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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

12" Throwback: "DOPE ON PLASTIC"

I remembering hearing this track for the first time on a mixtape and being absolutely blown away. From the ruthless and fierce delivery and lyrics by BX's Uptown (born Raie Dacosta) combined with that vintage late '80s hardcore production mashed with a passion by The SD50's Dante Ross with C.J. Moore on the classic A-side. The B-side, a ill track too provided by Bobby Simmons, is another heavy joint but doesn't live up to the classic A-side; well you couldn't expect a song as dope as the lead track from this single. A true hip-hop masterpiece if I ever heard one.

Tommy Boy was one of thee number #1 labels back in 1989 and this impeccable VLS release had all the trademarks of a dope, original, timeless release of its time. If you haven't had the chance to hear this yet, especially the A-side, you've been missing on a big chunk of hip-hop history right here so make sure to grab it through The Lost Tapes' link provided below. 

It's fucking weird that Tommy Boy bailed on the album release after such a crazy debut single; think about how hip-hop sounded in '89 and just be amazed that this was the only release the MC ever got a´chance to release on the label as a solo artist before being droppped shortly after. Dante Ross from SD50's, who produced "Dope On Plastic", was an A&R at Tommy Boy at the time, had a hand in releasing the single and then dropped the talented MC from the label. It's a travesty that they broke the contract before Uptown had the chance to release an album. Uptown's vocals, delivery and smooth verses makes for an undoubted hip-hop classic that deserve alot more noise than it actually did. Maybe the label got getting cold feet after the single dropped, as the expected classic didn't do the numbers they had hoped for and acts like De La Soul was just getting succesful.

But maybe things was meant to be that way. After quite a long hiatus the MC returned to the scene and a lot of things would change for Uptown's future career. In 1993 he hooked up with legendary saxophonist Branford Marsalis and hip-hop producer DJ Premier to guest on their project Buchshot LeFonque, That group was the brain child of B. Marsalis and Preemo and was an homage to those old '50s jazz records from the likes of Cannonabll Adderles and it has influences from the classic hardbop jazz but was a fusion of bebop, modal jazz,, hip-hop, reagge, rock, soul, salsa and whatnot. With so may cooks in the kitchen it could easily be a very unfocused album but with Marsalis' and Preem's guidance the albuim is easily one of the most important jazz/fusion LPs in a very long time (Madlib's "Shades Of Blue" also comes to mind). Uptown appeared on the songs "No Pain, No Gain" and the vocal version of "Breakfast @ Denny's"
But it was first with Buckshot LeFounque's second album, "Musical Evolution" from '97 that he joined the group as a full-fledged member appearing on about half the tracks. Here he took on the name 50 Stylez: The Unknown Soldier and straight up ripped it. It might not be as good as the '94 ddebut but it's definitely one to check for; the main flaw was the lack of DJ Premier's participation (he did remix the first single "Music Evolution" however, also featuring Upwon and his late P.N.C. The GURU jumped on another track with Uptown on the LP, "Black Monday").  Around the time of the B.S.L. debut, Uptown also jumped on a DJ Premier remix of Omar's "Keep Steppin'" track. Hopefuly we'll get a new Buckshot LeFonque album  soon before it's getting too late.



1 comment:

  1. One of my all time fave joints and yeah it's crazy that the LP never saw the light of day...Dante Ross only co-produced this fam, it was CJ Moore that did this really.