Thursdays with Thurl: Bay Area Edition
Call this the LATE-Breaking Bay Area Edition, cuz we on WEST COAST TIME.
Latyrx (Lateef) – The Quickening (The Wreckoning Pt. II)
Inspired by last week’s discussion of references to obscure basketball players in rap songs, this late-90s gem does the unthinkable: mentions of the amazingly mediocre Marcus Camby, Joe Smith, AND Shareef Abdur Rahim within a matter of a few bars, and with some style:
“Oughta be running shit in ’96 ala Marcus Camby”
“The Warriors first round number one pick like Joe Smith”
“like Shareef Abdur Rahim clears the glass”
Imagine a time when these three were potentially considered the future of the NBA. This trio epitomizes the dread and substandardness of play of the early post-Jordan era. Joe Smith was the effing number one pick! I do sort of get teary-eyed, though, when I think of the hope for Camby’s NBA career during his run at UMASS. Oh yeah, Lateef is a dope rapper and a Cal-Berkeley alum.
Jason Kidd – What the Kidd Didd
We weren’t going to make it through this column without at least “one” song from Basketball’s Best Kept Secret (which among hoops-music lovers has turned out ironically to be basketball’s worst kept secret…*drum-hit, applause from Borscht Belt audience*). Make no mistake, Jason Kidd fucking sucks, but he is better than anyone else on the compilation strictly for the fact that he is REALLY good at biting. As in, biting the smooth Oaktown/Warren G style of the time. Even down to the faux-dre synth flutes. I will listen to this shit occasionally.
Ras Kass, Xzibit, Saafir (Golden State Warriors) – Plastic Surgery
This one is a stretch, but fuck it. This is the first song that featured Xzibit, Saafir, and Ras Kass on one track. These rappers were supposed to become a supergroup called Golden State Warriors (which faithful Free Darko readers clearly already know, but regardless…). That’s the only hoops connection, the name, which would have been pretty bad-ass at the time. Even though there's way more obscure shit available by the Golden State crew, I still think this is their best song. And oh yeah, Saafir may be the best rapper of all time.