Adamsville To Pool Creek
Prefuse 73 is on some other shit. Also known as Scott Herren, this schizophrenic hip hop producer concocts the kind of experimental electro-funk that makes your neck jerk. Live instrumentation and bizarre scratches are all over his debut full-length, Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives, which features backpack favorites Mikah 9, Aesop Rock and MF Doom. Don’t think Fuse is another one of those “alternative” rap acts, however. Peep game: Mr. Herren grew up in Decatur, Georgia with the likes of OutKast and Goodie Mob and spent his entire childhood doing the gangsta boogie. Though he now resides in Brooklyn with his two pound dog Habib, he still gets crunk to the sounds of classic dirty south. We asked him to break down the seminal pre-2000 southern rap joints. Here’s somethin’ for the whodi’s.
Geto Boys: “Mind’s Playin’ Tricks On Me”
An honest reflection on the ills of stardom, fame and fortune, with a dash of ghetto paranoia. This was one of the first non-booty shake southern joints that got commercial fame. The album cover has a photo of midget MC Bushwick Bill’s bloody, shot-out eyeball protruding from the socket. “Goddamn, homie.”
Three 6 Mafia: “Tear Da Club Up”
“Got that thang at your temple/ When it bustin’ keep me trustin’/ We ain’t talkin about bustin’ pimples.” This type of lyricism was in full effect even before Project Pat, Gangsta Boo and Crunchy Blac were Sippin’ On Some Sizurp.
Goodie Mob: “Dirty South”
Setting a standard for the genre. This classic solidifies the fact that the ATL and its surrounding areas (SWATS, College Park, Decatur, East Point) is where the true dirty south really is.
Tru: “Bout It Bout It”
Platinum brothers Master P, Silkk The Shocker and C-Murder showed the world what New Orleans is all about on this No Limit classic. Complete with low-budget production and a little jogging dance everybody could practice in the comfort of their own home while watching the stellar I’m Bout It movie. “We reprazent!”
Scarface: “Seen A Man Die”
Scarface found love from the whole world dropping some lowdown, Texas style reality-core without the Geto Boys in 93. Face is a true veteran of this shit; he’s shared the mic with the likes of Gang Starr, Nas, and Jay-Z. Now he’s the head of Def Jam South, home of Ludacris.
8-Ball & MJG: “Space Age Pimpin’”
Memphis MCs dropped this on an independent southern label called Suave House in 95 or so. The title reflects the track perfectly: a slow, bugged-out quiet storm beat with rhymes about pimpin’ and low-ridin’ on some next shit.
Master P: “Ice Cream Man”
First big solo joint from the man that only God can judge. His world supremacy would soon follow, not to mention an assortment of amazing acting roles that show his uncanny ability to play the same recurring character no matter what the environment.
Setting a new standard for vocabulary, leaving everyone like “Wha’???” I’m sure this one had suburban parents praying for their children as they heard them muttering these indecipherable verses at the dinner table after spending countless hours in front of MTV.
Prefuse 73’s Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives is out on Warp records on April 15. Look for an upcoming Prefuse/MF Doom collaboration album.