Who Dat Rapper 10-16-16
Who remembers The Conscious Daughters? I loved them. They were a part of the West Coast hip hop renaissance of the 90’s. These Oakland representers; CMG and Special 1 were founded by the Hip Hop Black Panther himself, Paris. TCD weren’t making any love songs or showing off their sexuality; they were a hardcore female duo who you didn’t want to mess with. Think Boss with more layers. TCD wont hesitate to get in your face and murk you, but they also had the innate ability to tell a story on different topics. Paris released their debut in 1993 and would offer his production skills throughout their career.
Ear To The Street
The Conscious Daughters dropped their first single “Fonky Expedition” off their debut Ear To The Street and dayum, did it bang. I swear Jermaine and I tried to get everybody in Connecticut to listen to these ladies. Over a slowed down simple bassline, the ladies introduce themselves. If you think they are just another girl group, they quickly let you know in the second verse they have a harder edge and aren’t to be effed with. CMG rhymes over the whomping beat:
Ridin with a gat in my lap and the finger on a zap
Looking for some brothas in a cadillac
Yeah we on point rollin in a point
Special 1 and CMG, blazin up a joint
Keepin a steady pace in a car race
Sidin on a strip with a grip and an 8th in my glove case
Never leavin a trace
But leavin the 5-0’s blind
Cause you know I’m conscious of these streets of mine
Conscious Daughters – Something to Ride To (Fonky Expedition)
“We Roll Deep” was the next single and the best in their catalog thanks to the butter smooth Lonnie Liston Smith sample. The horns on the hook are nothing short of majestic. Obama should walk out the White House for the last time as Commander In Chief to this instrumental. My pops even bobbed his head to this one. Similar to the first single, the ladies get busy while telling us to ride to their music. I actually like the video version better. Typically it’s completely watered down, but the effects that were used in place of the cuss words is pretty slick. Few censored versions trump the original, but “We Roll Deep” achieves it. This single is also immortalized in video game history. Grand Theft Auto V added this to its most popular radio station, “West Coast Classics” My 12 year old even loves this song too. Its a family affair!!!
Conscious Daughters – We Roll Deep
The ladies aren’t all about just trying to get you to listen to their music while in your 4 Runner, Geo Tracker or Sidekick. CMG goes solo on “Shitty Situation” and flexes her story telling chops. She tells the story about a pregnant young single lady who gets no love from her baby daddy. CMG sums it up perfectly when she rhymes
See, the late night fuck is now a late night hollerin child
The hook on “Whats a Girl to Do” sums things up effortlessly.
Whats a girl to do
I don’t clean no house
Whats a girl to do
I don’t clean no house
Then what do you do
Ill clean out your bank account
The funky bassline, the rest of the things they wont do and the funny conversations between the dude and Special 1 makes this worth some listens. “Wife of a Gangster” shows the violence that comes along with being with a gangster.
3 years later TCD returned with Gamers, another solid release that touched on a variety of topics. The title song was the only single and video from the album. Over one of the most hypnotizing beats I ever heard, the ladies lay the blueprint down for strong women that win. The video is a ultimate match to the song. Featured three difference scenarios in which the woman comes out on top. Legendary Antonio Fargas even had a cameo.
Conscious Daughters – Gamers
“All Caught Up” is a story of a woman recently diagnosed with HIV and what she does next. “Strikin” is another riding anthem. The music of “Widow” sounds like the cousin of “Murder Was The Case”. This is similar to “Wife Of a Gangster” on TCD’s debut. They tell the story of drug dealer’s lady who take over, Nino Brown style. “All Star Freestyle” ends the album and is a posse cut that rivals The Geto Boys, “Bring It On”. Not as in your face and rough, but a collection of emcees(including bay area legends Mac Mall, Money B, the severely underrated Saafir and singer/rapper, Mystic) from the same area getting busy on a soothing beat that lasts for 7 minutes.
The Nutcraker Suite
Record label politics, drama, and thirteen years were between their second and third & final album. 2009 was the year TCD released The Nutcraker Suite. The same rough and rugged chicks are rhyming over some of that Oakland funk. One major addition to this album is a couple R&Bish tracks that featuring some empowering lyrics and show growth. The polished “Thug Love” and “Woman’s World” are silky smooth listens and the latter has CMG rhyming
“Damn it feels good to be a female and just be able, y’all, to create life / and maybe one day love a man and be his wife.”
Wow, beautiful rhymes from the ladies who used to rhyme about blasting at cops. Mystic appears on both tracks and also blesses “A Moment in Rhyme”. “Issues” featured the ladies reflecting on current events. If you are thinking TCD got a little soft, Special 1 lets you know otherwise
I spit streams of liquid cream and thick-ass flows
Drop hoes with single blows and lyrical overthrows
Mass destruction, take em to battle
Knockin hoes out the frame, see I knock them out the saddle
“Victory Lap” features an angry TCD going at the necks of their competition. Special One unleashed straight venom toward female emcees of the new millennium.
Straight out the War Zone – Bitch, put your clothes on
Spoon-fed chickenheads and hoes get your strolls on
Peter Piper dicked them bitches, gave ’em a shot
I guess the only way they play is fuck they way to the top
Cocksucker, dickjuggler, touched ’em all for a verse
See, I thought you was a rapper but the women got worse
Potential queens I see up in this industry are a joke
they puttin’ sex before the music goin’ out like some hoes
Conscious Daughters – Victory Lap
Jane of All Trades
2011 was the year we lost one of The Conscious Daughters. Special 1 was found dead in her apartment. It was later determined to be a result of blood clots. CMG grieved publicly, got some features ready and then released Jane of All Trades later that year. “All My Life” was the first single and featured R&B songstress Truth Hurts and even showcased comedienne Luenell’s shenanigans in the video.
CMG f/Truth Hurts – All My Life (Let’s Do It)
The mighty Keith Murray stopped by on “All I Ever Wanted” to discuss label politics and the state of todays music. Definitely grown and sexy hip hop here.
All I Ever Wanted (feat. Keith Murray)
CMG was able to showcase she still has that vicious flow and can rhyme on a variety of subjects. Jane Of All Trades may not be heavily marketed, but is a refreshing listen while in the midst of all the music that dominates the airwaves today. The album also embodies The Conscious Daughters legacy….hard hitting beats and the ability to flow about different topics over perfectly crafted beats. RIP Karryl Smith aka Special 1 and thank you Conscious Daughters for having a legacy of some great music.
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Who Dat Rapper? 10-16-16