Saturday, May 14, 2005

Ced-Gee Special Part 3 - Ruffs and Rares

There won't be any tracks from Criminal Minded or Critical Beatdown during Ced-Gee Month, since I'm assuming that anyone with even a passing interest in hip-hop music already owns both of these milestones (in my opinion, they stand as the two greatest albums ever made).

Around 1994, Tuff City began releasing old Ultramagnetic demos and songs that never made the albums, with The Basement Tapes being the first and easily the best of the series. Kool Keith claimed these were unauthorised bootlegs that Ced had sold for some quick cash, while Tuff City countered that all the members of the group had cashed cheques from these albums. Whatever the case, the first volume was pretty dope, and included some vintage Ultra moments such as "Brainiac" and "Smack My Bitch Up".

The best cut, "You're Not That Large" was meant to appear but was removed at the last minute, and was later included on the "I'm Fuckin' Flippin'" 12" (I think it made the CD version though). As Ced explains on the intro, part of the song drops out due to "technical difficulties", but the track would have been worthy of inclusion on their debut had that mishap not occured. Keith goes for self over a scorching Olympic Runners loop, reminding us of just how advanced he was at the time in terms of flow and technique.

"Delta Force" seems to be an alternative version of "Ced-Gee (Delta Force One)". Here we find Ced carrying a bit of a chip on his shoulder, as he's out to prove that he's more than "just a back-up" to all those doubters who thought he was there to "play the back spot". It's fair to say that not everyone's a fan of Ced's vocals, but I thought he held his own until The Four Horsemen, when he adopted a style which sounded like a retarded android who'd smoked embalming fluid.

Ultramagnetic MC's - You're Not That Large (b-side of I'm Fuckin' Flippin' 12", Tuff City, 1994)

Ultramagnetic MC's - Delta Force (Mo Love's Basement Tapes LP, Ol' Skool Flava, 1996)