Wednesday, July 10, 2024

King Tee – Tha Triflin' Album LP - Orange Vinyl


Taha / JTLM (2020, Reissue)

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 thirty 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.

Although this record came out in 1993, which was probably the year I was most focused on hip hop and buying the most records during that ear, I literally never heard of King Tee or was aware of this album.  Despite the fact that it had guest appearances from Ice Cube and Tha Alkaholiks, it was not on my radar at all.  It wasn't until much later that I gave a few King Tee albums a chance.  Though the others never really grabbed me the same way that Tha Trflin' Album does.

The production is outstanding. It has a bass heavy feel that's smooth like West Coast style of the time, but still has enough hard hitting East Coast boom bap that it doesn't turn into the g-funk nonsense that bored me silly back then.  There's some real heavy hitters on the production side of this album,  The aforementioned Alkaholiks, Marly Marl, DJ Pooh, Bobcat and King Tee himself take turns mapping out the feel of Tha Triflin' Album.

Lyrically, King Tee does feel like a West Coast rapper.  It's no surprise that he was friendly with Cube Dr. Dre and folks like that.  He can tell stories just as well as he can battle and it's his voice that is the glue of the album able to take the work of so many different producers and have it still feel like a cohesive, and wonderfully diverse album.

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