The Wascals - The Dips




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Published on Jul 26, 2007

The Wascals
'Greatest Hits'

Some treasures are too good to stay buried.

The Wascals' previously-unreleased, formerly-shelved and certainly never-heard 1993 album 'Greatest Hits' has now been dug up from the depths of the Delicious Vinyl vaults and delivered straight to your dome. W-w-wait, you say...w-w-who? The Wascals. Bucwheed, Spit-Anky, Alphie and St Imey. Friends who came together dancing and rhyming on L.A.'s early '90s club scene. The Wascals, whose debut album was so clearly destined to be Delicious Vinyl's next sure-shot smash that they titled it Greatest Hits. The group who earned the deserved rep as a "baby Pharcyde."

The parallels between The Pharcyde and The Wascals were clear. Both were four member groups with complementary rhymes styles, hella harmonies, and pockets fulla punchlines. Just like the Pharcyde had their legendary dwelling Pharcyde Manor, the Walcals had Wascals Castle, a Hollywood home where all four members co-habitated and created. And, crucially, both had producer J-Swift behind them. Fresh off the success of The Pharcyde's debut Bizarre Ride II Tha Pharcyde, J-Swift went directly into the studio to create more syncopated psychedelic soundbeds (you know, the stuff that made him one of rap's hot iconoclasts of the period) for The Wascals.

Even with J-Swift's presence in the producer's chair, however, The Wascals were a legit group, not a svengali's concoction. One listen to Greatest Hits assures you of the group's natural chemistry. The quartet were clearly more interested in busting nuts than busting gats ("Doggy Style" delivers crazy sex rhymes and a "fat fanny fetish"), and more playful than predatory (at a time when Onyx was shoting "Throw ya guns in tha air!" Wascalz were instructing "Throw ya books on the ground!" on "Class Clown"). Tucked just beneath the group's veneer of cheeky juvenilia, however, were serious skills. (Check the Rakim-sampling, Fatlip-featuring nine minute headtrip opus "Dream and Imaginate"). Meanwhile, traditional rap themes like robbery were given a cerebral twist. As Spit-Anky spat on "Stole The Show": "I steal your head off your shoulders if it ain't screwed tightly."

This is the first time the album has been heard in full. The release comes fully buffed out, with a second disc of remixes and instrumentals isolating J-Swift's signature subliminal swing stylings. With its fat jazz loops and boom-bap beats, it kinda makes you wonder how rap would be different today if this album had come out back in '93. Would "F.U.N." have become the most ubiquitous rap acronym since "T.R.O.Y."? Would anyone have cared about groups like Da Youngstas? Would Wascals have gone on a package tour with the Pharcyde and turned the whole world out? Would Wascals Castle have become as infamous as Pharcyde Manor? Would gangsta rap have become the dominant L.A. rhyme style?

And then there's that other big question: How come the album never came out anyway? Perhaps the group just got a little ahead of themselves. Impudence and impatience are common in the very young and highly talented, and the Wascals just couldn't wait around. So it's taken 14 years, but here it is. To say that the album has aged well is an understatement. It's as fresh as ever and right on time: The Wascals' Greatest Hits.

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    • THE DIPS
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  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • Delicious Vinyl (on behalf of DELICIOUS VINYL); BMI - Broadcast Music Inc.


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