Seagram Miller – Rest In Peace
20 years ago, we lost one of the best “unknown” rappers to unnecessary violence, Oakland MC Seagram Miller. He specialized in tales from his gritty Bay Area surroundings. Boasting, pimping, and metaphors was certainly not Seagram’s forte. He was able to effortlessly paint a picture to the listener on what his mentality was like growing up in his harsh environment. James Prince, legendary CEO of Rap-A-Lot Records was thoroughly impressed with his ability to paint vivid portraits though his violent tales. Prince quickly signed Seagram and he became label mates with The Geto Boys, 5th Ward Boys, Odd Squad, DMG, Big Mello and a host of other Houston representers. Seagram became the only west coast act on the roster.
1993 was the year that Seagram dropped the 1st of only 2 releases…..”The Dark Roads” And this album was certainly that…Dark. A mix of violent ghetto tales and the occult were the foundation of this entire album. The first song, “Straight Mobbin” kicks off the album off and just may be first time you heard the izzle bizzle language that Snoop is known for.
“The Vill” was Seagram’s first single video and served as tour through 69 Ville Housing Projects.
Seagram “The Vill”
Scarface, Willie D and Gangsta Nip all jump on the posse cut, “Action Speak Louder Than Words” Seag rhymes:
“And all that loud shit, nigga, don’t start
They’ll find your ass chopped and stuffed in a shopping cart
Fools awake and give praise to the dark lord
Bring on the chalice, voodoo dolls and the oujia boards
Straight from the alleys of Cali, 69th Curbs
Is actions spizzeaks lizzouder thizzan wizzords”
Seagram & Scarface & Willie D & Gangsta Nip “Action Speak Louder Than Words”
Nip & Bushwick Bill join the satanic mayhem on “Wages of Sin” Seagram fascination with the occult is evident in his rhymes
“Deranged thoughts fill my head as I lay in bed
Satanic killings brings misery and dread
Pentagram symbol printed in my right palm.”
“Reality Check” was released in 1996 was his follow up and featured a bit different sound. The vivid street tales were still prevalent, but not as much cabalistic matter. The music had a distinct west coast vibe. This was certainly a more musical album which was reflected by the G Funk era the world was engulfed in at the time. “The Town” which featured frequent collaborator Gangster P and a feisty female rapper Angie. “Gangsta Livin”, one of Seagrams best songs ever touched on life in his neighborhood.
Ain’t no rules in survival…So it’s go for self, go for wealth…And if a nigga loses his health, thats the cards he was dealt…Ain’t no reason to cry over spilt milk or feel guilt, there’s an empire to be built…So miss me with that shit, cuz it’s senseless…Nigga knew the game and he knew the consequences
The ultra smooth beat with faint singing in the background perfectly matched his candid story.
Seagram “Gangsta Livin”
His Oakland brethren, Too Short lent his pimp wisdom on ‘Gangster and Players” while “Birth” showed the sensitive side of Seagram as he discusses his love for the miracle of birth. “13 Deep” is a smooth tale that illustrates what happens when children get a hold of guns. He flexed his story telling chops on this one and he result was beautiful.
“Souls On Ice” was his posthumous album and featured Spice 1, Scarface and Yukmouth. This album plays out along the same lines as Reality Check. There were plenty street tales that was complemented with a west coast laid back vibe. He was also apart of one of the longest, most hardest posse cuts ever on The Geto Boys “Bring It On”
The Geto Boys “Bring It On” ft 2-Low, Seagram, Too Much Trouble, 5th Ward Boyz, Odd Squad, Ganksta N-I-P, DMG, Mr. 3-2, Big Mello
Seagram also found his way to daytime TV with an appearance on the Jenny Jones talk show. That particular show highlighted groupies and one of the young ladies told the world about a romantic 2 hour evening she shared with rapper Seagram. Just his like music, Seag told it how it was. He even performed for the crowd. I wonder if there was anyone in the audience actually familiar with Seagram.
Seagram “Fallopian Tubes”
Seagram died a violent death in the late summer of 1996 when he and a friend were ambushed by a drive by shooting. His partner, Gangster P was shot in the head and just as real as his rhymes; Seagram suffered a majority of his fatal wounds shielding his friend from the assault. Thank you Seagram for your music. May your legacy live on forever.