The Intelligent Hoodlum Had Felonious Flows On This 1989 Demo (Audio)

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Although Tragedy Khadafi hasn’t released a new album since Pre Magnum Opus almost two years ago, an unreleased 1989 gem from the Queensbridge veteran has surfaced. Even before he was known as the Intelligent Hoodlum (and released the A&M Records LP of the same name), Trag’ went by several other aliases and appeared on a track off Marley Marl’s ’88 celebrated In Control, Volume 1 called “The Rebel” (credited to “Percy/Tragedy”). Presumably, a year later, he must’ve sent out some promotional singles of a sequel that was never dropped commercially. Check out this radio recording of “The Rebel Returns” from Tim Westwood’s old show, complete with an introduction from the British Hip-Hop O.G.

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Flowing effortlessly over a smooth loop from The Meters’ Funk classic “Cissy Strut,” young Trag’ proves himself worthy of the Intelligent Hoodlum moniker, using a complex, weaving rhyme scheme to drop some serious science: “Magnificent poetic predator / Engineer, also an editor / ’Cause I’m a genius, harder than granite / Intelligent Hoodlum animating your planet / Motivating it, live lyricist / Trag, funkologist / Narrating narrator of your neighborhood / I’m the best and I’m the worst, that means I’m good / Every time I say a rhyme I bring back the dead / No matter if it’s written down or off the top of the head.”

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Spotted at GrandGood.