Phone rings amidst subtle synthesiser interference. Receiver lifted: “Yo Kris I really knocked the boots on these two big butt females last night…Yeesh. I’m on my way to Latin Quarter to find two more freaks…WORD…”
That’s the late Scott La Rock relaying a tawdry message to his proud partner KRS-One at the intro of Boogie Down Productions’ Super Hoe, Kris then goes on to rave about his partner’s prurient, panther-like prowess for the next four minutes.
I first heard the South Bronx pair on Portland Community Radio. KBOO had a monster reggae hour, dishing crackly 60s echo chamber dub straight into my earhole with good, old-fashioned alacrity. My interest in reggae stemmed from an interest in the Patrick Ewing, dominant Georgetown Hoya center. I learned he liked reggae because he played a lot of it when he guest hosted MTV, an episode I taped and watched over and over again (He was also from Jamaica, which might have helped). He played a version of Bob Marley’s Jammin’ intercut with footage of him slam-dunking the basketball. I pictured myself making rum and running guns in the Caribbean with some disgusting renegades. It was kind of funky.
Reggae was a gateway into rap, which would prove to have an even greater affect on my quality of life. The KBOO rap show was on after midnight on school nights. When I remembered to set my alarm, I woke up and recorded it. Damn it was so good. The show introduced me to some of the mid-80s greats: Just-Ice, King Tee, Gigolo Tony, TLA Rock, Mantronix (my hero) and Audio Two, to name a few. Boogie Down Productions’ Criminal Minded wasn’t the first rap tape I ever bought, but it proved to be the most formative in expanding my ever-widening hardcore gangster persona.
I picked it up from 2nd Avenue Records in downtown Portland on my 14th birthday. It was me Mike, Ben, Jimbo and damn if I can remember who else, chaperoned around by my Mother. We were inside McDonalds eating lunch when we saw her fall down in the middle of the street. We collapsed from laughter our mouths crammed full of cheeseburger. Certainly a low-point in this teenager’s life.