Organized Konfusion's imprint on the hip-hop scene was hardly left by accident. The Queens duo, which consisted of Prince Poetry and Pharoahe Monch, were not only two of the most lyrically brilliant cats around; they also had a knack for creating absolutely mindblowing beats that held their own against additional contributions by people like Buckwild and The Large Professor. After only three albums, all still held in the higest regards amongst true hip-hop heads today, Po and Monch went their separate ways to focus on their own succesful solo deals. "Organized Konfusion" (1991), "Stress: The Extinction Agenda" (1994) and "The Equinox" (1997) has hopefully already found their way into your record collection, and if not maybe the compilation presented below will point you in the right direction.
"God Send" features fourteen tracks from the duo's 1990s run, and is to my knowledge an almost complete collection of all original Po and Monch joints not included on the three aforementioned LP:s. I've deliberatly excluded the 1989 demo they recorded with Paul C as Simply II Positive MC's; that's a post for another day, together with their 1987 single "Memories of Love". Furthermore, I decided against the inclusion of OC's "War Games", considering how it only feature O.K. on the hooks. The same goes for "For My Peeps" which, although credited to both, only features Prince Po. There's also a gang of ill records produced by Organized Konfusion, which you'll also see pop up on The Lost Tapes very soon, so stay tuned. Below are a quick rundown of where the songs originally appeared on, along with a few notes. As usual all songs appear in their full versions, and in good to great quality. TURN IT UP!!
01. "Bring It On" [The Lost Remix]
"Bring It On" is a stand out from the "Stress" LP, but the "Lost Remix" has very little to do with the original incarnation. In fact, it is more of a sequel than an actual remix; featuring all new vocals over an incredible Buckwild production. Released as a white label around '96, and also appeared on the soundtrack for the '96 flick "The Substitute".
02. "Rekonstruction" [Rhyme & Reason Mix]
The "Rhyme & Reason" mix of DJ Spooky's "Rekonstruction" is one I've rarely, if ever, seen mentioned when discussing the works of Organized Konfusion. The original version appeared on Spooky's "Riddim Warfare" in 1998, while this mix made it's entry on a vinyl EP called "Spiritual Minded" that was released a year later. This take is darker and more agressive than the original, and I would say both are equally impressive.
03. "Murder By Syntax"
Created for the DJ/producer centered compilation "Deeper Concentration" on OM Records in '98, "Murder by Syntax" is credited to DJ Spooky featuring Organized Konfusion. Similiar to the previous track, this one is pretty hardcore and makes you wish DJ Spooky would get more attention on hip-hop albums.
04. "Ill Collabo" (w. Cella Dwellas)
Lifted from The Dwellas' classic sophomore release, "The Last Shall Be First", the cameo was credited to Prince Po and Pharoahe Monch since this was recorded after the group's official split. Fans of exceptional lyricism will find this most satisfying, and Rockwilder turns in one of his most boom-bapish beats, post-"Da Rockwilder". Released in 2000 on Stimulated Records.
05. "Sway & Tech Radio Promo: Interlude" (w. Nas)
This fat radio promo appeared on the 2005 release, "Best of Organized Konfusion" and is, obviously, a promo record for Sway & Tech's The Wake Up Show. The fact is that these 1.5 minutes are just an excerpt of a complete "Wake Up Show Anthem", recorded and rleased in 1994. I decided to include the short version on the compilation, due to the fact that the sound quality is a lot better with both O.K. verses intact. The original version features a crazy line-up of Lauryn Hill, Nas, Prince Po, Pharoahe Monch, Saafir, Ras Kass, Chino XL, Shyheim and Foxy Brown... Check it out for yourself - "Wake Up Show Anthem '94".
06. "Frontline" (w. El Da Sensei, Mike Zoot & F.T.)
"Frontline" falls in the posse cut category, the line-up of El Da Sensei, Organized Konfusion, Mike Zoot and F.T. blesses a dope Shawn J. Period production that will surely have your head nodding. Recorded for the Groove Attack compilation, "Superrappin' - The Album" and released in 1999.
07. "You Won't Go Far" (w. OC)
One of the closest affiliates of the duo this post focuses on, was right from the jump Omar Credle (OC that is). O made his recording debut on the opening song of "Organized Konfusion", the masterpiece "Fudge Pudge", and also made an apperance on "Stress". Po and Monch produced no less than four cuts from OC's classic debut LP, "Word...Life" and there was even talk of a collaborative project between the three at one point. "You Won't Go Far" is a great showcase of how great that would've been, as there is no denying the tight chemistry this trio displays here; and it's a concept record on top of that! Released in 1995 on the "New Jersey Drive" soundtrack (Vol. 2).
08. "Stress Remix" (w. Large Professor)
Similiar to the "Bring it On" remix, the Extra-P take on "Stress" is more of a sequel than a remix as it's really only the hook that string them together. Large Pro leaves the dark, rumbling basslines that characterized the album version, in favor of a lighter sound centered around the Fender Rhodes piano. Released as a single in 1994, it's possible that it was also intended to appear on the album as the credits reads "Ocee and Large Professor appears courtesy of Wild Pitch Records"; despite no other apperance from The Guy With The Glasses.
09. "Late Night Action"
This rather moody piece is supposedly a song recorded for "The Equinox" album. Instead it appeared on the "Soul in the Hole" soundtrack the same year. The sound is also very similiar in style to that of the last O.K. album, and is not too suprisingly produced by the duo as well.
This terrific cut packs a very dark and atmospheric sound, complete with a great horn sample floating in and out of the soundscape underneath the verses. "Passion" appeared on "The Best of..." compilation from 2005, with no further explanation of the songs origins. Judging by the sound of it, I would place it around the time of "Stress", possibly a little later. Most likely self-produced.
11. "Tender" [Remix] (w. Attica Blues)
Attica Blues is a trip-hop trio from the UK that released their self-titled debut album on the Mo' Wax label in '97. From there, the single "Tender" was released, complete with a remix produced by Organized Konfusion. Although it does not mention on the label, the remix also features one verse each by the duo, holding down microphone duties for the first two minutes of the seven minutes joint. This might seem like a pretty odd collaboration, and it definitely is, but it's pretty damn great either way.
Superb concept track from the "America is Dying Slowly" project (1996), a compilation of exclusive hip-hop tracks meant to raise awareness about AIDS. Produced by the always ill DJ Ogee, who's very talented but unfortunately has a way too small catalouge for his skills. Hopefully we'll get to hear more from him sooner or later.
13. "O.K. Moodswing: Interlude"
Self-produced funky interlude type of track from from the "Who Stole My Last Piece of Chicken" single (1991). Featuring Adam "Ant" Anton on guitar and Chris Conway on drums.
The original version of DJ Spooky's earliest Organized Konfusion collaboration, "Rekonstruction", lifted from his "Riddim Warfare" project (1998). I'm a big fan of this as well as the remix, which is why I decided to include them both here. I'm sure you don't mind!
15. "God Send"
How could I make an Organized Konfusion compilation, and not include the final piece of the puzzle? "God Send" fits perfectly as the outro to this one hour set as I always felt that it managed to bring some type of closure to the impeccable musical legacy of these two giants. Recorded for Pharoahe Monch's solo debut, "Internal Affairs" on Rawkus in 1999; produced by Lee Stone and Pharoahe Monch.
ORGANIZED KONFUSION - "GOD SEND"
ORGANIZED KONFUSION - "GOD SEND"