On September 13, 1988 two of the most influential west coast albums were released and made the east coast take notice. Ice-T dropped his second studio album “Power” and Eazy E dropped his first studio album “Eazy-Duz-It“.
Now, if you ask which album is best, the answer is almost obvious. Although “Eazy-Duz-It” was really an extension of “Straight Outta Compton” that had dropped a month before. The album includes “Boyz-n-the-Hood” remix that adds an extra verse from Eazy and the rest is the same as the original.
“We Want Eazy” was one of two videos that were made for this album. The video has Eazy in jail and missing the concert only to bust out and make it out of the video screen.
The second video was “Eazy-er Said Than Dunn” where Eazy and the crew get rejected at the club, only to “bum rush the show” and perform the song.
But the truly dopest tracks (in my opinion) are “Nobody Move“, “Eazy-Duz-It” and “No More ?’s“.
Storytelling in Hip Hop is truly a lost art form. Back in the day, those were the tracks you would play close attention to because you didn’t want to miss the ending! On “Nobody Move” Eazy does just that! His inspiration? Easy…Blowfly. (No pun intended)
Empty your pockets, but do it slow
Take everything you got and lay it on the fucking floor
Don’t make me have to set an example today
And blow one of you crazy motherfuckers away
I’m in a bank, and it’s a little bit funny
Taking all you stupid motherfuckers’ money
Peepin at a bitch cause my dick’s on hard
Laughing at the dumb ass security guard
Who’s tied up for the moment, not saying a word
I should have known it before, the motherfucker’s a nerd
But back to the bitches I’m peepin’
And then untie the ho, so I can start creepin’
Took her to the backroom, about to jack
Cold trailed the bitch, with a gun in the back
I said: “Lay down, and unbutton your bra!”
There was the biggest titties that a nigga ever saw
I said: “Damn”, then the air got thinner
Only thought in my mind, was going up in her
The suspense was making me sick
She took her panties down and the bitch had a dick!
I said: “Damn”, dropped the gat from my hand
(What I thought was a bitch, was nothing but a man)
Put the gat to his legs, all the way up his skirt
Because this is one faggot that I had to hurt, so
The title track takes a Temptations bass sample and adds a bunch of Hip Hop vocal samples to give us one of the most iconic Eazy E track!
Well I’m Eazy-E, I got bitches galore
You may have a lot of bitches but I got much more
Wit my super duper group coming out the chute
Eazy-E, motherfuckers, cold knocking the boots
Cause I’m a hip-hop thugster
I used to be a mugster
If you heard (Dopeman), you think I own a drugstore
Getting stupid because I know how
And if a sucker talks shit, I give him a (POW)
8 ball sipping, the bitches are flipping
Slow down, I hit a dip and, continue my tripping
Hitting my switches, collect from my bitches
The money that I make so I can add to my riches
Fill my stash box and start rubbing my gat
Feeling good as hell because my pockets are fat
A hardcore villian cold roaming the streets
And wit a homie like Dre just supplying the beats
To me, the dopest track is “No More ?’s” where Eazy flows over a Bar-Kays funk sample. Eazy gets interviewed by a reporter about his life and get’s asked 3 questions, and of course he answers them in rap form. Favorite question? Number 2!
Wait… for some people to leave
I got another trick up my sleeve
Step with pep to the back of the house
Looked in… all the lights are out
Grabbed the door and it’s locked, so
Easily made my way to the window
Lift it up slow, cause it takes timing
Looked around, and then I climbed in
Once inside, I start takin
Cause you know it’s no time for shakin
Get what you gonna get, front and center
Or get five years for breakin and enter
Move quickly, but no runnin
Shht, I think somebody’s comin
Hear the front door key, and I flee
Out the back door with a fist full of jewelry
Over the wall… don’t fall
Wipe my sweat cause that was a close call
Gettin ganked by the E is a lesson
So… is there any more questions?
Let’s move on to Ice-T’s “Power” album. His first LP had his girlfriend Darlene Ortiz on the cover with a tiny bikini that was almost disappeared in this air. For his second album, he upped the ante bringing Darlene back.
If the cover didn’t get you to buy the album, the tracks made it a “no-brainer”. I used to have the b-side stuck in my Walkman! Don’t get me wrong, the album was dope but the b-side was on fire!
“I’m Your Pusher” is a rap remake of Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman” and makes the “drug” he sells a metaphor for his music. His music is so dope, you get high listening to his album. Just to watch Darlene dance in the video is worth downloading the video and keeping it in heavy rotation.
