By Al Shid
There was a long time in the 90’s, into the the early 2000’s where I bought tons of Vinyl. Not referring to stuff I would sample but things like Indie rap 12″ records and Lp’s. The thing about that era, for me, is that it’s both nostalgic and sometimes embarrassing. There’s so much music from that era that I loved that, for some reason or another, never aged particularly well. Underground rap is funny like that. I always contend it has to do with rapping styles of that era. People were going out of their way to sound different and, in order to do so, often found them selves out on a creative limb. While it paid off for some, others didn’t fare as well. For that reason, styles came and went. As did artists. Every now and then, though, a dude would come along that seemed timeless. Typically, it would be a more traditional rapper who embraced the underground rap aesthetic. This would sometimes be problematic for a few reasons
1)There was SO much music coming out back then, people often got lost in shuffle. Great rappers would just flare out for no real reason , other than over population in the record racks.
2)Because being weird was the thing back then, traditional guys would often get pushed to the side. In reality, these were guys who had potential for broader appeal but were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I say all that, to intro these two songs by rapper Al Shid. He was a protege of J-Zone (Zone did the beats on both these songs. Let’s never forget how dope his shit was during that era). Shid was rude, direct and clever. He put out two 12″ records in 2002. These two songs were the jewels of the bunch. I distinctly recall walking into Fat beats and Breezly Bruin was working there at the time. We’re were friendly and having a casual chat when he was like “Yo, have you peeped this new Al Shid joint!?!? He’s a beast.” Honestly , I bought it off the strength of that (and J-zone) and did not regret my choice at all.
Bruin wasn’t lying.
Sadly, I don’t think his records ever took off like they should of. I’d chalk it up entirely to timing. Underground rap was on some postive, head wrap shit back then and I’d imagine a song about “Money and than hoes” didn’t sit well with a lot of people. It’s too bad though…cause I loved these songs…and I still love them today. So, here ya go. Enjoy the glory of Al Shid.