Like sulfuric acid I'm lethal, soon as my words reach you
They eat through brains of those that chose to speak to...
Ever hear that term "rapper's rapper"? While most cats idolize marquee artists, those same artists looked up to, or came up under the wing of, a lesser-known, yet legendary MC. Names like Big L, Lord Finesse, and Pharoahe Monch all spring to mind. There are, however, very few cases of what you'd call "rapper's rapper's rappers." That label applies to legends like "The Rhyme Inspector," Percee P. When Pharoahe Monch and the DITC cite you as a major influence, then your name should be emblazoned upon hiphop's memory bank; sadly, Percee was for years relegated to pushing his best-of tape outside NYC's Fat Beats store.
The Rhyme Inspector hasn't made a lotta noise over the course of his career, and the paucity of his appearances has contributed to that. If anything, though, Percee has managed to pop up on a wide variety of projects over time. Hardcore hiphop heads first noticed Percee's bruising cadence on Lord Finesse's '92 classic "Yes You May," new-school heads first caught him on "The Exclusive" from the Jaylib LP, or on Jurassic 5's "Day at the Races," while nerd-rap kids were caught from his appearances on Aesop Rock's Music for Earthworms.
Fans of real rhyme, rejoice—for Percee P is putting out a spank-new album, tentatively titled Perseverance, on Stones Throw Records, produced by Madlib. Before it drops, though, please come out to the Rainbow in the U-District on Thursday, March 16, and see a legend rock. (Also peep the Stones Throw comp Legendary Status, which gathers Percee rarities, freestyles, and cameos from 1988 to 2004.) As part of the Video Trapped the Rapper tour, Percee will be alongside such under-the-radar heavies as Maspyke, Asamov, and Virginia native Doujah Raze, whose milky "Irish Cream" 12-inch got a lot of burn around these parts. Come through, or don't even try to act like you know, 'cause I'll know you don't.
I gotta shout out the homie Pearl, formerly of the local live hiphop crew the Prophetics; he's been grinding on the scene for a minute. Now hooked up with Funkdaddy's platinum company, Pearl is showing real wit, presence, and songwriting on his 13-track demo. With homages to Slum Village's "Climax," Slick Rick, and Soulsonic Force, Pearl demonstrates that his love and knowledge of hiphop go way beyond the KUBE 93 playlist.
Lastly, I gotta give it up for Three 6 Mafia for taking home a freaking Oscar last week for their "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from Hustle & Flow. No, I don't agree with the degrading of women, the physical and psychic violence inherent in the practice of pimping, nor have I done half the drugs DJ Paul, Juicy J, and Crunchy Black regularly celebrate in their music. But did I cheer for those brothers when they won that shit? You're goddamn right! I hope they start wearing those things around their necks—now that's "stuntastic."