Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
STEADY DOPE FROM THE HILLTOP HUSTLA
Patrick Frierson | 11/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nowadays, Hip Hop fans know Steady more for his life bid than the music he put out when he was free. Allow me to be a phat cassette player and rewind you back to a time when Steady B was puttin' in work as "Serious" as that remix he and Tat Money cut with KRS - One (go to youtube.com and check that video out!) - a time when the Philly hip hop scene was making more moves than a choreographer for a New Edition concert!- a time when anything Steady B touched was as he would say himself, "Certified Dope". The time I'm referring to is 1989 and Going Steady is one of the many of examples as to why 89 was a fly year for hop hop/rap.
After releasing three albums that was firmly rooted in the b boy mode, Steady decided to update his style with this album. He added more variety that included a social conscience, a romantic side, and gangsta touch that was a bit more prevalent in this record than it was in his previous recordings. At the same time, the Mic challenges and party songs that made his three previous albums enjoyable were still intact. When you look at the track listing on the back cover, it's obvious that Steady B was chasing down every hip hop trend of the day. When you look at titles such as "Analogy of a Blackman", "Stone Cold Hustler", and the title track, you can clearly hear the influences of Public Enemy, N.W.A., and and LL Cool J- and "Nasty Girls" suggest that he may've been listening to Tone Loc's hit Wild Thing since she has a flow similar to Loc in that song.
When it looked like he was riding the bandwagon of hip hop styles of the time, Steady had no problem taking these styles and making it his own. While Steady was never one of hip hop's most original lyricists, he had a matter of fact type of mic presence that made him one of the most distinctive personalities amongst B-Boys. When steady rhyme, it sounds like he's shooting straight from the hip and trying extra hard to prove his self to challengers and doubters alike. That side of his personality truly comes into play with the opening track "Analogy of a Blackman" Where he's basically saying that the Blackman is the most powerful human being and if you don't understand f#ck you in a minute.... And instead of dissin' give a man a hand / and understand the analogy of a Blackman. Even in the age of uplifting socially conscience rap songs, this stands out because Steady doesn't waste his time with details- he's just telling it like it is. He doesn't tell you why the Blackman is the most powerful human being, he just tells you! "Ego Trippin" and "New Breed" are the best straight up B boy hardcore tracks on the record. While these songs are exercises for his mic skills, there are references to guns and robbin' that gives the songs a Gangsta's touch, even though they're not gangsta rap songs. "Stone Cold Hustler" is another noteworthy track as steady throw down some pure dope defending himself and his Hilltop Hustlers from criticisms that they're dope slingers' and ig'nant slang talkin' n*ggaz. Listening to this track is interesting considering how it predates the raw reality raps that would be perfected by Cube and Scarface throughout the 90's. "Use me Again" is a fun party song in which Steady is selling himself to radio stations and DJ's telling them why they should use him to get the party started. He sound like a club promoter with lyrics and it's one of the most creative party record I've heard from this era. "Going Steady" is a smooth little rap ballad that contains one of smoothest mack lines I ever heard; "If I don't give you my Heart, you'll steal it" (every since Uncle L dropped "I Need Love" it seems that a lot of rappers were fallin' in love back in the day). The innocent love approach of that song may sounded dated to the contemporary ears, it also sounds refreshing these days compared to the trashy ghetto love ballads you'll hear from time to time in today's rap songs. It has more of a universal love that anyone can relate to-thug or not. "Attitude Problem" is the laziest hardcore track on the album where Steady is takin' shots at Three times Dope (Between you and me though, EST would've chewed Steady up and spat him out when it came to lyrics). The track is listenable thanks to a bangin beat from L.G. that uses that "School Boy Crush" bassline to great effect here. Tat uses excerpts for a hook that sound like it was lifted from one of Richard Pryor's old records "I don't have to take this s*it!" Tat was a fool for that (in a good sense!). Speaking of Tat Money, he's one of the most underrated DJ's ever and on this record, his spinnin is constantly on point. A lot of times, I find myself listening to his breaks more than Steady's verses. LG and Steady knew how ill he was behind the board, that's why he was given his own track to shine on "Purple Haze". Tat's style never get's old as he uses a variety of excerpts throughout one song that's highly imaginative and flawless in its delivery.
Would I go as far to say that this Steady B's best album? Well I haven't heard "Let the Hustlers Play", so of all the records I've heard, this is the best I've heard thus far. Listening to this record, it's too bad Steady allowed himself to become involved in the life of crime because he had the skills to could've adapted well into the 90's. He had the Hustler style that would've sounded at home in the gangsta'd out 90's. Oh well, I will say that like new copies are going for a reasonable price on amazon.com so grab a copy if you haven't done so already.