July 27, 2014

Ill Al Skratch "Where My Homiez?" (The Source, 7/94)

"The one-love "groove of the moment" has to be Barry White's "Playing Your Game Baby," a thick molasses of high chords and moving bass that churns along with absolute ease ... along comes Ill and his man Al, taking the loop to a whole new level. Ironically, Ill (also known as Big Ill The Mack) made his first mark with a vicious freestyle on a heavily-bootlegged tape that actually dissed Kane at his own party! Then, last September, Ill won the monthly unsigned hype column in The Source with a fat-ass demo. It was around this time that Ill met up with Al Skratch through a mutual friend, producer LG. Joining forces and combining rhyme flows, the duo have created one of the hottest new singles on the streets. Freaking the Barry White loop into a slightly hazier, head-nodding sound, Al and Ill alternate styles and flip shit lovely. The subject matter of the song applies to any neighborhood in any city - it's about hangin' with your friends and kicking the real. Al boasts a more sing-songy, lazy style, even when he's speaking on hardcore shit: "From the fiery pits of hell it's the rap rebel / Ten years underground sub-level with the devil." And Ill chimes in with the articulate assault style, ripping the mic with syllables: "Like an OG but not from Cali / Brooklyn residency / Hesitant G / That's what you better be." The real appeal of the cut is the sung vocal hooks - "Come around my way!" and "Where my homies!?" - addictive in their simplicity and perfectly matched with the swaying track. Reportedly, these were created by Al while drunk, which explains why they resemble the harmless, slightly-off-key croonings of the local wino. Regardless, the familiar track and easy-to-get-with lyrics combine to put this cut in contention for the feel-good neighborhood song of the summer." - One of The Source's Sure Shot Singles in July, 1994. Peep the video below.