I know you’re lovin’ this drugs as it’s comin’ out your speaker
Bass thru the bottons, highs thru the tweeters
But this base you don’t need a pipe
Just a tempo to keep your hype
Groovin’ like I see you doin’
Some stupid crack would just ruin
Your natural high, why? .. That ain’t fly
And anyone who says it is, lies
Move like I knew you would, like I knew could
And if you ain’t cracked out, then I know you should
Be able to give me a clap, to match exact with the track
And since I know that you ain’t, I expect that
Oh now this jam is lit, it’s like the ultimate
People high off dope but still physically fit
I’ll make a million bucks, pack my dough in trucks
From sellin’ dope beats, dope rhymes, dope cuts
I’ll be the biggest dope dealer in history
Because all the fly will be high off that Ice-T
The feud with LL also begins here where the dealer is making some “dope” suggestions only for the “customer” to reject a certain “drug”.
I got some LL Cool J
Nah, nah man, I don’t want none of that
You can keep that man
Over and Edwin Starr “Easin In” sample, Ice gives us a glimpse of the “High Roller” lifestyle only to find out that crime might pay until your competition crosses paths with you. Back in the 80’s, rap music was always viewed as a way to glorify the “criminal lifestyle” but it seems that the critics never listened to the end of the song.
People of the city stop fooling yourself
Crime rules the streets, who the hell else
All the police have gone out to play
Because for enough cold cash they’ll look the other way
Just look at the cars as they go by
Benzes, Ferraris, trucks up high
Beepers connecting players to big-time deals
With all of this technology who needs to steal
Just live a life of leisure every night and day
And you’re living proof that crime does pay
Your life is dangerous and reckless
You eat fly guys and girls for breakfast
You’re a titan of the nuclear age
Your muscles flex with a Uzi or 12 gauge
And you love the game that’s why y’all boast
Because you’re high priced high speed high post
Now what would an Ice-T album be without a sex track? On “Girls LGBNAF” Ice brings the raunchiness over a simple break beat that makes us listen to the “smut” he’s delivering. From an interview he made, he claims he wrote this song after listening to LL Cool J’s “I Need Love“.
Tonight, I’m trying to make this real clear, dear
I’ve no time to whisper in your ear
No time to remove your fears
I just wanna get near
Get butt naked and roll around
Move our bodies like up and down
Do that stuff that your mama call smut
Girls, let’s get butt naked and fuck
Lastly, the track I dug the most on this LP was “Personal” where he goes after other mc’s in the game. By the looks of things, it looks like he also goes after Ice Cube, yet there was no beef started by the lyric in the song. The song borrows a dope guitar riff from Heart’s “Magic Man” on top of Dyke & the Blazers “Let A Woman Be A Woman” (same song that Stetsasonic used for “Sally“).
Emcee’s no time out,it’s time to rhyme out
You’ve dug your own grave,now you must climb out
Dig out,crawl out,hide from the fallout
Cause when I get mad I go all out
ICE cooler than the coldest Cube,dude
And when I’m micin’,boy,I’m know to get rude
Criminal background,it’s time to get down
I use a silencer,don’t like the loud sound
Off my mic blast,you better run fast
The last punk that popped junk passed
Spit on his grave,laughed,jumped in my stretch
Signed his bitch an autograph
Syndicate boy,I don’t fool out
You’re full grown,school’s out
You try to diss?..I think you better cool out
Cause your butt is smoke,if we ever duel out
This jam is directed,to all of those who expected
For me to cold be rejected,but now I’m highly respected
And now their ears are infected
With dollar signs I’ve collected
Jealous punks,I said it!
I remember being 17 at the time and getting both albums at the record store and taking them to school and changing the cassettes now and them. I remember playing Eazy-Duz-It all the time and rapping the tracks a cappella with my homies a lunch time in the school quad. I could play that tape from front to back and not use the fast forward button. As for Ice-T, it was the b-side that got me hooked. It wasn’t until “Original Gangster” that I got to love one of his albums front to back. But nevertheless, both albums made west coast Hip Hop expand and reach audiences that had ignored acts like Rodney O & Joe Cooley, Toddy Tee & Mix Master Spade and King Tee. The way I see it, there would be no Eazy-E without Ice-T. There would be no N.W.A without Eazy-E. We salute these two west coast rap pioneers! PEACE!