“ Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap / Artist: Digital Underground / Vinyl released 1991-01-15 at Tommy Boy „
Following the success of their hit album "Sex Packets", Shock G and Digital Underground were keen to put out fresh, new material and so did this in the form of "This Is An EP Release". As the title suggests, this isn't a full-length album and is, instead, an EP containing tracks that the Oakland, California Alternative Hip Hop crew had recorded since putting out their debut. It's most noted for the debut of 2Pac (who at the time had only just stepped-up from being a backing dancer to an actual vocal performer in the act before going solo and putting out his first album by the end of this year).
1. "Same Song"
The album is set off in the best way possible as we're given the massive single which introduced 2Pac to the world. It's a slapping track and suits expectations for a West Coast Hip Hop track of the time. There's a lot to like about it and I felt that it was good to draw in people through its funkiness and infectious nature through the mixing of P-Funk samples and live instrumentation as almost a new-age George Clinton offshoot.
2. "Tie The Knot"
They keep things rolling in the same sort of way as they move on into this track and unleash a track based upon the Bridal Chorus, and from that they manage to come out with a fresh Hip Hop track which has them speaking upon how they feel to get caught up into commitment before they felt that they were actually ready for it. I thought they it could have only been pulled off by an act such as these for its comical nature.
3. "The Way We Swing" (Remix)
Here we find that the act come to remix some material off their debut album. We find that they don't really do that much to make it sound different from what was heard on "Sex Packets" and so it doesn't really come across as something that you'd have to get this release for. However, I still thought that it was a valued inclusion as it's a solid track and one which has them coming with more of their funkiness.
4. "Nuttin' Nis Funky"
An epic song in its ten minute duration, this track comes across as another example of the act attempting to merge conventions of times goes by together with what they know now. It's done by bringing together the idea of doing lengthy songs from around the mid-seventies together with the traditional ways to put Hip Hop tracks together in this time. I thought that they did well to make it work without it sounding as though it was tiring over time.
5. "Packet Man" (Remix)
Here's another remake of a cut from their first album. This is a light and jazzy tune with a New Jack Swing piece of production supporting and so has a danceable feel that would appeal towards many around this time. I thought that this one had quite a lot to offer and held things together here as this is much more obviously a track where they've put in more effort to try and distinguish it from the original version.
6. "Arguin' On The Funk"
The release comes to an end here as we get into this track and the length of the tunes normalise once again towards the sort of length heard from the early cuts on the thing. Lasting around four minutes, here we have a piece which is about giving people more of the Funk in the style which was extremely popular around this time and so didn't sound as 'alternative' as what much of their material is like as a background to a closing few words from Shock G.
This is a pretty solid release from Digital Underground. Clearly, this is only really here to boost "Same Song" as there isn't really much new stuff here. However, I still felt that it was nice that they put out a little more material before they went on to put out a whole album, just to give a taste of what people should expect from them.