I had a real shit week and so Friday feeling down I resorted to some old habits and ended up going to the record store up my way. Browsing records always relaxes me, it evokes a meditative state of mind - I lose hours there and almost always come away with something, usually more than I expected.
But even there I found myself in a sour mood and so was seriously tuning out everyone around me including two guys that came in talking DJing with one of the owners. I figured they were just local hip-hop kids. After about 30 minutes having never even glanced up to see who they were I realized that one of these guys' voices sounded really familiar so I finally look up and damn if it isn't Maseo (Plug 3) from De La Soul.
Now this was seriously unexpected and super exciting as those guys (De La Soul) and the whole native tongue click were like gods to me growing up. By the time I was checking out with my records Maseo had started warming up for a DJ set he was doing at a club that night, spinning old school hip-hop 7 inches, including "the real roxanne" which I happened to be picking up a used 12 inch of as well, great minds think alike and all that. I was the only customer left in the store by this time- the young girls in there earlier obviously had had no idea who he was. The situation kind of blew my mind, this guy is a legend! And so checking out I made a point of catching his eye and letting him know I was a fan, we shook hands as I told him "Maseo! I never thought I'd see you here, made my year!". He seemed pleased, a super genial and genuine nice guy, smiling and laughing he said "us old guys gotta stick together!".
Which brings me in a roundabout way to Rast RFC, the best hip-hop MC I've heard in the past 10 years. I first heard his record Across West 3rd Street on Dope Folks records in the same record store (Breakaway) where I met Maseo. I don't know how old Rast is but from his references it sounds like he's from my generation and his aesthetic both musically and lyrically has the kind of late 80's/early 90's feel is rare in the 21st century- nice loops (that probably could never get cleared) and a great voice/flow with laid-back sung choruses. I've been playing his record daily since ordering a copy a month ago. The vinyl is only pressed in limited numbers (I guess all pressings are limited these days, but this is a great record), so hop to it and get a copy of Across West 3rd Street today!
After meeting Maseo I pulled out what is probably my favorite De La album 1993's Buhloone Mindstate, if you don't have a copy it's also highly recommended. An amazing record that also contains one my favorite rhymes/lines ever Pos's "fuck being hard Posdnuos is complicated!"(see the second to last video below). My friend Jeff wrote one of my other favorites back in the day with his dis "your style is flashdance, you be rocking torn sweatpants" that one still makes me laugh every time I think of it. All this hip-hop even had me free-styling a bit the next day as I listened to the Beatles "Flying" in the car- "proto-hip-hop from the kings of EMI, that's a Mickey Dolenz line, yo check it you'll be flying, 24 bit, Brian Wilson having fits, every track could be a hit with those randy scouse gits". Record companies come and get me! heh.
Maseo rhymes a bit on the track below