Million Dan, actual name Michael Dunn AKA Milli D AKA Million Dappa... AKA Mike J from the legendary Demon Boyz posse. Demon Boyz came from my home town (I should say 'ends' or 'manor') of Tottenham, North London and gained massive respect for rapping with Brit accents along with Lndon Posse back when most were imitating US rappers. Members included Mike J AKA Million Dan (born in Jamaica), Demon D (Almshouse Demon) and DJ Devastate.
They won a rapping contest run by Rebel MC (also from Tottenham) aged 14-15 and were snapped up by Simon Harris and Music Of Life, where they released all their material, up til 1992 when they were on Reb's Tribal Base Recordings label..
Anyway, that was all in the late 80s-early 90s but Million Dan resurfaced in a BIG way in 2003 with the awesome Dogz N Sledgez.
Maybe this cut is a little too ruffneck for the Soul Vendor, and perhaps it doesn't truly belong here, but I love it.
The two other mixes are pretty decent but I advise you to jump straight into the Freestylers produced Original Version for some high octane bad bwoy ruffneck bizznizz.
Mint Condition hail from Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the time of writing this they are 8 albums deep and can list things like supporting the man, the legend Prince among their many accomplishments. The have also been nominated for four Grammy and Soul Train Awards.
These boys ain't playin'!!
Let Me Be The One is arguably my favourite cut of theirs. It's an on the DL joint heavy on the groove with a bubbling undercurrent of sensuality and exactly the kinda neo soul vibes that I like. However, it was when it got the remix treatment that it truly elevated for me.
So, the Album versions are fabulous, but it's the Ummah versions you should check for. Track two is much my favourite of them. It's the Ummah Mix featuring Q-Tip. Sublime production from who I assume is J Dilla, lends a blunted, low key sexy vibe to things and the track is all the better for it.
My only critique is that it's an edit and not a full ength version
Let Me Be The One (Album Edit)
Let Me Be The One (Ummah Radio Remix featuring Q-Tip)
Let Me Be The One (Ummah Remix Instrumental Q-Tip Version)
Let Me Be The One (Ummah Radio Remix featuring Phife)
Let Me Be The One (Ummah Remix Instrumental Phife Version)
MCA Records – MCSTD 1551, Uptown Records – MCSTD 1551
A band that really needs no introduction around these parts, Guy are the combined talents of Teddy Riley alongside brothers Aaron and Damian Hall.
If you need to know anything about the boys then check out one of the other Guy posts.
The version on the album was great, drafting in MCA/Uptown Records mainstay Heavy D,cousin of Pete Rock, he was a nice counterpoint to Aaron's always on point vocals. Here Teddy & Co switch it up a little with a new hook "Been thru heartaches and pain..." and some interesting changes to the percussion. Heavy D returns to the track also with a fresh verse for the new mixes.
Predictably, my favourite here is The Extended Club Version.
Formed in Harlem back in 1988 By Riley and close friend Timmy Gatling, and joined shortly thereafter by Charlie Wilson sound-a-like lead vocalist Aaron "Nasty Man" Hall, Guy's first, self-titled album was a huge hit state-side and went triple platinum. The line-up would change shortly after when Gatling left and dancer Damian "Crazy Legs" Hall filled in the gap.
When they dropped their second album, The Future, in 1990 it flipped my head it was so good. There were a rash of killer singles released including "Her", "Do Me Right", "Teddy's Jam 2", "Wanna Get With You", "Let's Chill", "D.O.G. Me Out" and "Let's Stay Together" among others. (I'll be posting some of these over the next few weeks.)
Back in the day I had a VHS tape of some of Guy's videos which came out on the back of The Future's success. The video for D.O.G Me Out was a version of the track that wasn't on the album or even any of the the CD Singles that got released in the UK. It had the funk cranked way up to eleven, had a slammin' beat and featured Aqil "A+" Davidson from Wreckx-n-Effect dropping a dope verse - anyway, after a lot of searching in vain on my part (these were the days before the internet) I managed to track it down when it finally got released UK side on Mastercuts New Jack Swing Vol.3.
It's superior in every way to all the other mixes (even though I love the original), and was, of course, the Single Edit with Rap, which is a shortened version of the Wreckx-n-Effect Rap mix, contained here along with an Instrumental. Also on the single is a slightly different edit of the album track (Single Edit), an extended version of the album track in the Canine Club Mix, as well as the Dogapella, which might come in useful for your own mixes. There's also a "Dub" Mix by Mike Nice.
All in all, it's a really nice release, and a little reminder of just how dope Teddy & Guy were in their prime. Not that we should need it!
Note: I think the track should actually be named D.O.G Me Out rather than D-O-G Me Out, but I've gone with what's on the CD single. Plus using full stops/periods can mess up windows file extensions.
