Friday, May 29, 2009

Is It Live?

This is one of those posts where I'm going to bring up something that I always wonder, and instead of my ideas provoking thought in the reader, it will most likely make you think I'm on some crazy nerd shit.  Here is "the question at hand..."

Are all Marley Marl and/or Cold Chillin' tracks that are said to be live actually 100% live? 

Stupid question to ask, and I don't care either way if they are, because they're all incredible, but I suppose when you listen to something so much, you start to dig deep for added entertainment value.  The first example that comes to mind is a straight up legen-DAIRY track. 

LL Cool J- Murdergram (Live at Rapmania)

I've never really had a conversation with anybody regarding how great I actually think "Murdergram" is.  I don't hear it talked about a lot, but I doubt I'm alone on this one, and it's not really a topic I feel would make for good conversation at any semi-normal get together anyways.  Honestly, I will probably enjoy any song using that special 1 bar loop from Earth Wind & Fire's "Moment of Truth," so that explains why I'm basically all for this too:

Anybody who listened to Commercial Rap knows I have no shame in thoroughly enjoying the good Kid 'N' Play songs.  But I'm kind of getting on a tangent here.  Was "Murdergram" even performed at "Rapmania?"  I mean, I obviously don't know the answer to that, but I do know that I have a 2 VHS set of the concert and the only LL Cool J performance on it is "Jinglin' Baby."  I promise next time I'm at my mom's house I'll grab the VHS and post Kurtis Blow's "Medley" performance, because it is something that needs to be seen, if only for the outfit (but also for the "Basketball" segment).  

So, anyways, I've established that there is no footage of Cool J performing "Murdergam" on my VHS.  Who gives a shit, right?  I simply like thinking about these things sometimes.  The crowd noise on the track also sounds like it's a loop too, which always creates a great sound (that is  absolutely NOT sarcasm, it's dope!).  Also, the beginning where Marley says "Yo, don't go near the speaker" just sounds too perfect to be an actual flawed live recording.  You know what, the more I type out my thoughts, the more I realize that this track was probably never actually meant to fool anybody into thinking it's a genuine live recording, so I'm feeling like a real geek fanboy right now.  Nice detective work, dickhead.

Anyways, aside from my rant about how it's probably not actually live, the song from front to back is just a complete banger. And I don't normally use the word banger, so you know I dug deep for that.  LL destroys it with the vocals, the beat is probably higher up on my list of personal favorite Marley productions than I even realize, and it's even got the classic Marley Marl vocal cameos ("Nah man just kick a litttttle more!").  Poi-fect!

Now, onto a couple Marley and/or Cold Chillin' tracks that are definitely live.  "Wrath Of Kane" on Big Daddy's second album is incredible.  The crowd gets LOUD when Kane comes out to perform the track at the Apollo. 

Big Daddy Kane- Wrath Of Kane (Live at the Apollo)

I also was always kind of taken aback on MC Shan's "Cocaine (Live)" when the crowd is attentive enough as a whole to go "OoOOOOOhhhhhHHH" at the end when Shan says "Don't you know by now that her name was cocaine?"  They get loud too.  

MC Shan- Cocaine (Live 12" Version- I believe performed at the Red Parrot...?)

I want to believe that none of this was ever any amount of added after-effect studio trickery, and there probably wasn't any, but it's not so much that I'm a skeptic as it is the fact that I spend way too much time in C's Section (studio) tinkering with ideas and things like this.  Here, I'll show you.

Somehow I weaseled my way into knowing the whereabout of this:

Since certain parts of the theatre/stage were mic'd separately, you can use the multi track tape to boost certain levels of things.

Biz Live @ Apollo (Clip)- Normal

Think about that, then think about this (key moment to compare is 23 seconds in on each) ...

Biz Live @ Apollo (Clip)- Crowd Boost

This paragraph here has come to an end.

aka... this rant is over



  2. can you post the rapmania vhs? awesome blog kid!

  3. Thanks for checking it out sean! I'll try to post some rapmania footage in the near future, definitely.