Monday, August 10, 2009

If Ya Take Me, Ya Don't Hate Me

Way back in my hip hop upbringing, I was devastated when Cee-Lo left Goodie Mob. It didn't matter that I was finding it out around in its contextual history about a whole year later than it happened in everyone else's timeline. With Soul Food and Still Standing spinning in constant rotation just screaming out "classic" each and every time, I didn't know how I was gonna be able to handle if the group proportionally dropped any lower than they already did on World Party. It didn't help either that while this revelation was happening to my psyche in 2006 that I was actually the one who originally created the Wikipedia pages on two of these three albums back when I sorta knew wiki-script. Why weren't there hip hop fanatics out there that wanted the internet's encyclopedia to have a linkable page about these records? They've since been crapped on and pretty much destroyed so I guess that specific hip hop head still isn't even out there to give these pages the treatment they deserve.

And then came One Monkey Don't Stop No Show. While the title obviously alluded to the mild hostility held by the remaining three members of the group at that point, I was just worried about how Gipp and the Lumberjacks were going to be able to hold up without the distinctive crooner who was long gone into a solo foray. It came as quite the pleasant surprise to me that could, in fact, hold their own on a full length LP. At that point in the grand scheme of things, it was an impossibility at that point that any of the four original Mobsters could ever achieve crossover appeal anyway, so I was solely interested in how the album spoke to me. And they sure knew how to start talking, as Big Rube provided a signature piece of epic spoken word poetry that could cut straight to the soul of any human being with a semblance of one.

And then right after the Dungeon Family's resident poet took my mind on a minute-and-a-half spiritual journey, the fellow DF member Witchdoctor greeted me while already midway into a prayer. "God I wanna live to be an old man, but I understand ... if ya take me, ya don't hate me. No, no ... no, no."

Goodie Mob - God I Wanna Live (feat. Witchdoctor)

And the rest of the album progressed with some well chosen production (even a Cool & Dre joint!) and a familiar balance of consciousness with street relativity that made the first two albums so pivotal in the second half of the nineties. They even threw in a few absolute bangers that, even thought they wouldn't ever get a taste of the radio, you could definitely still knock a dude back if you drive by with the speakers blasting. While it didn't quite round out into the end-to-end classic to compete with the aforementioned records, it let me firmly believe in the other three members of Goodie. And that's all that I could ask for. It then gave me the faith to cop Gipp's solo joint, the Lumberjacks record, and the determination to never give up until I discovered both of Khujo's Mercury and Gun Club Goodie albums. And I've had complete faith in the Mob ever since. And even though I say all that, it still gives me chills to imagine what the fully reunited collective has churning. I know a brand new foursome Goodie record has been rumored since 2006, but I still have my faith. Shoot, if Slaughterhouse has enough time to throw together a full length group LP, then Gipp can ditch Nelly's crew for a minute while Cee-Lo turns down a featured chorus or twelve to get this thing fully completed. I have that kind of faith in them. All of them.

... but do take my word for it. iTunes Goodie Mob One Monkey Don't Stop No Show link

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