You might remember Eric Steuer (aka Cuzzo D.) from his “Bad at Rap” mix â€“ one of the most incredible/terrible things you’ll listen to â€“ and now the man who also makes up half of Meanest Man Contest is back with more.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes his latest: “The Best Way To Tell You Is To Say It In A Rhyme.” Steuer put together this collection of tender rap songs for Hit City U.S.A.’s “Nice Touch” mix tape series. It’s available for $5 in cassette form â€“ cheaper than a box of chocolates, which is so played out anyway â€“ or you can stream the two sides below.
I got to meet and chat with Steuer in San Francisco last year, and we rapped a bit about the fetishism of collecting â€“ records, books, baseball cards, whatever. He clearly has vast knowledge and probably a deep collection of music to back it up, taking up space somewhere â€“ a closet, a hard drive, his brain. This is museum-level curating of the obscure/offbeat/oft-forgotten rap of yore.
And about that image up there: Steuer recently became a father for the first time (congrats again!), and he started a Tumblr called Nocturnal Commissions, in which he commissions an artist at Fiverr to turn a photo of his “puffy, creased, new-dad-in-the-middle-of-the-night face” into a portrait for the world to see. I bet his son will get a kick out of looking at these later in life.
1. Raheem – “You’re the Greatest”
2. Rated X – “Be Cool to Your Girl”
3. L.A. Dream Team – “You’re Just Too Young”
4. M.C. Shy-D – “I Don’t Want to Treat You Wrong”
5. Black Rock & Ron – “True Feelings”
6. Misty D – “Out On a Limb”
1. Hansoul – “Imagination (Philly Cheesesteak Mix)”
2. Little Shawn – “I Made Love (4 Da Very 1st Time)”
3. Yo-Yo – “Tonight’s the Night”
4. KwamÃ© – “Hai Love”
5. Prince Markie Dee and the Soul Convention – “Typical Reasons (Swing My Way)”
6. Nikki D – “All About You”
7. Brotherhood Creed – “Helluva”
If you’ve been paying attention over the years, you’ve probably already heard/collected
a good portion of the new Meanest Man Contest album, Everything Worth Mentioning
, coming out Oct. 29 on Gold Robot Records.
Yes, the album marks the first since 2003’s acclaimed Merit for the Bay Area duo of Noah Blumberg (aka Quarterbar) and Eric Steuer (aka Eriksolo). But in the years that followed, MMC released a series of singles, EPs, remixes â€“ and the best of those songs (along with a new one, “In the Dark,” and some other unreleased demos and such) make up the collection on Everything Worth Mentioning.
Steuer told me: “The idea was to take a look at the dozens of songs we’d done since our first (and only) album, throw out everything that didn’t hold up, and remix, remaster, and in some cases re-record the stuff we liked the best.”
Aside from tying loose ends into a cohesive album, the idea of confronting your own work for self-judgment 10 years later seems daunting. But there are so many highlights here that I’ve raved about in the past: There’s “Partially Smart” and “You Don’t Wanna Know” and (one of my favorites) “Throwing Away Broken Electronics.”
Gold Robot and MMC have made a stream/download available of the new one, “In the Dark,” a synth-heavy track that veers off the hip-hop course and show’s the duo’s range and penchant for experimenting.
You can order “Everything Worth Mentioning” on 12-inch white vinyl, which is limited to 250 copies, via Gold Robot.
It takes a special type of dedication â€“ a sick and twisted dedication â€“ to seek out and collect bad rap for the past 25 years. Eric Steuer (aka Cuzzo D. of Not the 1s and also half of the great Meanest Man Contest) has done just that. There is no doubt plenty from which to choose.
Steuer has compiled a treasure/trash trove of some of the greatest worst raps you can imagine. It literally took everything in me to make it through Mr. T’s “I Am Somebody.” Not surprisingly, a few athletes show up on the mix (Darryl Strawberry and Ron Artest), but the real gem here might be Beach Boy Brian Wilson, who unbelievably tried his hand at rap with “Smart Girls” (produced by Matt Dike, no less). WFMU has the story on it here.
Says Steuer: “Iâ€™ve been collecting bad rap songs since I first heard Darryl Strawberry kick his endearingly wack verse on â€œChocolate Strawberryâ€ back in 1987. This mix is made up mostly of stuff from the late â€™80s and early â€™90s (the golden era of cynical, inept stabs at cashing in on hip-hopâ€™s popularity), although I threw in a couple of newer terrible raps at the end, to keep things fresh & current. I just started working on the second volume of this mix, and my fingers are crossed that Denny â€œAverage Homeboyâ€ Blaze will record a drop for it (he turned me down for this one).”
Bad rap never sounded so good.
Download and/or stream the mix over at Dublab. The track listing is below.
1. DC Talk â€“ I Luv Rap Music
2. Outlaw Posse (f/ David Faustino) â€“ Brand New Star
3. Icy Blu â€“ Itâ€™s Your Birthday
4. Mr. T â€“ I Am Somebody
5. Darryl Strawberry â€“ Chocolate Strawberry
6. Hulk Hogan and The Wrestling Boot Band â€“ Beach Patrol
7. A to the D â€“ The Renegade Jew
8. Dee Dee King (aka Dee Dee Ramone) â€“ German Kid
9. Brian Wilson â€“ Smart Girls
10. MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob â€“ I Ainâ€™t No Kitty
11. Vanilla Ice â€“ Havinâ€™ a Roni
12. Biscuit â€“ Biscuitâ€™s in the House
13. Elvira â€“ Monstaâ€™ Rap
14. Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks â€“ City of Crime
15. Surf MCâ€™s â€“ Canâ€™t Get a Tan
16. 2 Bigg MC â€“ High on Your Love
17. Joey Lawrence â€“ I Like the Way (Kick da Smoove Groove)
18. Gerardo â€“ My Name Is Not Rico
19. Aaron Carter â€“ Thatâ€™s How I Beat Shaq
20. Ron Artest â€“ Michael Michael
21. Kids Hit Masters â€“ Crank That (Soulja Boy)