Intoxicated Demos EP (1991-1993) (Heavy Pieces: 5 of 5)
Vinyl EP Record
The One Leg Up legacy continues with the fifth and last installment of the "Heavy Pieces" series. In true OLU tradition, we keep digging below the surface to bring you the type of hip-hop that heads think is impossible to obtain. We promised to end this series with a bang! This time One Leg Up has connected with The Beatnuts to unearth some early history from the Queens trio of Psycho Les, Juju and Fashion! Coming up in the NYC scene alongside The Jungle Brothers and ATCQ in the late 80's and early 90's, The Beatnuts emerged as the production arm of Chris Lighty's Violator Productions. First getting to work on Native Tongue projects from Monie Love and Chi-Ali, The Beatnuts were simultaneously honing their craft as MC's. With Les and Juju handling the production and some of the rhymes, Fashion was meant to be the prominent MC of the group. As it later turned out, his incarceration before the release of The Beatnuts debut "Intoxicated Demons" EP in 1993 was the impetus for Les and Juju grabbing the mic full time. Even still, on this EP you will hear early contributions from Les and Juju and even a pre-X-Men Rob Swift (then known simply as DJ Swift). These demo tracks were all recorded during the Native Tongue era of the group, and also represent their time with The Violators and Chi-Ali. Interestingly enough, two of these songs were early versions of tracks which appeared on Chi-Ali's debut album, "The Fabulous Chi-Ali". Fashion's original reference vocals on the "In My Room" track are humorous when you remember Chi-Ali kicking those same sex rhymes as a 14 year old! Also on "Do That" you might recall this beat being used for the title song on Chi's album, but this original version has Fashion kicking an up tempo fast rap flow, showing why he originally was the emceeing front man of the group. Also, according to Psycho Les, the track "Fashion Goes Off" is curious as to the Beatnuts early usage of the Sweet Linda Divine "I'll Say It Again" drums. Most astute break collectors would go on to forever associate those drums with Black Sheep's classic "The Choice Is Yours". Was there some creative borrowing in the Native Tongue crew? Hmmmm....Also on this incredible EP you will hear an original version of "Props Over Here" with some alternate lyrics and a rare radio promo done for DJ Red Alert. Combine all of these goodies with several other unreleased Beatnut songs and you have an essential EP of Native Tongue nineties goodness! Not bad from a trio who would later go on to help shape the course of 1990's Hip-Hop. As always, One Leg Up has recovered, restored and mastered this 8 song EP to finally be shared with the world. As usual, this record is limited to only 200 pieces in continuance with the limited nature of our series. This vinyl EP will never be repressed or re-issued at a later time, which holds true for all One Leg Up releases.