Last weekend (I think it was—maybe the one before) I went digging through a few thrift stores in Des Moines and found some cassettes I considered curious enough to pick up. After listening to them, a group of songs were worthy of importing: the luck albums imported last night were:
Digable Planets: Rebirth of Slick (cool like dat) 12″ cassette single—a real blast from the past whose chorus has been forever etched in my mind. I may have only heard it once while a child, but the attitude and confidence in which the words “cool like dat” were spoken made even me, in the state of physical, emotional, and mental repair I may have been found, believe I was also, “cool like dat”. Favorite line: “we be to rap like key be to lock.”
Lakim Shabazz: The Lost Tribe of Shabazz—after finding Gary Bartz: Uhuru for $1 in an antique store, the Egyptian graphic on this albums cover (with similar art present on Bartz’s album) made me curious enough to not think twice about the 59c cost of entry this Salvation Army find required. I arrived home to find that this album is reverred, when known, as an early prime example of religious/politically charged hip-hop. Produced by 45 King, the rhythms are addictive and Lakim’s vocals, for the most part, intelligently and compellingly composed. While the ideologies expressed in the album are not my own, the album (and particularly the title track, “The Lost Tribe of Shabazz”) captures a worldview quite well and summarily. It was a great listen and a humbling reminder that not all strong worldviews necessarily echo my own.
Various: The best Walkman—really, how could I pass this up? It reaked of terrible cassette compilation and I did return it to the thrift store shelf once or twice before giving in and carring it to checkout. There’s a fantastic mix on side A called “Stars on 45” of Beatles tunes to a wonderfully simple D&B line. That has to be my favorite song from the tape. Otherwise, a few good tunes, but far from “the best” cassette available for your new Walkman.
AMG: Jiggable Pie—it’s a dirty cassette single, but the instrumental was worth importing—an addictive track. The cover was not included here for the cutoff eighties booty prominently featured (and which, by my estimation, was if not directly, indirectly responsible for the songs content).