Artist: Rodney O & Joe Cooley
Album: Get Ready To Roll
Label: Nastymix Records
If I could listen to one album again for the first time I think this may be the one. This album was released on the classic and one of the most under rated independent labels ever, Nastymix Records that was started by Nasty Nes and Mix-A-Lot back in '85 in Seattle. Before it's demise at the end of '92 this label dropped some of underground hip hops dopest gems.
Rodney O and Joe Cooley got signed after previously dropping "Me & Joe", "Days Of Way Back" which is 6 tracks off of their debut mixed together by Joe Cooley and the Egyptian Lover, and their third release "Three The Hard Way". In my opinion this burns all their previous material as it's more uptempo, funkier and way harder than anything they did previous to this. Maybe thats due to more influence by Insane Poetry?? Although they were always down with I.P. from the start back when they went under the name of "His Majesti" so maybe that had nothing to do with it, either way this is one fuckin' dope album.
It starts off with "Hit List" that has Rodney O jumping straight into it as soon as the track starts (always a good way to start off an album). The backbone of this trio, General Jeff goes next in this short 2min & 13 second snippet. The title track "Get Ready To Roll" is next on the line up with mad raps by Rodney O, Psycho from Insane Poetry who demands 100% attention from when he clears his throat to the end of his lyrical onslaught and then the General finishes off with a sick verse, both the beat and the funky hook are nice. This track was also a 12" release from the LP. I have mixed feeling about the next one "You Don't Wanna Run Up", the track itself is mad but after hearing the remix on the 12" that features Psycho in and out of the track it's kind of hard putting this one on. This is also the first time you will hear Joe Cooley get from behind the tables and grab the mic on the album, and it's a real hard verse, It ends with a flawless General Jeff verse.
"Oldie But Goodie" is the albums laid back track with a funky as fuck beat, it's not a bad track but usually finds my needle jumping over it. Next is "Nutty Block" that has Psycho speaking at the beginning, middle and end about crazy hoods. It only has two verses to it, the first by Rodney O and the second by the General. This is another short 2 min 52 second track but the beat is nutty. "Fo Funky Stories" is about exactly that, four unrelated funky stories over the Malcolm McClaren beat with an added beat through it.
"Lets Do It Like This" is more of a uptempo party beat that has mad cuts by Joe Cooley, it features Rodney O then General Jeff on the mic, not the best track on the album but it is quality. It goes to another funky track "Miss Crenshaw" before getting to "Dose Of Dope" and after the initial "check this out" sample a dope beat starts as the sample gets repeated before Rodney O jumps in with a verse, General's next on the mic as Joe adds some cuts and scratches to the track before the next verbal assault. "My Hood" starts off with "This is for the homies in my hood" with the "my" being a sample from Run DMC's "my Adidas" Rodney goes first as Joe gets busy on the turntables.
The next two tracks could be the best two on the album, "DJ Nightmare" which is about dissing all the groups who don't use real DJ's or wack DJ's that don't scratch, it ,starts with a crazy verse by Joe then Rodney and Jeff have a verse each with Joe going nuts on the decks at the end scratching up LL's "Battle anybody" sample. "Roll Call" is the albums last track, It's a Hip Hop Mafia posse track featuring Insane Poetry members - Cyco, Shakespeare and then Emdee "The Lyrical Pimp". It's not quite at the same quality as "Stalking With The Nightbreed" which is the posse track they did for I.P.'s Grim Reality the year later, but it's still crazy.
The one thing that has always shocked me is why it's "Rodney O & Joe Cooley", what about General Jeff he raps as much as Rodney O does on the albums, even their debut, "Me And Joe" must have pissed him off a little. Maybe thats why he left them after this album and forcing them to hook up with Pookie Duke for their next album "Here Come Tha Hitmen" (under the name "Tha Hitmen"). They then released "Fuck New York" as a two man show. Anyway overall if your one of those hip hop critics that goes strictly by some non existant book of what makes a good hip hop album you probably wouldn't rate this too highly, however if your like me and rate an album strictly on the stregnth of how much you listen to it or how mad it all sounds in your own head this is a hip hop classic. Infact, I would even go as far to say that no three other mc's have ever bounced off each others styles better than the way Rodney O, Joe Cooley and of coarse General Jeff do on Get Ready To Roll. It only loses half a dayton because of the fact it has too many short tracks. It's gonna be a hard task choosing the mp3's.
Rodney O & Joe Cooley - You Don't Wanna Run Up
Rodney O & Joe Cooley - DJ Nightmare
Rodney O & Joe Cooley ft Insane Poetry- Roll Call (Hip Hop Mafia)
Rating: 4 and a half Daytons out of 5