Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I discovered this 12" through my buddy Ken Prank (locals may know Ken as a record swap regualr as well as the mastermind behind the killer punk/hc label Prank Records). I snagged a few cheap lp's off one of Ken's recent set sale lists and he warned me that they were not in the best shape. To make up for that and the fact I was paying for him to ship them 20 miles, he said he'd throw in a rap 12" he'd found a bunch of sealed copies of at Goodwill. It "isn't a heavy," he told me, but I still curious to see what it was as Ken digs for records in the Bay harder than most dj's and producers I know (if you put an ad on craigslist with the word "records" in it, you can almost guarantee a response from Ken). I wasn't sure what to expect, but when the package arrived and I saw the DFTC 12", the cover hit me like a ton of black bricks: a dope line drawing of a b-boy with a gun to the head of a fat pig cop. Damn! What a sick cover! I flipped it over to see who drew it and low and behold it was Dug One TMF. I glanced over the credits and none of the names rang any bells except for Ken Lee being the mastering engineer. I threw it on and the first thing that popped in my head was PARIS. MC Mike P., "The Mex In Effect", was obviously feeling P-Dogs black empowerment vibe and flipped it Mexican style for DFTC (Down For The Cause). From the Black Panther samples to the tempos to Mike P.'s cadence -- Paris. "Bring It On" is an uptempo call for revolution: "This is war / and I'm in it to win it / I'll drop the mic and grab a gun in a minute". The 808 on this is relentless and I can't help but imagine that co-producer J-Spina was using a Nissan minitruck as his monitor speaker when laying this down. And the drums hit hard, really hard. The kick rhythmically knocks a wheezing robot in the chest, apparently hanging on just to bust a fresh rhythm scratch and let everyone know that, while the revolution will not be televised, it will indeed test the engineering of various imported chassis rolling Vogues up and down Mission St. The flipside, "Laws Are For The Rich" is a bit slower and has more of a Public Enemy with it's Bomb Squad style production. That fucking 808 is still there, booming like a mother fucker, upsetting uppity neighbors all over the 415. "Go ahead and call the cops on me and my boys for beatin' out my Maxell copy of this 12. I got my 9 stashed in my Kangol under the seat." At least, that's what it sounds like the song is telling me. And check that breakdown out, this track megamixes itself! So after wiping the drool from my chin, I set out to google this lil guy. I was already bugging because there is no date printed anywhere on the sleeve or label (I'm guessing 1991), but when I discovered there wasn't even a discogs entry for this I was further intrigued. In fact, the only mention on the web I could find was an old Hip Hop Slam post by Billy Jam which mentions "writer/emcee Michael Perry (formerly of DFTC)" as author of the childrens book Turntable Timmy. Suddenly I flash back to the last bookstore job I held (working for one of the biggest assholes I've ever had the displeasure of working for) where I was consistently trying to stretch three hours of work into an eight hour day, the only male working in the store, trying to down out the menopausal crying and ex-husband phone calls of my worker who sat behind me. One day I was doing some mindless data entry at my desk when I overheard "...and the artwork was done by Doug Cunningham, a local graffiti artist." My ears pricked up and I started eavesdropping on the conversation. Turns out it was Michael Perry (aka Mike P.) trying to hustle his book to our childrens book buying mess of a human. I waited till he was done with his pitch, she agreed to buy a few books and got up and introduced myself. I told him I overheard him talking about Dug One and Q-Bert to which he responded, "You write?" We chopped it up for a bit before and Mike was mad cool. I wished him luck with his book and went back to my desk, realizing that I just let my annoying ass coworker in on some shit we typically keep secret. I wish I would have been hip to this DFTC 12" then. That would have added a bit of extra irony since the owner of the store was a filthy rich former attorney who probably grimaced the minute he saw the Turntable Timmy books The Mex In Effect had just snuck in through the back door!