But nothing somber, baby. Just bringing you some jams from the early/mid 90s with which you’re probably unfamiliar. The theme of this post is, unintentionally, artists from Atlanta.
First on the docket is “Van Full of Pakistans (Spearhead X Mix)” by Y’all So Stupid, a little known group from Atlanta.
Both the original and this vastly superior remix have very little to do with any sort of traditional Atlanta scene. The sound is pure early 90s New York with a sprinkling of Souls of Mischief/west coast consciousness. The beat on Spearhead X’s remix is reminiscent of Pete Rock, the Bush Babees, and any number of east coast acts who centered their sound around soulful, mellow jazz loops. They even shout out Erick Sermon–not exactly a southern Hip-Hop hero–at the beginning of the track. The group certainly consists of some above average rappers, but a lack of personality probably doomed Y’all So Stupid to the dollar bins. A few copies of the single are available on Ebay, so I’m not necessarily sure I want to call this one a rarity, but it’s certainly been lost in a sea of similar sounding early 90s records. A dope record nonetheless and a seamless fit in any mellow mix.
Our next obscure gems come courtesy of Organized Noise pet project Society of Soul.
As with most things dope and southern, I was first introduced to Society of Soul by Cocaine Blunts. You can buy their only album, Brainchild, on Amazon, so their work is not obscure to the point of nonexistence. “Changes” and “Peaches n’ Erb” typify the rich, soulful sound that makes Organized one of my favorite production teams of all time. They never attained the superstar producer status achieved even by southern peers Lil Jon, Timbaland and, to a far lesser extent, Jazze Pha and Manny Fresh, but produced a catalog vastly superior to any of the four, placing them in a vaunted realm with the likes of the RZA and Dr. Dre. Like three of the aforementioned four (Pha excluded, as he had commercial success, but I’m not really sure anything he did was particularly distinct), Organized Noise helped craft the sounds of a whole crew (or at least a collective of like minded artists), producing a number of major hits in the process. You may recognize T-Boz’s voice on “Changes,” which bears more than a passing resemblance to a little Organized produced song called “Waterfalls.” Organized never really made themselves as visible as the other producers mentioned and perhaps that was for the better. Their music has rarely if ever strayed from the highest quality. “Peaches n’ Erb,” aided by Cee-Lo’s glorious wailing, is strictly late night, empty streets, smoky alley music. Beautiful modern soul.
Since we’re on the topic of my beloved Dungeon Family, here’s my favorite record from their only album as a collective, 2001’s Even in Darkness. Get funky with “Crooked Booty.” Straying from the mid-90s timeframe of the rest of the post, but it’s worth it for a little funky fun.