In 1992, Kool G Rap Teamed Up With Ice Cube & The Geto Boys On A Lethal Collabo (Audio)
One week after Ice Cube released The Predator, and three ahead of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo released their third LP, Live And Let Die. Following 1990’s Wanted: Dead Or Alive, the Juice Crew MC still had a grim, survivalist’s outlook and a penchant for the brand of Gangsta Rap that he helped pioneer.
After working under Eric B. & Rakim, Marley Marl, Biz Markie, and wunderkind Large Professor on the last LP, G Rap and his DJ (Eric’s friend) made a big leap. Whereas Ice Cube and Sir Jinx traveled to New York City for 1990’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted—a clear-cut distinction from the N.W.A. past, G went West. The MC linked with Jinx, who was an N.W.A. affiliate, and Cube’s C.I.A. partner. Keeping a lower profile, Jinx was following in cousin Dr. Dre’s shoes and becoming a go-to sound source for WC & The MaaD Circle, Too Short, and Cube (with DJ Pooh, Bobcat, and Rashad Coes’ Boogiemen). Like G’s past producers, Jinx loved chopping funky samples and arranging them with rhythms that played to the nimble lyricist’s array of deliveries. This time, Kool would get co-production in handing over some of the records to re-imagine, and calling some shots—something many Juice Crew MCs allege they did in the ’80s and ’90s with Marley.
At Cold Chillin’/Warner Bros., Kool G Rap had become a rapper’s favorite MC. However, in two past efforts, that never showed in the numbers. While Boogie Down Productions, Eric and Ra, and Kane were making mainstream inroads and getting gold LPs, the Kool Genius was not. This could have changed had the plans to make an album with Bobby Brown, and Large Professor transpired as planned. Instead, distractions—including strip club visits halted that block at BossTown Studios (nka Stankonia) in 1990. None of the shortcomings seemed to affect the MC’s direction though. Songs like the incredibly raunchy “F*ck U Man,” grindhouse-worthy “Train Robbery,” and frustrated “Operation CB” were Nathaniel Wilson doing him—dealing in sex, crime, and pulp. What was missing, however, was worthy allies outside of his Juice Crew.
Live And Let Die closer, “Two To The Head,” ended the album with a thud worthy of the Goodfellas opening. Jinx presumably pulled in Ice Cube, sometime during those Death Certificate sessions in the same Westlake Studios (Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson’s recording rooms, to be exact). Moreover, as Geto Boys Bushwick Bill and Scarface were spending time in Los Angeles, California, they were recruited (Willie D had taken time away from the group to pursue a solo career). The song would combine elite voices and talented MCs from East, South, and West–with a common cause.
Using two different Funkadelic self-titled album cuts and Mountain’s famed “Long Red (Live)” drums, Sir Jinx scored the musical murder. Cube’s laugh kicks things off, before the record sounds like a GB’s takeover, with Facemob’s booming vocal. He references his own songs “Born Killer” and “Mind Of A Lunatic” with a demonic vendetta. The beat dynamically switches, and Bushwick Bill takes on his “Chuckie” Horror persona and terrorizes the track.
Cube, in full Lench Mob glory ,uses his slow flow and emphatic cadence. During a political movement in his career, Cube addresses racist cops and a crooked prison system. Taking it inside the walls, Cube goes from pistol to shank. As he’d done on past Juice Crew joints, Kool G Rap basked in the opportunity to play clean-up. He puts his New York identity out, and brandishes his weapon alongside bars like, “Snitches get stitches, b*tches that act snotty / Inside the parties even the hotties get turned to bodies / Now I heard, they got other places that’s similar / But I represent New York, you f*ck around, I’m killin’ ya / A whole block of cops patrollin’ when I’m rollin’ / And if my pockets are swollen you know somebody’s sh*t got stolen.” And like that, the listener fell to the ground as the album ended.
G Rap would break the Top 200, and set a trend that artists throughout the 1990s and 2000s would uphold. Perhaps due to Warner quickly shelving the album due to its content and artwork, Live And Let Die was modest in comparison to the success of 1995’s 4,5,6. However, with Sir Jinx for this one LP, Giancana made some of his most gruesome work, albeit an incredibly cinematic merger of style and content. This type of material would influence Eminem and Raekwon alike as this murderous MC proved: have mic, will travel.