Released the year before The Future album dropped, this gave an indication of how far Guy and Teddy Riley had come as a Producerin such a short space of time. These boys were hungry, and they were taking no prisoners.
Sadly, a dark sequence of events including former manager Gene Griffin allegedly embezzling much of the group's earnings, an ill fated tour supporting New Edition where Guy upstaged the headline act a few dates into the tour, with deadly consequences that saw one of New Edition's production managers shoot and kill Anthony Bee - a member of Guy's security detail; saw both Aaron Hall step back from main vocal duties as well as Guy disbanding well before their time.
All that grim stuff aside, Guy put out some of the best R&B of the era, not least of which was the uber funky I Wanna Get With U, with Teddy taking on most of the vocal duties (but Aaron supplying an amazing bridge section and other background duties like the call and response with TR), it stands today as a great example of a band who, at the time, were top of the world.
And that bassline! Oh my days! :)
I'm not sure which is the best mix for me. The 12" or Club Version will both see you in good hands. Either way, this was one of my favourite tracks on the album.
Guy (this line-up comprising Teddy Riley and brothers Aaron Hall and Damian Hall) dropped an absolute monster in the shape of 1990's The Future, their second album. It was such a seminal drop that a good half of the 16 album tracks got single releases.
Sadly, it also marked the beginning of the end of the band; Aaron Hall was already in the process of leaving, with Teddy Riley taking over vocal duties for many of the tracks.
It didn't change the fact that what we got was a straight 10/10 album that had a lasting impact on the music scene.
Although Teddy would go on to score huge hits with the excellent Blackstreet, Guy will always have a special place in my heart.
There was a CD of House mixes of this track. I have this and can post it if anyone is interested (and probably will do for sake of completion at some stage), but I thought these original versions are more suitable for this place. Hit me up in the comments.
You'll be wanting the Original Mix taken from the album rather than the Edit, but there isn't anything amazing/new in relation to Her on this release. Also included is the Canine Club 12" Version of D.O.G. Me Out, which is brilliant, even though I do prefer the other remix.
Discovered by Keith Sweat, Silk are an American R&B group, formed in 1989 in Atlanta, Georgia. They are best known for their 1993 hit single, "Freak Me", which reached number-one on the US Billboard Hot 100. They've had a string of other hits, but this one is my favourite.
There are a suite of remixes on here but the Original Extended Mix is by far the best to my ears.
We start with DJ Clark Kent's mix, sampling Isaac Hayes' A Few More Kisses to Go, no doubt inspired by Redman's use of the sample.
Next up are the Trackmasters, and while I normally find them a little formulaic for my tastes, this is a surprisingly good mix.
The Chucklife mix is kinda boring to me so moving on quickly to The Trackmasters Hip Hop mix, which features Foxy Brown and Tyme dropping a bar each.
Which all brings us back to the highlight of this CD for me, the Original Extended Mix; simply perfect. I love those Ironside style sirens!
All in all, this was a really great value CD, packed with multiple versions. I'd have liked an acapella but I've lost count how often I say that!
You know this one had to come sooner or later, right?
G-Spot reached No. 29 on the UK singles chart in 1994, and later reached a paltry No. 50 when it was re-released in 1996 - although you couldn't put on urban radio without hearing it around the time, so chart position isn't really a reflection of the impact it had.
I don't really have much to say about this release as it speaks for itself. You'll either love it or hate it. I'm the former! ;)
I do have a nitpicky issue with it though - the naming convention is all over the place. The version on 1994's Ninety Degrees & Rising album is called Your G-Spot, it was known by just G-Spot on the radio's back in the day, the single is titled "Ooh Aah" (G Spot) and the individual track names are all over the place.
For someone who likes thing neat and orderly, it's a nightmare!!
The album version "Your G Spot" remains the best but is sadly lacking from these CD's (I've added it to this .ZIP for sake of completion for you). My pick of the bunch is the Lighter In The Air Mix with the always excellent Top Cat bringing you some rudebwoy biznizz.
The Borehamwood Mix is a slightly remixed, slightly resung version that isn't as good, and the Back In The Day Mix again, isn't as good as the original.
Nothing on either CD is bad per se but, as I said, just not quite as good.
"Ooh Aah" (G-Spot) (Boreham Wood Mix) (For Those Who Know)
"Ooh Aah" (G-Spot) (Back In The Day) (With A Little Love Mix)
"Ooh Aah" (G-Spot) (Lighter In The Air Mix) featuring Top Cat
CD2 now and once again, while nice, these tracks just aren't as good as the original version.
Wayne kinda comes off as a UK version of R Kelly, with his sex focussed output. I mean, look at these covers. They could be stills from a porno!
