Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Positive K - The Skills Dat Pay Da Bills LP


Island (1992) 

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.

Like everyone on the planet, I could not escape the song "I Got A Man" when it came out in 1992.  It started bubbling on Yo! MTV Raps and then just became an omnipresent track, played in malls and anywhere else current music was played publicly.  And while I will always admit to have liked that song (despite not knowing what it meant to "Get Raggamuffin") I was never inspired to pick up the full album or try to find out more about Positive K.  In my head, he was a Young MC type pop rapper and I just moved on as the song faded from the Yo1 playlist.

Since then, I have learned two things about Positive K.  The first is that he also did the female character's raps on "I Got a Man" by pitch shifting his voice during the recording process.  I literally had no idea that was him playing both sides of the conversation.  The second thing that I discovered was that Positive K was not a one hit wonder pop rapper.  He was quite respected in the hip hop community and his only full length album is pretty great top to bottom.

I'm a sucker for the hip hop production on the late 80s and early 90s and The Skills Dat Pay Da Bills delivers exactly what I'm looking for.  Boom bap drums and funky basslines make up the foundation of the album.  Once you add in K's rapid fire lyrical delivery, it's impossible for me to not love this.  My biggest regret is having ignored the album for such a long time.  I should have bought it in 1992 and if I had I'm pretty sure every lyric would be lodged in my head like so many others of that era.

Positive K never released another album after this one.  I'm not sure why as this one was obviously a hit.  He has a bunch of singles, but as far as a full length, this is it.  But it's a hell of a record and one that shouldn't be overlooked.

No comments:

Post a Comment