Sunday, July 5, 2009

Favorite Rappers: Prime Minister Pete Nice

"Avant garde, not a heretic"

Serch, Pete and Daddy Rich

I started listening to Hip Hop in 1988. Right around the time when The Cactus was released. I wasn't sure if it was cool to like this group; I mean, they're a bunch of white boys. Whether or not my friends dug them or not (I later found out they did), I wouldn't stop listening. They were dope, signed to Def Jam, worked with a some of the best producers (Bomb Squad, Prince Paul), and crafted their own dope tracks with Sam Sever.

A group with a duo of emcees will almost always bring forth the "who's better" debate. This was no different when discussing 3rd Bass. Who did you prefer? The dancing, humorous emcee from Queens, who wasn't afraid to tackle social politics, and drop jewels passed along from those in the 5 percent nation? Or perhaps you preferred the Rakim inspired slow flow delivery, infused with intricate wordplay, which was no doubt a product of being an English Major at Columbia University.

Naturally I preferred Pete. There seemed to be a lot of effort on Serch's part(the hair, the dancing, the "knowledge") and though I appreciated the energy he brought to the group, I had a much easier time relating to Pete's cool demeanor. The suits, the cigars, the walking stick, the large chair. Pete was GQ stylin' before I was down with GQ stylin.

To this day, I think Pete remains one of the modest underrated lyricists of his time. It seems like no one really paid attention to rhymes he was kicking. Want proof? His disses towards the Beastie Boys (Sons of 3rd Bass) and Hammer (The Cactus) were very scathing. More so than Serch's disses, but both the Beasties and Hammer focused their attention on Serch. Ignored by both fans and active particpants in Hip Hop.

Readers, I urge you to revisit The Cactus Album. Try to block out Serch's dancing and his cameo. Yeah I know it's gonna be hard, especially after watching the video below, but TRUST ME, The Prime Minister was dropping some dope shit on this album.

Peep the interview after Triple Stage Darkness to see Pete giving Serch some sartorial lessons.

Click the Labels link for more on my favorite rappers.


MF said...

Product Of The Environment is my shit.

Big fan of both the 3rd Bass albums and Pete's solo album.

The Dre Day-ish dissing of Serch in the Kick The Bobo video was classic, as were Pete's various anecdotes in Bobbito's book on kicks.

Boothe (All Things) said...

Pete (though he denies it) also went after Serch in the Rat Bastard video.

It was quite brutal.