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Monday, September 27, 2010

album review : POP'S COOL LOVE - "A MAN" Elektra-1991 Cyber Poppin' Hip psycha hop Suga Pop Mish Mash Rap Mode

The dollar store scene has become a bit interesting in Canada.
You can find almost anything there from various liquidation sources
and it's always changing to the time of either lease signed or
truly no more stock after it's gone.
There are some dollar stores that sell majority 'made for North America' cheap
versions of useful objects (for the most part) made in China.
This store was a mix. It had that imported smelly plastic, and on the bottom shelves, here and
there were NOS. That means New Old Stock.
A bunch of cassette tapes leapt out at me with a sparkle of their super clean and tight
cellophane wrap ! Nice, because I love finding original cassettes, especially if they
are bands I've never heard of. In this case it was a whole load of early 90's
label rejects. Unfortunately for some, that's a sad case, but for the others, there
are some real crappers, no doubt.

This one tape called "Pop's Cool Love - A MAN"

(is now uploaded to the mediafire account-ready to d/l. I had the youtube exampleup
but that account was closed. If I get enough requests -10 requests- I will offer it as
a lossless Torrent. )
was in there, and there were( two of them.)
Since I bought the whole tray of tapes, I bought them both sealed DIGalog tapes.
Looking at the cover, it looked to me a bit open minded 90's with a possible grunge vibe due to
Pop's long hair and tatts. It's a hard call to guess what this is about by those graphics.
I see the psychedelic aspect, or just a bit of a spiritual vibe, with the digital injection.
Like he's awash in the new stew of digital re-hashing of the culture?
It was the middle of that Hip Hop Zulu change in 1991 with super positive vibe
and lacking pretension in these vibes. It's still very ego based though.
This guy clearly loves his image, as you see very clearly by Pop's 2nd album
which shows him and his band in a more 'satanic' vibe and shirts off flexing
and overt graffitti style graphics.

He's in good shape, and indeed is not offensive with his moves. Just a bit stereotypical with that.
For him to rap, on the project, is what I feel is the downfall of what could make this almost
a well liked album. That ego vibe pops up, when I first heard the rapping style, you could
interchange him with that guy from C.C. music factory, who flexes too much with the
style. It's that basic, over pronounce every last word of the bar
type of style. If you look at the lyric sheet, if given to a gifted M.C. you would have a much different thing. The lyrics are metaphysical, interesting, truthful, and somewhat poetic at times.
I would have suggested, or maybe for a future project, get a different M.C. for each song.

When listening to this, I became into the production and styles intertwined in the music. It is all over the place and that itself is a cool thang and could shake many party walls with good success.
Lot's of interesting heds are behind this album  like , Joe "the butcher"Nicolo,
Carmen Rizzo, Amp Fiddler, N'Dea Davenport, Nadirah Ali,
DJ Jazz(?)- (the dj, by the way, is on point! He-she?- is a solid turntablist. Smooth flow,
and does sound a bit like DJ muggs, with the stabbs and fader cuts. Anyone know
if this is Muggs.? ** In Pop's bio on the web (no longer around, but excerpt below)
he states he was basically the guy that helped guide Cypress hill in the right direction
and helped them make their demo's and lay down tracks for their classic first LP.
Hmm...sounds a bit of a stretch mann, but he does mention them on this album
as the Cypress Hill Posse, and this album came out a few months before theirs dropped in
Aug 1991. The album does contain a sample that Cypress used, the tambourine shaker beat
behind "kill a man", but in no way as effective and raw as Muggs)

Doing a search to find out more  about this guy, who is also named "Suga Pop" and is a renowned break-dancer from the west coast.  Lot's of interesting ties there.... :

This led me to what must have been Pop's biggest event, which subsequently he basically left the  biz for a few years.
The band Pop's Cool Love, backed up L.L. Cool J, Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul, doing unplugged, live versions of their hits of 1991, for MTV. It's classic outright. Many clips on U-toob.


Here's 3 tracks from the first song, kicking off the album, from original
stereo Cassette release.

Here are 2 clips from the MTV unplugged series 1991 :

With LL Cool J :

With De La Soul :

Suga Pop is back in full effect promoting an exciting looking new doc about the originators of
this HipHopnation dance style called Underground Dance Masters.

