Dig In Peace

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Show feat. Big L & Party Arty — “Back In My Hood” (download)

Just got my hand’s on Show’s last album, Street Talk, and I’m loving it. The fact that I didn’t even know about this joint until a couple weeks ago—and I consider myself up on most things D.I.T.C.—should testify to its absolute lack of marketing. It’s a shame that an artist of Show’s caliber is releasing music on a label with no promotional budget, and in what appear to be very limited pressings (Street Talk dropped in ’05 and is already out of print), but at least the music is still crack. There are quite a few highlights on this album (in particular, several appearances by a refreshingly gully Fat Joe) but a track that really jumped out at me on first listen is “Back in My Hood,” which showcases the talent of two fallen emcees, neither of who got the respect he deserved during his lifetime. Unlike Tupac Shakur, Big L was no more prolific than the average rapper not anticipating his own death, and most fans who’ve put in the effort have likely heard pretty much everything he recorded (although  Finesse is apparently sitting on some unreleased tapes.) But L’s verse here, whether originally intended for the song or not, is new to me, and it’s a nice one at that. Meanwhile, longtime Crates affiliate Party Arty kicks a verse that, like his work on seven more of the album’s tracks, proves just what a blow his death was for lovers of  that hardcore, unadulterated hip-hop. I’ll admit to sleeping on this dude during his lifetime; his gruff voice made it easy to dismiss him as a gimmick, and I guess I just wasn’t listening too hard. I’m listening now, though, and I’ll be searching out all his work in the weeks and months to come (should be fun, too, considering he worked with some of the best producers in the game.)

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