I Used to Love H.E.R.: Aye Jay!

I knew when I purchased the Gangsta Rap Coloring Book that I had to have its creator, Anthony “Aye Jay!” Morano, take part in this series. His is the 28th installment for I Used to Love H.E.R., a series in which artists/bloggers/writers discuss their most essential or favorite hip-hop albums (read intro).

By aye jay!

In these bloggish times we live in, you can find a plethora of lists by A to Z list internet celebs waxing poetic about the records they love and would take to a desert island, as if you could pack to be stranded on a desert island? I never got that. I know that you know that I know Raising Hell and It Takes A Nation of Millions are essential listening. I wanted to expand horizons, and maybe put you up on some records I love, but you may not have heard. In my opinion, all of these are up to snuff, but check your political correctness at the door, cause some are potentially offensive.

Willie D, Controversy
The Houston TX based Geto Boy’s first solo album is the illest Rap record of all time? Quite possibly. It’s all here: Drugs. Sex. Murder. How can something Wrong be oh-so right? For example: the song I Need Some Pussy has the P word repeated 17 times in the first chorus alone! As a bonus, the Geto Boy’s LP cut Do It Like A G.O. is on here too! On Kinky Motherfucker, Willie tells us all about, you guessed it, how he’s a kinky motherfucker. Welfare Bitches tackles the serious social problem of welfare abuse by bitches, and the crown jewel: the song Bald Head Hoes. I consider BHH to be THE definitive song about bald headed groupies, but D doesn’t just point out the problems, he offers solutions: “I’m proposing a bill/ to Capitol Hill/ to kill/ all baldhead women at will.” Willie D for Senator!
Bald Headed Hoes – Willie D

Suga Free, Street Gospel
Pomona-bred permed pimp Suga Free teams up with producer DJ Quik and makes a masterpiece. While his punchline filled fast rap is akin to E-40 Fonzerellli, theres so much more going on here. I hafta shout out J-Zone for putting me up on this record. He once said that I’d Rather Give You My Bitch was the best rap song of all time, and after repeat listenings, it’s hard to disagree. Sex and humor have long been linked, but not so much in the rap music, but Free’s pimp tales make panties drop “just to warm her ankles” and you also get some great cameo raps by Quik and Hi-c, who I love. If your’re still doubtful, just check Why U Bullshittin? And understand that the line “Perm silkier than Charolette’s web/ waves deeper than Redondo Beach” is worth price of admnission alone!

Dr. Dre, Rodium mixtape series
From 1986 to 1990, well after NWA’s ascent to rap royalty, the good Doctor made 4-track mixtapes to sell at the Rodium Swap meet in Compton. If you don’t know what a tape is, I can’t help you, but make sure you Google it after reading this to completion. These tapes had ill song selection, the hits of the day, custom raps by the NWA crew, innovative mixes and mind blowing megamixes that put the Stars on 45 to shame. Humor too! In the beginning of the You got ganked tape, Dre claims there’s no music on the tape, and you got duped. After a few silent seconds, he says “nawwww, we just booolshittin.” But booolshit this stuff is not. The only problem is how great these tapes are and how few people have heard them. Get your internet rap nerd on and find 86 in the mix, Criminal, and especially Raw, which starts with a custom intro from JJ Fad and leads into MC Ren channeling Chuck D over the Bring the Noise beat!

[STREAM]: Audio via YouTube of the Rodium mixtapes (as stated, highly recommended!)

The Click, Down and Dirty (self released version)
Because E-40, B Legit, D Shot, and Suga Tee hath sprinkled the nation, i understand folks know about the Click. They did put V-Town on the map and all, but lets get into the wayback machine for a sec. After self releasing Down and Dirty, and selling mad copies outta the trunk, they signed to Jive Records, but a funny thing happened between the DIY tape and Jive CD: sample clearance issues. It’s unfortunate that the version America heard was all changed around. A song was dropped, snippets were reversed or changed all together. The result is a slightly different record, leaving the superior version to live on bootleg dubbed cassettes passed from person to person like folk tale or spinning yarn. For bonus points, also look for the Lets Side EP, which also stands the test of time.

Ego Trip Presents: The Big Playback
One could argue that I shouldn’t list a compilation here, but my argument is this: why go through the hassle of finding classic cuts yourself when you have rap scholars (Mao, YN, Sacha J, GA and BR) to do so for you? From the groundbreaking magazine of the same name, to TV specials, and reality television forays the ET crew do it well, a la LL, and continue to innovate. As the story goes, after the magazine folded, the crew makes The Book of Rap Lists (aka the best book of all time b/k/a the rap bible) then teams with Rawkus Records to produce a soundtrack to said best book of all time. From MC Shan and Marly Marl to the pre-Adrock stylings of Beat bop, The Big Playback is a primer for those ignorant to rap history, so pull up a desk younguns, and take notes. Make sure to cop this on vinyl (google it) just to see the full spendor of Brent Rollin’s amazing cover art in full 12” x 12” glory. Es muy bueno!

(If anyone can help with mp3s, holler … thanks!)

One thought on “I Used to Love H.E.R.: Aye Jay!”

  1. I am really happy there’s finally someone out there givin Free and Quik props for that classic album. Free is really one of the most unique MCs out there.

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