“ Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap - East Coast / Artist: DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince / Import / Audio CD released at Jive „
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"He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper" came as the second album from DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Following-up a classic debut, it sees the pioneering DJ (Jazzy Jeff), beatboxer (Ready Rock C) and rapper (Will Smith) returning to show more of what they're capable of as they go against the gain with more naive Hip Hop in the style that was on its way out at the time. Released in 1988, it's miles from "Straight Outta Compton", "Follow The Leader" or "Critical Beatdown", but pushed the genre nonetheless.
1. "Nightmare on My Street"
The album begins with a track which I simply didn't have any time for. It's based around 'A Nightmare on Elm Street". However, this wasn't something I ever got into. It's a lengthy one and I couldn't help that it sounded like the sort of naive Rap material heard from the likes of Dana Dane and Doug E. Fresh around this sort of time (but appeals to the mainstream). It wasn't quite my thing, but may appeal more to those who would have been into this kind of thing when it dropped.
2. "Here We Go Again"
We're taken right into a tune which I thought picked things up quite a bit as they come out with a tune which sounds as though it's the introduction to the album and sets things off by showing that they've come to improve on what they'd delivered with their debut album. This tune hits hard and gets you going with its funkiness, but I couldn't help but feel it was missing a little something where the structure of the rhymes were concerned.
3. "Brand New Funk"
This is a straight killer track from them and one that really deserved the attention it received around the time when it dropped. It's a straight-up slapping New Jack Swing cut from them and has them working off some killer Funk material that you simply won't be able to get over if you're down with the popular Hip Hop from around this time when sampling was a much easier process and so was used extensively.
4. "Time To Chill"
This is a low-paced track from the act and one that I thought was nice to see as the Fresh Prince himself speaks on how interesting it is that he's able to pull off such a track without it falling apart (seemingly taking Rakim as the leader in this style of approaching the microphone). I thought that it hit hard and was the sort of thing you'd have trouble finding issues with due to its great structure and the way in which Will Smith gets to the flowing.
5. "Charlie Mack"
Of all the non-single track on the album, I thought that this one was quite clearly the best of all of them. It's a funny cut from them and has them doing a dedication for the 'first out' the limo' - Charlie Mack - their bodyguard. It uses a nice Kurtis Blow sample which seems to fit right in with the theme of the track and I thought that the fresh way in which Will Smith described the way he operates made it for a tune you couldn't ignore here.
6. "As We Go"
I thought that the way that DJ jazzy Jeff cut up "Impeach The President" was just too much here a he shows that there's much more to it that the straight drum loop which most use from it. It sets the perfect foundations for Will Smith to get to what he does when it comes to the rhyming through the rest of it. It thumps hard and forces you into a head bop that you won't be able to get out of if you try.
7. "Parents Just Don't Understand"
This is a tune that I took some time to really feel. Once I managed to get to the right place, I saw this as a big one and amongst the best singles that the act has released. This tune is really something which any listener can connect with (and so a change to most Rap tracks) as here the young Fresh Prince rhymes about a variety of things including clothes and such which the generation gap between him and his parents has made things impossible to compromise on.
8. "Pump Up The Bass"
What you get with this track is a heavy one and a tune which doesn't quite take on the same sort of structure as what's found elsewhere as the breaks on this one are much sharper and so don't seem to be anywhere near as playful and light as what's given elsewhere through the rest of the thing. We find that the Fresh Prince tries out some Chuck D-inspired flows and it adds to what he can do, but he makes sure that he returns to his more fun style to in order to show he hasn't completely changed.
9. "Let's Get Busy, Baby"
This tune features the same sort of New Jack Swing feel as has been given elsewhere through the release. I thought that it was a great way to base thing on as it's a solid danceable cut that really gets you going. Here the Fresh Prince gives the listeners a walkthrough exactly how he'd tend to approach girls and speak about all that he thinks they'd want to hear. It's another great addition that I can't see many having issues with.
10. "Live At Union Square"
Here we're given a snippet of a live session from the act and I thought that it was nice to see how exactly they manage to incorporate this in with the rest of the album. It's a lively cut and has them starting things off with shout-outs to Hip Hop legends before the break out with Cheryl Lynn's "Got To Be Real" before "Apache" and "Dance To The Drummer's Beat" and then a 17-year-oold Will Smith just hyping up the crowd.
11. "DJ On The Wheels" (Lude)
12. "My Buddy"
Moving right on from a nice little something from DJ Jazzy Jeff, Steady Rock C is finally able to come out on a track where he's the primary source of the beats. I thought that this one was just too hard and shows that he's able to do all that the best in this beatboxing game were able to do as he mimics the "Impeach The President" break from before and tries out a style which reflects that of Doug E. Fresh's (rather than Biz Markie's) and then the Fresh Prince gets busy over it.
