogynists unwilling to grow up out of the golden Chronic era. It's the grand tale of how only Dr. Dre matters in the scheme of things, one that either ignores DJ Quik (among others), or at least makes him an oddity

DJ Quik has been releasing albums since 1991 and hasn't made a bad one yet. Last year's The Book of David showed how the producer/MC has been developing his sound regardless of trends, falloffs, and early 90s nostalgia. He's in it 'cause he loves the music and it's worth following him to see where he takes his unique brand of west coast g funk. Everything he's done is good, but I like his work on Suga Free's debut album, Street Gospel, the most. Similar to Rhythm-al-ism of the following year, the record is beautifully lush, a mixture of incredible 90s R&B, Zapp funk, and of course west coast gangsta shit. Rather than rapping on it himself he's given us the charismatic pimp/rapper, Suga Free. Those who found Rhythm-al-ism offensive should probably stay clear, 'cause rather than loving pussy like Quik does, Suga Free makes his money selling it. He's a unique MC who makes his quick-fire rapping sound laid back, like he's half talking to the listener, half singing.

Whether or not it was a conscious decision to distance himself from the culture or sound at large which may or may not be a fiction any way, Quik's laid out some of the best and lushest funk and soul for his vile, intelligent, funny, charismatic, talented pimp friend Suga Free to rap and sing some stories over- whatever makes the beats sound better- and man, do they sound good, even if the vast majority of those hearing the MC can only take if you stay ready, you ain't got to get ready to mean something inspirational or worse, as a joke, or as anything but pimping advice, but we'll all listen to Under My Thumb and call it satire if we need to, and I'm saying this just sounds better

A-

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2 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for the music! Can't wait to listen to it, but I thought I should let you know that it's missing the intro.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks man I'll upload that when I get home

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