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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Steady B - s/t

Name: Steady B
Album: s/t
Year: 1986
Style: R&B Rap, Hip-Hop
Similar Acts: Rob Base, Biz Markie, Fresh Prince, Schoolly D, Beastie Boys
One Word Review: Minimalist Storyteller Rap
Based Out Of: Philly, PA
Label: Pop Art Records
 Steady B - Cover, Record
Steady B - Back, Record
Steady B (1986)
  1. Bring the Beat Back 3:54
  2. Get Physical 3:28
  3. Surprise 4:11
  4. Cheatin' Girl 3:57/
  5. Stupid Fresh 3:58
  6. Hit Me 4:13
  7. Nothin' But the Bass 4:09
  8. Yo Mutha 4:00
Album Rating (0-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
Warren McGlone - Vox, Emcee, Writer (MC Boob, Sabir, CEB)
Joe "The Butcher" Nicolo - Engineer
Lawrence Goodman - Producer, Mixing
DJ Tat Money - Scratches (Terrance Thomas)
Grand Dragon KD - Scratches
Toni Kersey - Album Design
Marley Marl - Producer

Unknown-ness: With a general-sounding name, and a lack of in-depth knowledge of mid-80's rap, I can't say I know this. I imagine it is similar to Run DMC or Rob Base, as the style, angular artwork, and overall appearance lend it toward those hip-hop artists.

Album Review: Steady-B, aka Warren McGlone was caught and sentenced to life in prison without parole for a botched bank robbery and the murder of police officer Lauretha Vaird (first female phila police officer killed on duty) along with fellow rapper Cool C. This event sadly now overshadows the prestige and hype Steady B brought to West Philly back in the mid 80’s. He went to school and grew up on the same scene as Will Smith, following on the heels of Schoolly D, MC Breeze and Lady B.

“Bring the Beat Back” was a single. Steady electronic drum beat and scratching start off the minimal track. The chorus is a combo of samples and scratches. The song pauses about 1:45 and a drawn out “wellllll” kicks the track back in. There are a handful of breaks where it seems the song could end. The style is aggressive but not angry.
“Get Physical” was a single. The production feels raw, and live, with an auditorium echo around the vocals. The lyrics involve the stauts of the MC rapping and trying to get girls.  It is still a minimal drum beat with some samples peppered in throughout.
“Surprise” has a denser drum machine kicking off the track. The rap style is much more story-song like “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” and the vocal tone sounds more adolescent, too.
“Cheatin' Girl” begins with more radio friendly effects bips and bops surrounding a jazzy drum kit and vibrating bass. This too follows the basic story-song rap format, but a little more aggressive, closer to Beastie Boys and Run DMC. The chorus is a skipping, scratched version of the song title.

“Stupid Fresh” was a single. A bass and clap drum beat kicks the song off, and the aggressive rapping begins, reminding me a little of Chris Rock’s voice. The scratching and FX include some dated sounds like those from electro-scratches from Axel F and a couple sax notes.
“Hit Me” has some synth wood block notes buried below the cymbal drum machine and other rotating percussion effects, along with some synth bursts. It is still a fairly minimal instrument song, showcasing the vocals. The chorus has female vocals sampled.
“Nothin' But the Bass” has a pounding bass, then cuts with an electronic drum hit added. The word “Nothin’” is studdered, and the song feels like it is a motivational song to get people out moving. It features cowbell, scratching, sampled bursts, and is an all-around solid track.
“Yo Mutha” features a drum beat that is almost industrial, and falls into the story-song rap. There is a deep sinister bass line in the song creating an ominous feeling. The song is comical and an insult track, putting down, of course, yo mutha. The title is scratched and skipped to create the chorus.
Stand Out Track: Nothin' But the Bass

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