This feeling is reinforced with the track Ooh La La La featuring label mate Ebony (which also features on his Censored album). The story this song puts over comes off like the whole label were simply having sex with each other all the time.
Maybe they were, I don't know, I didn't work there. :D
"Ooh Aah" (G-Spot) Boreham Wood Mix (For Those Who Know)
Al Jarreau Feat. Phife – In My Music (Dodge Remixes) - 2001
GRP – 158 568-2
My second birthday gift today is a two part post for you, Vendistas. Musical heavywieght Al Jarreau is a legendary figure within the jazz and soul worlds. Alwin Lopez Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017) was an American singer and musician. He received a total of seven Grammy Awards and was nominated for over a dozen more. Jarreau is perhaps best known for his 1981 album Breakin' Away. He hit the mainstream in a BIG way when he did the theme tune to the 80's classic TV show Moonlighting, starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis (Now there's a blast from the past for you!), and was among the performers on the 1985 charity song "We Are the World."
He had such an expansive and influential career that I really couldn't do it justice in a single post devoted to just one song of his, so please check out his Wikipedia entry for more info. Malik Izaak Taylor was born November 20, 1970 and sadly passed in March 22, 2016. Known professionally as Phife Dawg (or simply Phife), Malik was an American rapper and a member of the group A Tribe Called Quest. He was also known as the "Five-Foot Assassin" and "The Five-Footer", because he stood at just 5 feet 3 inches.
Phife formed A Tribe Called Quest, then simply named Quest, with childhood friend Q-Tip and DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad (also for a short time Jarobi White) in 1985. The band would go on to have a huge affect on the Hip Hop landscape, understandably frequently cited as many peoples' favourite Hip Hop band.
The melodic Mix is nice, but I would suggest jumping into Dodge's Main mix immediately, as it's my favourite. They're both an upgrade over the original, although that one is great in its own right... but you know how I feel about my man Dodge!
I'm putting up two posts today, technically three, all with a certain theme, but you'll get what I mean by that with #2 later today. You're allowed to go a little nuts on your birthday, right? :D
As a huge fan of both Marvin Gaye and EPMD/Def Squad, I was delighted when Erick Sermon dropped the track "Music" in 2001 - even happier that it was a bona fide hit for both parties. The song was inspired when Erick Sermon heard an outtake of Gaye's 1982 album track, "Turn On Some Music" (titled "I've Got My Music" in its initial version), Sermon decided to mix the acappellavocals and make his own song with it. This hip hop and soul duet featuring the two veteran performers was released as the leading song of the soundtrack to the Martin Lawrence & Danny DeVito comedy, "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" (which I've not seen to this day). The song became a runaway success in the US rising to #2 on Billboard's R&B chart and was #1 on the rap charts. It also registered at #21 pop giving Sermon his highest-charted single on the pop charts as a solo artist and giving Gaye his first posthumous hit in 10 years following 1991's single, "My Last Chance" also bringing Gaye his 41st top 40 pop hit. I can't find the data on what it did in the UK - not much probably, considering the awful mainstream consensus. There was also a version that removed Erick Sermon's verses, leaving Marvin's vocals over the beat, although that ain't available here.
There's an F bomb on the Album version, so depending on whether you're okay with profanity or not, go with either the Album version or Radio Edit. The Instrumental should be of interest to some more DJ minded folks.
I wish it had the Marvin Gaye-centric mix on here as well for completion, but mostly I'm just happy to have the track.
Before I start I just need to say how much I adore the art on this!
Maybe I am pushing the boundaries of what The Soul Vendor should be about with this and the previous cut, but at least I have the excuse of the Incognito Mix (just as I had the Venus Tribe excuse last time) which is as dope as you'd imagine, given their pedigree.
I grew up on Hip Hop, Soul and later Drum & Bass (in my raving days). Shy FX and T Power are both legendary in their own rights as producers on the D&B scene, but together they were spectacular! Check classics such as Shake Ur Body and this track, Feelings. They put out two fantastic albums and served up a bunch of wicked cuts for the raving crew.
This track is one that even non D&B fans will ask... 'What's that one song that goes "Yeah yeah yeah yeah" - I like that one!'. It even blew up to the degree that it surfaced above D&B only radio and was featured on many urban music stations.
And then there's the Incognito remix. Long term followers of this blog know that Incognito would be our house band, if that were possible. Here they bring a cool, summery downtempo vibe, and, amazingly for a track with a simple single vocal phrase, they work their magic and turn it into a full vocal affair.
Now, I won't judge you for not liking the original (even though you'd be wrong), as Drum & Bass isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if you talk smack about the Incognito version you can take your ass back outside. ;)