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Category Archives: 1990s

This is another classic recommended by ANOTHER SUCKER ON THE VINE, but it’s too good to leave to just Andy alone! -Ian!

In 1996, Oakland’s Pimp Of The Year, no, Pimp Of The Century, Dru Down comes out with a sick album full of bay area fire and funk. With producers like Lev Berlak, DJ Fuze, DJ Daryl, Soopafly (credited by his name Priest Brooks), Battlecat, and a few others, you get a neat mix of Mobb Music and laidback G-Funk (Bay and L.A. inspired), and a plain out good time. Dru Down spits heat throughout and has great guests here too. “Playa Fo Real” is the joint. Battlecat really did up the beat, bouncy G-Funk and a slick whiny synth, one of his most original beats ever, and he is a phat beatsmith. DD gets his mack on nice and smooth. He calls out Too $hort on the mobbed out “Mista Busta” over a syrupy beat. This song contributed to the Luniz, C&H, Dru Down vs. Too Short beef that would prove violent thru ’96 into ’97.

A slappin good time is found on “Heads & Shoulders” with DD gettin it horny, crunk, and disorderly over a “Smurphie’s Dance” sample. The smooth but raunchy sex joint “Freaks Come Out” has a phat, smoked out laidback G-Funk beat with LV (from South Central Cartel/Coolio fame) dropping a hot and smooth hook. Then, we have the bay mobb music joints “500 Mobsters,” and the bangin’ “The Mobb.” This joint is long but tight. The beat is nice and slick with neat keyboard melodies. “Suspect One” is another with more of a laidback beat but harsher rhymes to offset that atmosphere. The title track is cool with a neat coming of age story, but a predictable sample “Can You Feel It.” Another classic is “Underestimated” where Soopafly adds a Long Beach G-Funk bouncy beat and a slick verse about how heads underestimated the 2 rappers. Overall, this album should be in anyone’s collection. A phat album that should never be slept on. This album is smoother than Explicit Game from 2 years earlier and fun and humorous.

-G-Funk 4ever “Honda Civic”, amazon.com

DOWNLOAD:
Dru Down-CAN YOU FEEL ME (1996)
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320kbps

I’m a little bit of a poser on this one, I only found it like last year and have actually never heard a note of Band of Horses. Nor do I particularly care to, honestly. But this is great stuff I got into around the same time I found out about The Swirlies. Thanks, Ott! -Ian!

Carissa’s Wierd formed in 1995 when Matt Brooke and Jenn Ghetto moved to Seattle from Arizona. Their hushed, plaintive vocals, blended with intricate instrumentation, impressed from the start. The pair recruited pianist Jeff Hellis and a string of drummers and violinists to round out their sparse indie rock sound. Other members included Ben Bridwell, Sarah Standard, and Sera Cahoun. Embracing a misspelling and never subscribing to convention, the bandmembers blazed their own trail early on, cutting their teeth in Seattle’s club scene.

In 1999, the group unleashed Ugly But Honest on Bridwell’s Brown Records, while 2001’s You Should Be at Home Here and 2002’s Songs About Leaving garnered the band widespread acclaim across the Pacific Northwest. Recording with Chris Walla at Seattle’s Hall of Justice Studio, the group increasingly seemed to be a legend in the making, but disbanded in late 2003 soon after a cross-country tour. Following the demise, Ghetto focused on her solo project, simply called S. Brooke and Bridwell announced plans to form a band called November 16th; while such an outfit never materialized, the duo did find success with the indie rock act Band of Horses. Brooke split from the group in 2006 and went on to form Grand Archives, who subsequently became labelmates with Band of Horses when they signed to Sub Pop. Meanwhile, Sad Robots Records issued several posthumous releases of Carissa’s Wierd material, including 2004’s I Before E.

-Stephen Cramer, allmusic.com

DOWNLOAD:
Carissa’s Wierd-UGLY BUT HONEST (1999 compilation)
mu rs
320kbps