Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Monday, 20 October 2008

(SAY WHAT, SAY WHAT?!?!) I'm a baaad, baaad man

Another installment in the somewhat vague and irregular Awesome '90s Verse of the Day series, today we revisit the crucial question of what the scenario is. Now, everyone in the world already knows the original "Scenario", whether cuz of Spike Lee's ace old-skool video or simply due to its status as arguably the best ever posse cut.

However, not everybody knows that nestling on the flip of the original 12" (also: rather gratuitously tacked on to The Love Movement seven years later) is the "Scenario" remix, featuring brand new verses from each of the five MCs on the A-side, plus previously absent LONS member Cut Monitor Milo (Busta's cousin) and one Kid Hood.

Hood, born Troy Anthony Hall, was a friend of Q-Tip's that the latter intended on introducing to the world by having him open up the remix, which he does in glorious storming fashion (shirtless and in one take, according to Tip), even beating out Bus-a-Bus for Best 16 (which on a '91–'92 posse cut is no mean feat). Hood and Tip were also supposed to do an album together, apparently. On this evidence, this would surely have been ace.

But we can only ever speculate: the "Scenario (remix)" opener turned out to be Kid Hood's last recording as well as his first, as he was beaten and shot in the head only two days after taping it. Which is sort of cringily ironic given some of the lines in his verse (the bit where he promises to "pump slugs in your face, and dump that ass in the river", for instance).

Q-Tip paid tribute with a sleevenote on the 12" and the line "Peace to Hood, baby, from the midnight crooner" in his verse. Phife would later pay his own tribute on "Peace, Prosperity and Paper" from the, erm, High School High OST, with the line "Kid Hood restin in heaven, I hope to see you soon". The eminently quotable "bad, bad man" bit line from the end of the verse turned up scratched into "Gimme the Loot" off Biggie's Ready to Die. And that was just about that.

The gap left by the extreme shortness of Hood's recorded career filled up with back-and-forth speculation about his wasted potential among hip-hop followers. Today, descriptions of him still alternate between "one of the most promising MCs of the 1990s" and, bizarrely, one of its most overrated (purely as a result of the said speculation). Whatever, 16 years on he still smacks the shit out of this verse. RIP Hood, we hardly knew ye.

[Hood] (ATCQ & LONS)
Check the vibe, walk that ass or get got
Eff it (SHIIIT!!) I lick buckshots
Hood, madman, I rip up stages
Lay down all your wages, I'm wild like Larry Davis
Extra, extra, pick up a clip
I'll tear ass out the frame (HUH?!) and grab my dick (OHHH!!)
I'm a Rock 'Em-Sock 'Em Robot kid, I drop bombs
I'm rugged and deadly, so I shit on the petty
I baseball bat a bastard, I'm bad news
I'm crazy and clever, cut those of crews
Death on the phono, my skills are porno
You say "oh no!" you bitch-ass homo
I bag up waste, electrifying, I'm prime time
I slaughter a slime, I'm the greatest of all time
Sick-ass brother, nasty-ass nigga
Pump slugs in your face, and dump that ass in the river
Two tears in a bucket, fuck it, kick the can
(SAY WHAT, SAY WHAT?!?!) I'm a baaad, baaad man...

Other ace factors in this remix:

• The way it tests the very concept of the "remix" by not actually including any of the elements of the original at all, except for...

• The gang vocals and interplay. Including but not exclusive to: "C. Brown, are we in the clear? — YEAHHH!"... "RAWWR, RAWWR, RAWWR!" as Busta's dragon returns... the fine rendition of Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time"... the "HUH?!... OHHH!!" when Hood warns you that he'll tear ass out the frame and grab his dick... the bit during Brown's verse where they all just get rowdy for a couple of bars... pick your favourite.

• "Vanilla Ice platinum? That shit's ridiculous!" Tell them, Phife.

• Shaheed hooking up Kool & the Gang's "Soul Vibrations" several years before Just Blaze did it on Joe Budden's "Pump It Up".

• Busta's intro: "Whereas there are seven MC's, six which are in physical form, one which is in spiritual essence, and he goes by the name of, uh... HOOD!"

• Tip's roll call: "Eight black brothers in the public eye, If you listen very close, I will tell you why /(HOOD!) Phife, Milo, Dinco and C. Brown, Shaheed, myself, and Busta Bust Down"...

MP3: A Tribe Called Quest — "Scenario (remix)"

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