The album has gotten pretty horrible ratings on the big sites like RYM.
A one star is not fair. I'd say right in the middle for this one.

remember, comments produce the full length Torrent HQ lossless RIP of this album

a bit from his now defunct bio website :

"Everything I do, it comes from dancing." This isn't a quote you'd expect from a musician but it's the guiding force behind the artist known as Pop. His new album, Caramel '76, channels many styles of music, from hip-hop to reggae to rock to pop, but at its foundation, at the root of Pop's ideology, is the art of the dance. Think of hip-hop as a musical genre and a culture that spawned from dancing - it was the "break" of the record that the dancers loved and which motivated DJs to keep spinning them back to back - and Pop's words make sense. "Everything is from dance, from the movement," explains Pop. "Even when I'm playing the keyboards, it's like I'm dancing on the keys. That's how I envision it."
It's Pop's story that gives Caramel '76 context. As a young teen on the West Coast, Pop hooked up with a street dance group called the Electric Boogaloos. The youthful, rebellious clique is famed for inventing "Poppin'," the robotic-funk dance style associated with early hip-hop, and their spectacular performances on the television show "Soul Train."
While in LA, Pop took a job dancing and acting on the television show Sesame Street. The gig moved him back to New York at the age of 15. The time was right. When he first emigrated, New York's concrete landscape was a Petri dish for a new urban culture - hip-hop. That culture was in full bloom, and Pop was right in the middle of it.
He fell in with the Rock Steady Crew, whose members, Crazy Legs, Fabel, and Mr.Freeze, met Pop dancing in Times Square. Hip-hop was unrehearsed, says Pop. Sometimes it was raw street culture, other times it was art-scene fetish object. "There was no blueprint for it," he says. "We'd get hired out for a party to dance somewhere and you'd see Deborah Harry or Andy Warhol. Some guy on stilts would be walking around the room. And then it'd be Jazzy Jay or Bambaataa DJ-ing. It was wild."
At 18, Pop left television and started dancing on concert tours, shows, and music videos. He went on tour with Shalimar, and Lionel Richie, and appeared in music videos by Michael Jackson, just at the time when the King Of Pop's lavish choreography was captivating the world through the imaginative medium of MTV.
The next year, Pop's career would take an even bigger step when he hooked up with percussionist Sheila E. She had just been asked to go on tour with Prince for Purple Rain. "That was an amazing time," Pop remembers. "I was young. I'd run around with my backstage pass and get into trouble. There was lots of craziness happening everywhere. But Prince? I watched him every night."
It was that experience that galvanized Pop to make his own music. Pop learned how to play a variety of instruments through dance. As a dancer on tour, he'd sometimes jam with the band, particularly towards the end of a nation-wide trek. "But after Purple Rain," Pop says, "that's when the music bug bit. I bought a drum machine. I already had a guitar. I just started playing around with this stuff, getting bands together, playing by myself. Anything. I wanted to be a musician."
Pop put together some of his own demos but what he really enjoyed was working in the studio with other artists. Producer Joe "Da Butcher" Niccolo (Cypress Hill, Fugees, House of Pain) served as a mentor for a couple of years. Pop also worked with the Boo Yaa Tribe, who were signed to Island Records, and that project led him to a fledgling, LA-based hip-hop group named Cypress Hill. Pop served as a jack-of-all-trades studio consultant on their breakthrough, self-titled debut, helping the group demo tracks in his living room and working with live instruments, drum machines and samplers. Pop would go on to work as a producer with other groups like Brand Nubian, Third Bass, and Fisbhone. "I like creating in collaboration," says Pop. "I think you get the best ideas that way."
The early '90s were being good to Pop's own solo musical pursuits as a rock front man. He formed a band called Pop's Cool Love, which released an album, A Man, in 1991. It was a rich mix of hip-hop rhythms, pop psychedelia, and spangled rock. The album was critically acclaimed, and took Pop on tours with artists like Beastie boys, Pearl Jam, and Fishbone. In 1992, his band backed LL Cool J, De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest for the first hip-hop MTV Unplugged. The now legendary performance (LL's "Mama Said Knock You Out") was a prescient look to hip-hop's development toward live instruments. The transition towards the mid-90s would be tougher.
Pop took a dedicated break from music to concentrate on other things in his life, catalyzed by the loss of his younger brother, who died in a tragic car accident in Nevada. Music was secondary to making his own life right. It took a handful of years for Pop to move from a sense of despair to a position of strength. As the '90s came to a close, Pop started to get back to music again. It came through the same method it started with in the first place: dancing. "Mr. Wiggles (of the Rock Steady Crew/Electric Boogaloos) called me, and we just talked about dancing. Within six months, he just asked me to do some shows with him and I did, without thinking much about it. That's what got me back. And then the music came naturally from that, just like it did in the beginning." And his music is better for it. On Caramel '76, Pop utilizes the techniques of mixing and matching styles he always relied on. A hip-hop sensibility colors the record but it mixes in guitar riffs and bubbling dance tracks, a roots vibe ("Reggae is country music to me," Pop says) with a progressive musical approach. It's unlike any record you'll hear today. "That's always been how I make music," Pop says. "Throw everything in the pot and stir it up. That's the island in me, I guess."

(This bio was taken from Suga Pop’s Web site at The photo of Suga Pop is from the Electric Boogaloos Web site at 

Some words

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