Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Ice-T - O.G. Original Gangster LP


Music On Vinyl (2019)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

I have had mixed feelings about Ice-T's discography.  I find it uneven at best and not my cup of tea at all at worst.  His dalliances into metal and acting are commendable as far as diversifying his portfolio, but to be honest, they aren't anything I've ever had much interest in.  The outlier to all of these statements is O.G. Original Gangster.

This record is just outstanding.  I think I had it on cassette as a high schooler, but honestly I can't remember.  Most of the hip hop albums I had were on CD, so it's possible I'm misremembering that.  Whichever version I had, CD or cassette, it had a lot more songs on it than the LP does.  Seriously, there's eight less songs on the vinyl version.  It's not even as if a bunch of bonus tracks at the end are lopped off as the missing songs are dispersed throughout the CD tracklist. 

That said, the strongest material is absolutely on the LP.  Of the eight missing tracks, I only really miss "Mic Contract."  The rest, I don't actually mind that they are gone.  My only beef with this album that I've had over the years is that I thought it was way too long.  By cutting out eight songs, it's a much more manageable listen and a tighter album as a result.  If it was me, I would have just left the metal song "Body Count" off the vinyl and put in "Mic Contract" instead. Or, I would have swapped it out and removed a few of the skits.

The vinyl version has the stronger tracks and contains all of my favorite Ice-T songs like "Lifestyles of the Rich & Infamous," "Escape from the Killing Fields," "O.G. Original Gangster" and the best of the bunch; "New Jack Hustler."  "New Jack Hustler" is the song that got me interested in Ice-T to begin with and I remember that video in heavy rotation on Yo MTV Raps.  This might be the only Ice-T record that I like, but to be truthful, I haven't heard a thing on any of his other records in probably thirty years.  Given how well this one stands up, I should probably give one of the others a try.

Ice-T - O.G. Original Gangster (YouTube Music full album playlist - CD VERSION):

No comments:

Post a Comment