Mr. Len, Class-X (Tribute to Company Flow) (Smacks, 2003)
I just wanna start out by saying that I got this on vinyl and the cover is way different. It's still kinda gay (homos, pardon my use of the term), but at least it looks like they put a little more time and effort into it. As far as the content is concerned, it's Mr. Len (the DJ for Co Flow, who supposedly has a solo album out as well) doing some kind of tribute to Company Flow. If I had to guess, I'd say he was going broke and El-P gave him the OK to throw some old Co Flow shit on a disc and put it out there because he knew my dumbass would buy it.
This is pretty awesome. I had always read about it, but never actually heard it 'til just now. Even at this point (their first record, probably 16 years old or some shit), they already had their own sound, only somewhat more convential and 1993-sounding (not necessarily a bad thing) than it would be later on.
PEOPLE ARE SHADY
This sounds like it's from the same era as "Juvenile Techniques," but it's not on the same level as that song. It's not bad or anything, but kinda boring being based on a fairly simple and repetitive bassline. The sound quality is a bit low compared to that first song as well.
FIRE IN WHICH YOU BURN (WITH INTRO)
I'm not really sure what the point of that intro (a buncha people yelling "Co Flow") is, but you can't really argue with "Fire in Which You Burn."
This one I wasn't really familiar with either, but it's pretty awesome for what it is--basically a buncha random mid-'90s NY underground types (I'm not sure who they all are) going for broke over some hard Co Flow-sounding shit.
END II END BURNERS
This was a remix of the old Funcrusher classic that was done way back in the day but never released until just now (literally 4 minutes ago). It's cool for what it is, but it's not fucking with the original.
This one claims it's previously unreleased too, but I remember it being fairly ubiquitous back in the early days of Napster (before it got all gay and shit). The way they were able to manipulate emo rapper Sole's little voicemail message is the funniest shit ever. The verses are pretty brutal too.
LIL' JOHNNY'S INTERLUDE
They could've saved this one until Mr. Len was really broke.
The last, and best, of the so-called previously unreleased tracks on here, this one rocks pretty fucking hard. It makes you wonder why they held onto it for so long. I guess even back then nobody was actually buying this shit anyway.
It's cool to finally have a copy of this that's not on Soundbombing 2. I tried listening to that CD once a couple of years ago and couldn't even make it through it. Granted, I used to rock out to it a lot senior year of high school, but I did a lot of stupid shit senior year of high school.
INFOKILL (12" VERSION)
This one never really did it for me as much. The beat doesn't really feel like it's going anywhere and whatever that little squealing effect is, it's a bit too Scooby Doo-sounding for my liking.
So this is what the original version of "Krazy Kings" sounds like. It's not that much different from the one we all know and love, but it's still not fucking with it. Plus the sound quality on this one's not as good.
Oh, that's good. This version's not in the least bit different than the one on Funcrusher Plus, but you don't see me complaining.
8 STEPS TO PERFECTION
Rugged like Rwanda! I guess as long as they were going to put songs from FP on here, they figured they'd might as well put this one on there. It's perfect.
Whatever. At least it's short.
KRAZY KINGS II
Says Mr. Len himself: "The lyrics took a much deeper meaning this time around. I saw El and Just differently after this. They weren't just emcees anymore."
Shouldn't it be called Lenoleum?
ONE NIGHT IN AUSTIN
Some old school break beat sounding shit, the most awesome freestyle ever.
So yeah, it's basically just a buncha old shit thrown together to help Mr. Len get his cousin's PS2 out of hock or some shit, but this is one occasion where you might actually want to give into the forces of capitalism and pick yourself up a copy. I had been throwing on Funcrusher Plus, on the average, about once a week or so for the past 5 years (hey, I was in college), but recently I've just been putting this one on instead. I'm not saying it's better or anything, but it pretty much serves the same purpose and it's got some cool novelty-type shit on there that you'd enjoy if you're into that sort of thing.