The Video Crates

Hiphop video's from the old to the new, from coast to coast, from bootyfilled to the conscious... If a link is down, just drop a comment and emailadres, and I will upload the file again. The only thing I ask in return is to leave a comment, telling me what you think of the video.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

InI - Fakin' Jax

Hip-hop aficionados worldwide should tip their collective throwback jerseys to the British beat-centric label BBE for rescuing some of Pete Rock's finest mid-90s production moments from a death in obscurity. Collected here, in their entirety are two forgotten Pete Rock-produced gems: InI's Center of Attention and Deda's The Original Baby Pa. The infamously bootlegged Center of Attention, with its relentless, jaw-dropping sequence of solid instrumentals, is the real showstopper. "Think Twice" bounces by on a choppy bed of sublimely looped piano chords, guitar stabs, and a hazy, meditative Black Moon-influenced drum break. Tracks like "Step Up" and "Fakin' Jax" fare even better, all piano melodies submerged in a thick fog of sub-aquatic vapor, while armies of shimmering horns slice through the substantial haze in intoxicating loops. Additionally, a track like "To Each His Own" (which features guest spots from Q-Tip and Large Professor), with its drizzling vibe notes and flurrying horns seems to sonically billow open from out of the speaker fabric, like a dense trail of weed smoke swelling from out of the tip of a blunt only to be diffused in the surrounding air.

But while the instrumentals on Deda's The Original Baby Pa are similarly inspired to the ones found on Center of Attention, both albums showcase a problem that's plagued Pete Rock's career from day one: the quality of his beats consistently overshadows the quality of his emcees' rhymes. It's no coincidence that 2001's instrumental affair, Petestrumentals, was one of Rock's greatest moments. On the Deda track "Blah Uno", Pete cooks up a dizzying brew of swirling horns, radiating, woofer-friendly bass notes, and the irresistible boom-bap of snare cracks and galloping ride cymbals only for Deda to inanely spit, "Blah Uno here to put suckers in the mix/ The music was fixed for me to bust wild dicks." While on "No More Words", InI's three members (Rob-O, Grap Luva, and Pete Rock himself) kick undeniably smooth verses with easygoing group chemistry bereft of any lasting inspired insight. Furthermore, a track like "Markd4Death" may showcase a debonair instrumental of pensively unraveling Rhodes notes, but Deda's predictable gangsterisms and humdrum threats sound about as moving as the drone of a computer fan.

The glory of the early 90s will always hold a special place in the hearts of hip-hop listeners far and wide; they were the adolescent years before bling killed the urban anti-star. Of course, even while hip-hop fans are proverbially salivating like Pavlov's dogs for a planned Rock reunion with original partner-in-crime C.L. Smooth, Lost & Found's unearthed treasures provide an ideal soundtrack for nostalgia while successfully building anticipation for future material.

Hartley Goldstein (Pitchfork)

InI - Fakin' Jax


  • At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Tone said…

    another great one Kenny!. When this came out I was fresh out of high school and I just got an insurance check for someone mashing up my jetta, after seeing this video I went on the hunt for a BMW 2002tu, just like the one in the video cause I never seen one look stylin like that before, well I found one but got cold feet cause the dealer was shady. To make a long story short I came to my senses and decided not to buy a 25 yr old car as my only vehicle when fix them up was not my thing (spinin records was!). So I settled for a 91' maxima: black on black leather,stick,sports edition. Thanks for makin me remember that!

  • At 6:12 AM, Anonymous mordecai said…

    thanks again. it was good to see what these guys looked like.
    I'd love to see more InI vids but I'm guessing this is the only one(?)
    ...any more Large Pro or Main Source is also acceptable. :D

  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger Kenny said…

    a 91 maxima was a nice car. nowadays no hiphopper can afford to go and buy a car they see in the video's: maybach's, bentley's, mercedes, a hummer. man, i'm still on public transportation :)

    I never heard of a second INI video, so i guess this is it. and it's realy funny to see those guys. not the type of rappers i had in mind.


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