Wednesday, February 10, 2010

keep talkin' loud, but ain't sayin' nothin'


seemed like an appropriate title for this next act since they really had nothing to say at all and somehow managed to garner a pretty large and dedicated following...now that i think of it nice & smooth are certainly not the only ones to have gone that route. busta rhymes, das fx, kanye west, jay-z the list is huge so there's obviously a market for gibberish. there is one possible exception and that would be the song sometimes i rhyme slow which was predominantly about inner city life, poverty, drug and a.i.d.s. issues. nice & smooth could bring the science if they wanted they just didn't do it often enough for my liking.

nice & smooth were an east coast hip hop duo in the early 90s. they first appeared on big daddy kane's song "pimpin ain't easy" in 89. if you're ever heard kid & play, the fat boys, fresh prince, red head king pin etc then you've heard their style of jazz influenced, up beat hip hop.

i seem to recall this being one of the first tapes my friend gave me in high school. i'd been listening to hip hop for four or five years at that point and knew a fair bit about what was out there and what i liked. nice & smooth were the type of hip hop that i generally stayed away from because it just seemed like non-sensical party music, which it was, but i liked groups like public enemy and poor righteous teachers because they had a message in their music. i was a pretty serious kid even if my grades didn't reflect it.

a funny side note to that first tape, the second tape i received from a friend at school was metallica's "black" album. this same friend would later introduce me to bands like cannibal corpse and suicidal tendencies. i guess the metal bug was planted fairly early.

anywho, nice & smooth basically vanished after their third album. light hearted duos went the way of the dodo in the early 90s as more groups were trying to pretend they were thugs. while there were too many good groups to count still practicing in their basements and praying for a record deal, the mid-90s was the beginning of the end for what most heads would consider the golden era of hip hop. the late 90s was awash in the hip hop equivalent of glam/stadium rock. all style, no substance, "let's get some bitches in my limo's pool and poor champagne on them" type stuff that you still see from time to time. in their prime, nice & smooth were a good team to get people on the floor and dancing.

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