Wednesday, May 26, 2021

3rd Bass - Derelicts of Dialect 2xLP


Def Jam / Columbia (1991)

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.

Derelicts of Dialect came out during the summer of 1991, the summer between 8th grade and my freshman year of high school.  I first became really and truly interest in hip hop when I was in 7th grade and Mama Said Knock You Out came out.  I loved that song and credit it immensely with pushing me towards finding more hip hop that I liked.  Even though I never ended up being that big of an LL Cool J fan, that one song is responsible for shifting the way I looked at music immeasurably.

Back to the summer of 1991.  I was aware of 3rd Bass from "Gas Face" being played on Yo! MTV Raps, though I didn't pick up The Cactus Al/Bum until after I had gotten Derelicts.  "Pop Goes The Weasel" was the first single from this new album and it got a lot of play on Yo! and eventually was in regular rotation on MTV.  This was a long time ago and I may have the timing wrong, but I'm pretty sure that summer was when MTV was playing blocks of videos all the same genre.  I remember sitting through trash waiting for more rap videos and 3rd Bass being a frequent part of them.  That prompted me to buy the CD.

I don't know why, but I have an unusually clear memory of buying this CD when I was a kid.  We went to this record store that was in a strip mall up where I grew up in Sussex County, NJ.  It wasn't a cool or hip shop, it was just an independently owned record store that pretty much sold the same stuff you'd get at Sam Goody.  It wasn't there long and I think this was the only thing I ever bought there.  Anyway, I remember picking up the long box CD from a rack and being excited they were actually carrying it.  Why is that memory so vivid? No clue. Nothing interesting happened, but that's when I bought this as a kid.

On to the vinyl. Derelicts of Dialect hasn't been reissued on LP since 1991, so I had to hunt down an older copy.  I picked this one up on Discogs at a reasonable price and am psyched to have it in my collection.  I think it holds up really well, though like a lot of albums of that era, it's probably a little too long and would benefit from a shorter, tighter tracklist.  That happened a ton on early 90s hip hop albums with everyone testing the capacity of CDs.  

In particular the title track, "Pop Goes The Weasel,"No Static At All" and "Ace In The Hole" are jstill really great.  Thirty years later and I'm here nodding my head along with the bass.  Crazy.  Also crazy is how young the 3rd Bass guys look in all of the pictures and videos.  When I was in 8th grade, they seemed like grown up rappers.  Seeing them now, I realize they were kids too.  Wild times.

3rd Bass - Derelicts of Dialect:

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