Monday, 25 October 2010
"And the award for 'Most Pointless Radio Edit Ever' goes to...
...Akinyele - for 'Put It In Your Mouth'"!*
Finally got myself a copy of this record that's been on the low-to-medium-level wants list for quite some time (cheers Rob!). Not that many people even know about a Radio Version of "Put It In Your Mouth". I mean, why would you? Who would ever want to play an edited version of this song? I can't imagine radio stations getting away with it, even in the curse free form it's presented here, so what's the point? It's irony in the highest degree - a complete contradiction of terms! The only 'listener friendly' version that a commercial station could get away with playing is an instrumental, surely? Well, bizarrely a 'Radio' version was included on a self financed white label 12" that came out shortly before the official E.P. dropped. Credited to 'Akafella' and titled "In Your Mouth", the 12" includes Street, Radio and Instrumental versions of said track, with Street, Radio and Instrumental of "In The World" on the flip. I first heard this in the old Deal Real shop (below Dark & Cold in D'Arblay Street). Pete had a few in stock which unfortunately had all gone by the time he played me his personal copy. The other usual West End outlets had also sold out but at that time there was plenty of other decent records being released regularly so it wasn't like I was fiending for it in a big way. The official stickered sleeve E.P. finally came out on Stress and I was happy enough to pick that up.
"Put It In Your Mouth" was a huge record and played to death in the clubs - the marriage of Al Green's "I'm Glad You're Mine" drums and Brick's "Fun" guitar loop laced with Ak's hilariously ignant lyrics make for some classic tongue-in-cheek head-nodding Sex-Rap, which I guess is near on a Hip-Hop anthem of sorts. As much as I love the track it wasn't the sole reason I initially wanted the record. "In The World", the B-Side I'd heard in Deal Real, was on some proper hardcore, underground New York ish, BUT, and this to me is a big but, when I got home and played the E.P. the first thing I noticed was the inclusion of a completely different beat. What I later found out was the Large Professor produced original had been replaced with a watered down Bad Boy influenced style track, which although isn't bad, isn't great either. It was the Extra P version of "In The World" I actually wanted just as much as "In Your Mouth" and the reason I've been after a copy of the white label ever since. You didn't really think I was gonna talk exclusively about a radio version of "In Your Mouth" did you?!! As the title of the post states, it's the most pointless edit ever made! Mute or reverse as many of the curses as you like - it's still blatantly obvious what the track is all about, and it definitely ain't the delights of sucking on candy lollipops! No matter how you try and disguise it, it's not gonna go down well with sensitive day time radio listeners! As ironic as it is, that's about as interesting as it gets! ...Nope, the white label 12", for me anyway, is all about some classic mid-nineties Mad Scientist production.
I'm presuming the beat by 'the live guy with glasses' was replaced on the E.P. due to problems with sample clearance as it sh*ts all over the Jiv Pos & DJ Enuff version from a great height. Either that or there were complications with the fact Large Professor used exactly the same breaks for a remix of Tragedy's "Funk Mode". Both tracks were released around the same time, I'm not sure which came first but this was in the pre-'MF DOOM beat-recycling' days so there may have been some friction between camps over the use of the same beat. "Funk Mode" and "In The World" are based around an incredible Gwen McCrae chop laid over the hard hitting Power Of Zeus drums - classic Large Pro production. Although both are well worth having individually, an added bonus with the Akafella 12" is the inclusion of the instrumental, which if you're a fan of the L.P. makes it a fairly essential purchase. I've gone off on a bit of a tangent comparing the two records there actually. It's pretty irrelevant. I only intended to highlight the difference between the versions of "In The World" for those that didn't know.
Now this record is finally in my possession I don't have a great deal of use for the E.P. - let's be honest, "The Robbery Song" is the only other worthwhile track on it. To me this white label was the last Akinyele release that's really worth having. "Vagina Diner" and the two twelves released off it are bonafied must-have classics, "Loud Hangover" with Sadat-X was dope and "Break A B*tch Neck" is also worth having for the instrumental (only, that is, if you've got disposable income and already own all the classics, 'Random Rap Raers' and every other super expensive Hip-Hop record known to man - most of which are far better anyway). Soon after the E.P. though, it all went down hill. A string of sex influenced follow up records aiming to cash in the success of "Put It In Your Mouth" put a dead to my interest. I did buy the "Music Killz" LP but it's far from essential with only a couple of Dr. Butcher produced tracks and a J-Zone joint that I rarely listen to now. It does include the Large Professor version of "In The World" but the 12" is a cheap pick up so I'd recommend hunting that down instead. It used to be a bit of a b*tch to find and fairly expensive in the early days of eBay but it's dropped in price now and is always in plentiful supply on Discogs (watch out for the Euro bootleg though which has some extra writing running around the edge of the label).
Again, big thanks to Rob Life for supplying me with a copy on Saturday down at the Vinyl Veterans night. DJ Format absolutely smashed it by the way with one of the most impressive Hip-Hop sets I've seen or heard in a very long time, and that's regardless of the fact he played exclusively from 45s! If you get the chance to catch him in or around your town, make sure you go out of your way to do so!
Akafella "In Your Mouth" (Radio)
(1995, white label, U.S. 12")
Akafella "In The World" (Original 'Extra P' Mix)
(1995, white label, U.S. 12")
*Honorable mention goes to Tim Dog for "Forget Compton". Feel free to add on...