I Used to Love H.E.R.: Mawnstr (Not the 1s)

The 54th installment of I Used to Love H.E.R., a series in which artists/bloggers/writers discuss their most essential or favorite hip-hop albums and songs, comes from Mawnstr (born Alex Christidis), one-half of the party-rap rascals Not the 1s, whose eight-track debut on Gold Robot, Why You Cryin?, features production from the likes of Daedelus, Mexicans With Guns, Monster Rally, Young L and more. Shit is as fresh as it is funny. Highly recommended (and be on the lookout for a track premiere here very shortly).

Until then, peep the first single, with production by Lunice:

original gangsterIce-T, O.G. (Original Gangster)
(Sire, 1991)

Any time one of those “best emcees of all time” conversations jump off, one dude I never hear get mentioned is Ice-T. I always think that maybe it’s cuz he’s had so much success onscreen that people forget how raw he was. I musta been in third grade when Rhyme Pays came out, so all I remember was seeing the cover at the record store and recognizing him from Colors cuz that shit was huge at the time.

When I finally heard “6 ‘N the Mornin'” years later, I didn’t even know
who Schoolly D was yet. Aside from hearing some songs here and there, I really never copped an Ice-T record until O.G. came out. When I saw New Jack City, I was so juiced off “New Jack Hustler,” I couldn’t WAIT
for his album to drop. When it did, I instantly fell in love with that shit. O.G. was smart, hard, smooth and funny, all at the same time. This was a time where there was so much good stuff coming out, you’d have to make some tough decisions at the record store, too.

This tape had 24 tracks on it and was well over an hour, with no filler. It’s hard to go wrong with a James Brown sample and there’s plenty on there. There’s too many dope cuts to name, but some that stood out to me were “Bitches 2”, which is a hilarious story-telling rap about how dudes can be the BIGGEST bitches sometimes and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous,” which gives you sight into his life as a rap star. (DJ Premier did a dope remix on the 12-inch.) “Body Count” introduces his
metal band of the same name, and although I wasn’t really into it, it was only one song and it seemed like every rap album had a token rock track at the time. On “M.V.P.s” he shouts out all the other rappers he’s down with, and instead of dissing Hammer like everyone else at the time was, he gives him his props and disses those that dissed him.

Finally, he closes it out with “Ya Shoulda Killed Me Last Year,” which is a speech against the war and the prison system. He also disses the Police, FBI, the DEA, Tipper Gore, “Bush and his cripple bitch!” Damn, I love this album! I actually grew up in the LA area so I’d see Ice at Venice Beach and I even saw him at Macy’s in the mall
once and he ALWAYS had at least one hot girl with him and always showed love to his fans. I eventually caught up with all his older material and didn’t feel like such a “new jack” anymore. I used to HATE LL so when I heard Ice takin shots at him on Power, I liked him even more.

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