Words from the Genius By The Genius
I remember the fist time I saw the album “words from the Genius” at a record store. Every tuesday, I would go to this spot Disc-o-rama by my crib (I eventually worked there for a few year in my late teens). Tuesdays were the day new release dropped and my nerdness ran deep, so I was always checking on what had come out. Well, while browsing the Cassette section , I noticed an album on Cold Chillin’ records by an artist named “The Genius”. Being a huge Juice Crew fan (Cold chillin put out many of the most classic Juice crew albums) , I quickly picked it up to read the cover and inspect this mystery album. I had never heard of this artist and, to be honest, it kinda came out of nowhere. From the looks of the cover, it was on some smooth guy rap shit. I mean, for christ’s sake, he was in his pajama’s writing with a feathered plume. It certainly wasn’t selling me very well. However, the song titles led me to believe he might not just be a second rate Big Daddy Kane. Being the completist I was back then, I bought it on the strength of if being on Cold Chillin’ and took it home. To this day, there are very few Cold Chillin’ record I never owned…Sorry MC Shan, but your albums were kinda wack.
Anyway, I put this album on and was pleasantly surprised. Great production, a good rapper (not yet of GZA caliber but still very good). I felt good about my blind purchase.
The next week, I’m watching Video Music Box (The best video show ever in the history of the universe) and this song “Come Do me” Comes on. It was the Genius’ first single from the album I just bought…and it was terrible.
It was a typical new jack swingish pop song that every rapper who claimed to fuck women made back in that era. I was bummed but relieved that I hadn’t seen that video first, or else I may not have bought the album. I guess the album got a soft release of something cause ,typically, the video comes out before the album but, apparently, Cold Chillin’ didn’t give a fuck about The genius. Anyway, 2 years later, the Genius would emerge as the GZA from WU Tang and the rest would be history. But this album was one of many I copped off sheer curiosity back in the day that ended up paying off. If I did that now, I’m pretty sure I’d end up pretty mad at everyone involved. So, shout out to an era when blind purchases would actually pay off. RIP to that era as well.
victim of the ghetto: the college boys
Romany malco may not be a household name but if you’ve seen the movie “40 year old virgin” or the tv show “Weeds”, you are more familiar with him then you think. this brooklyn born actor has been doing it since the late 90’s. however, what many people don’t know is that before he was an actor, he was the lead rapper in the group “the college boyz”. while i’d be lying if i said they were very good, they did have on single that had a little buzz going in 1992.
Tha’ lunatic: tupac
it’s well documented that tupac first came up with digital underground as a dancer , and then later as a rapper on the posse cut “the same song”. shortly after , pac signed with jive and released his debut album “2pacalypse now”. being a fan of his verse on “same song” i bought this album when it dropped. my favorite joint on it was the Live squad produced “tha’ lunatic”. it was just Pac rapping, before shit got all crazy for him and he became a platinum selling artist/movie star. obviously, this isn’t some hidden gem, but i do think it’s an underrated song and an interseting look at tupac before he became super star.
the genius is slammin’: the genius
a couple years before Wu-tang took east coast hip hop over, Cold chillin’ records dropped “words from the genius”. mostly produced by easy mo bee, the album was void of any kung fu references and pretty much fit nicely into that era’s cold chillin’ braggadocio roster. it’s main fault was the first single “come do me” which made the genius out to be more like Father MC then the man who would eventually pen liquid swords.
time to build:mic geronimo featuring Jay-z, DMX and Ja rule
while this line up may seem like a hot 97 listeners wet dream circa 1998, this song was released in 1995. Jay had a little buzz but DMX and Ja rule were not yet established artists. in fact, weirdly, mic geronimo was the most famous guy on this track at the time. well, time is a motherfucker and over ten years later, Jay-z is the richest man alive, ja rule sold millions of terrible records then fell off and DMX (also a multi platinum seller) is a rumored crackhead who gets arrested pretty much every other week. as for mic geronimo…you’re guess is as good as mine.
bring the ruckus: lil fame (sorry, no video could be found of this song so here’s a different song from the same album)
before he was half of M.O.P. lil fame had a few songs as a solo artist that were featured on the 1992 release “the hill that’s real”. while now he’s known for his yelling rhyme style and being on of the more threatening mc’s to ever do it, fame was way more on the punchline tip in his earlier years. he sounded more like a young kool g rap with a little lord finesse mixed in.
before they were stars part 1
1)bring the ruckas:lil fame
2)victim of the ghetto: the college boyz
3)tha lunatic: Tupac
4)the genius is slammin’: the genius
5)time to build: mic geronimo featuring ja rule, jay-z & dmx
(This blog was originally posted in the TROY blog)