1992… What a special year in hip hop. Right smack dab in the middle of the golden era, classic albums were released from artists all over the country. Redman’s debut and EPMD’s best album “Business Never Personal” stormed out of the east. Common Sense and UGK dropped their debut albums and represented their surroundings. The Pharcyde introduced us to their shenanigans on their Bizarre Ride. Spice 1’s self titled debut and Compton’s Most Wanted’s “Music to Driveby” also dropped and were 2 of the most finely (yea I said it) crafted gangster albums ever. You may remember a CD entitled “The Chronic” which also saw its birth this year. A host of your other favorite rappers dropped bombs, so it wasn’t easy to get past all these exemplary albums.
Kevin Self Organization Left Others……also known as K-Solo was one of the original members of EPMD’s Hit Squad in the early 90’s. He dropped his first CD in 91 and had a couple hits. “Fugitive” was a brilliant story and who couldn’t relate to “Your Moms in My Business”. He wasted no time with his sophomore effort, 1992’s “Time’s Up”. The album had a little bit of everything. With plenty of braggadocious lyrics, he gets introspective for a bit and even crafts a few stories.
K Solo starts off on fire with “I Can’t Hold It Back”. Like the mesmerizing chanting on the hook states, he can’t hold it back. He’s letting all the haters know that he hasn’t fallen off. Solo also lets us know the reasons why he doesn’t have any features on his album. Made sense to me. Sam Sneed (who later defected to Death Row) blessed us with a funky Parliament sample and some melodic horns on the hook.
K-Solo “I Can’t Hold It Back”
“Sneak Tip” was an interesting ride. Think Spice 1’s “187 proof” or Mobb Deep’s “Drink Away the Pain”. Solo tells the story about getting money from his mother to get a pair of sneakers. He falls in a place called Shoe Horn while trying on sneakers. The shoes were alive in this place. He met a couple friends, a few enemies and even a couple chicas….all had popular sneaker names. This song is basically his adventure on how to get back home. Sound familiar? The music wasn’t memorable, but did it have to be here? I wanted to hear his bugged out story.
Erick Sermon blessed us with a Collage sample on the hilarious, “The Baby Doesn’t Look Like Me”. “Whos Killing Who” was his social commentary regarding black on black violence. We never had a maid growing up, but after his story “Household Maid”, I think I am going to hire one. “Long Live the Fugitive” was a continuation of “The Fugitive” over a familiar Funkadelic sample. Solo first rhymed in 1988 on EPMD’s “Knick Knack Paddy Wack” (beat sound familiar?) and introduced us to a style where he spelled his rhymes… instead of just rhyming them. “Letterman” was another song that highlighted this style. Pete Rock came in and lent his production talents to this track.
“Times Up” was a solid sophomore album, but unfortunately his final album. There are definitely times to utilize the forward key here, but there is music on this album that is worth studying.