This Is Howie Dewitt.

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I been droppin' science since the C was silent.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tone-Lōc - Lōc-ed After Dark

Being such a young artform, Hip-Hop has a tendency to forget those who paved the road. Slowly we are coming back to commemorate the first and second waves of Hip-Hop's pioneers but it seems like the mid-to-late 80s artists from the Golden Era are largely forgotten.

Tone-Lōc is one of those guys. A lot of folks don't remember Tone and many of those who do conveniently choose to forget about him. Hindsight should eventually reveal this album to be one of the classics of it's era. Tone had the voice and a smooth delivery but it doesn't stop there.

Lōc-ed After Dark (1988) featured the first hip-hop productions of the legendary Dust Brothers. Though still a far shout from the masterful sound collage they would accomplish on The Beastie Boys' "Paul's Boutique" tracks like "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina" show the seeds being planted. "Cheeba Cheeba" (which uses the now oft-used sample of Edwin Starr's great "Easin' In") was one of the first rap songs advocating marijuana use. And while I can't be sure how far the history of ghostwriting goes, this was one of the first instances in my history with Hip-Hop where I found the use of ghostwriters; in this case, Young MC (another talented westcoast MC forgotten by time).

A quick peek at Wikipedia revealed that Lōc-ed After Dark's great album cover is a remake of Donald Byrd's album cover for A New Perspective. Another fancy tidbit for the 80s babies who've been trying to forget the decade through wanton alcohol and drug experimentation: the first video below this diatribe, the clip for "Wild Thing", is a take on Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love". I also added the video for "Funky Cold Medina"

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