13. "Rhythm Trax"
This is quite a different one from the act as we find that here they come to do a jam session (one which they've done on each and every one of their records). We see that they really do a nice job at working off each other's energy as Jazzy Jeff goes hard on the turntables shows why this is one of the of the most underrated acts in this game (especially from that time) and were the best at what they did.
14. "He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper"
The titular track off the album is a big one and features even more freaky DJ work from Jazzy Jeff. It sounds to be an extension of the last one on different beats and sees that the only main difference is that the rapper isn't just speaking to guide the DJ and instead is about coming with the hardcore rhymes. It hits hard and gets you all lively in just the way that few others would have been able to pull off.
15. "Hip Hop Dancer's Theme" (Lude)
16. "Jazzy's In The House"
We move up off a "Take Me To The Mardi Gras"-sampling cut into another freaky tune designed to really display how at the time the DJ was just as much a part of the music as the rapper and they saw just as much attention as each other for their skills. This is a nice little instrumental and although Hip Hop was evolving around this time, anything sampling "Funky President" would be a welcomed inclusion.
17. "Human Video Game"
The Fresh Prince finally returns to the music (after being absent for the past couple) and I thought that it was a great time to have him back as here we move on towards a track which unites all three in the act (including Ready Rock C). Here Will Smith flows about his reputation in his ends about the best at video games and I thought that it was a nice way to close this killer album off with.
This is a very strong album from DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Each track brings something new with it and is bound to excite with the energy it lets out. It may not start in the best way, but I thought that the rest of it really made up for it and meant that you soon forget its opening and the odd way in which it gets going.
Probably Dj jazzy jeff and the fresh prince's album to date and secured them to be one of the greatest rap duo's of all time. The cd i have only has 16 tracks although the listing states 17, this is due to where the cd would have come from as different countries get more or less bonus tracks.
Track Listing :
1. A Nightmare on my street - A great opening song to a great video which was forced to be destroyed due to copyright issues with the film and still to this date no one has managed to find it anywhere.
2. Here we go again - One of my favourite tracks, a mellow hip-hop track with a great bass line and jazzy samples, a simple but effective track.
3. Brand New Funk - Another personal favourite, the fresh princes rhyming is brilliant on this track, the main beat features a simple sample and bass that carrys the verse to the climax of the chorus where the sample is fully used.
4. Time to chill - As it states theres nothing to flashy on this song, a very happy sample with whistling throughout, no bass and a basic drum track.
5. Charlie Mack - [first out the limo] - This track was made for their bodyguard and states that no one should mess with him, a classic 80's bass line from what i think is the roland 808 and the classic philly sample.
6. As we go - Similar to time to chill, its very basic with common samples but features a guitar for the main riff and constant rhyming.
7. Parents just don't understand - their most popular song which one them the first ever rap grammy in 1989 beating the likes of L L Cool J and Salt-N-Pepa who at the time were at the top of their game, its a song that everyone can relate to stating the troubles teenagers go through with their parents.
8. Pump up the bass - self explanatory here, a bassy song with a great drum line, one of the better songs on the album, featuring scratchs from jazzy jeff over classic samples
9 - Lets get busy baby - the fresh prince shows how its done to pick up girls the right way, the drums are filled out nicely with a synthy bass and cymbals.
10 - Another special announcement - the second announcement from their first on Rock The House, just all the guys singing their too damn hype song with the beat boxer Ready Rock C in the background.
11 - Live at union square, november 1986 - one of their first appearances 23 years ago where the fresh prince is 17, a classic rapper and DJ situation with jazzy jeff playing classic songs and the fresh prince rapping over the top of them whilst hyping the crowd.
12 - DJ on the wheels - Mainly jazzy jeff showing us his DJ skills here with him mixing and matching different songs together and scratching along.
13 - My buddy - Featuring Ready Rock C the human beat box who performs through the whole song whilst the fresh prince rhymes over the top.
14 - Rhythm trax [House Party Style] - Something different from their hip-hop music, like it says a more house style song, with various space synths and a fast tempo, focusing on jeff mixing and scratching the track whilst the prince hypes him on.
15 - He's the dj im the rapper - My personal favourite and probably the best on the album the prince shows how hes not a push over in the rap game, he shows his amazing lyrical ability with non stop rhyming for a good 2min 30secs, with jeff also showing his amazing talent of scratching and mixing featuring a great hip-hop drum track.
16 - Hip-Hop dancers theme - The outro track featuring jeff again mixing/scratching songs together featuring the classic Peter Piper sample from run dmc
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Nightmare on My Street
2 Here We Go Again
3 Brand New Funk
4 Time to Chill
5 Charlie Mack (1st out of the Limo)
6 As We Go
7 Parents Just Don't Understand
8 Pump Up the Bass
9 Let's Get Busy Baby
10 Live at Union Square (November 1986) [Live]
11 D.J. on the Wheels
12 My Buddy
13 Rhythm Trax - House Party Style
14 He's the D.J., I'm the Rapper
15 Hip Hop Dancer's Theme
16 Jazzy's in the House
17 Human Video Game