RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Tuesday, August 28

EWA100 - #22. A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario

22. A Tribe Called Quest (Feat. Leaders of the New School) - Scenario (Jive. 1991. From the LP The Low End Theory)

Mike Dikk: Here’s a little known fact about me: I can see into the future. To back up my bold claim, I predict that Raven will proclaim the next entry on our never-ending hip hop bullshit countdown the best posse cut ever. He’s wrong though, because THIS is the best posse cut ever. Of course if you wanted to be anal about it, it’s more like two groups rapping on one track than a full-blown posse cut, but you get the idea.
I got The Low End Theory once the “Jazz/Buggin' Out” single came out, so I already played the shit out of “Scenario” by the time it was released as a single. That was a surprise in itself because rap groups hardly ever released their posse tracks as singles, but this song was too good to be left as a secondary track.
“Scenario” was also the track that sealed public opinion on Busta Rhymes. It was clearly obvious to everyone that he should become a solo artist, and I was definitely in that camp, but I can tell you, I’ve never liked one Busta Rhymes solo thing. I don’t really know where Busta Rhymes solo career rates with John Q. Asshole, because the internet has slightly re-imagined the history of hip hop, and I know those first couple Busta records were all kinds of popular when they came out, but I’m not sure if it’s still acceptable to like them. I do know he made everyone look stupid on “Scenario”.
Continuing on with "Scenario"’s amazing feats, it was the first track I know of that spawned a sequel almost immediately after, and it was just as good as the original. The sequel had a verse by dead rapper Kid Hood, who became the first “genius” rapper that died before his time years before Big L did the same thing. At the time, I remember everyone (“everyone”, meaning The Source) speculating that Kid Hood was going to be Rap’s Next Big Thing, but if you go back and listen to his verse, it wasn’t that spectacular, unless they were grading on the off the charts homophobia, then yes, Kid Hood should have been the next big thing.
Shortly after the success of "Scenario" I and II, a lot of dumb fucks in my school would talk about how there was a "Scenario" III, IV, and even V, but I guess that could be a testament to how great this song was, that kids actually made up imaginary sequels to it. Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists did teach me that the original idea of "Scenario" was supposed to feature all Native Tongues members, and they supposedly recorded all of their parts, but in the end, they decided to cut everything out except for the ATCQ and LONS parts. I find all of that really hard to believe since that was the heyday of the 12” remix and it seems like they wouldn’t let something like that just get thrown out. There’s still a glimmer of hope in my head that the "Scenario Full Megamix Edition" will pop up on some nerd’s blog someday, and you can guarantee it will show up on my blog the day after that and I will claim to own it in real life so I can get tons of internet blowjobs and maybe win a blog award so I can retire from life and finally jump off that bridge I always talk about.

Raven Mack: I will be honest, I slept upon this at first. I was not down with the Native Tongues movement, and there is no pseudo-gangsta wannabe in me that caused it. In fact, if truth be known, I was quite the lighthearted hippie fag at times in high school, though I've always attempted to keep myself at least fringely interested in as much different shit as possible. So it would seem the Native Tongues would've been my shit. And I got that first De La Soul tape, and it was okay, but to be honest, that shit was kinda wack at the same time. But I gave everything a try. I dug The Jungle Brothers, and to be honest, never really gave a fuck about ATCQ until later on once Phife decided to be awesome in his own right. As I think I've mentioned, I hate the sound of people whisper rapping, and Q-Tip was one of the early pioneers of this style. It may make hippie chicks' hairy underwear-less vaginas throb with anticipation, but it makes me want to stab motherfuckers with two-foot pieces of rusty rebar. So needless to say, I slept on this shit.
However, once this single took over the world, I was not the type to be all like "Fuck Native Tongues" to the point that I couldn't dig on it. One will not open themselves to new things if too hardheaded. And I think I might've got a dub of Leaders of the New School's first tape because of this single, and I realized, like most of the rest of the earth, that Busta Rhymes pretty obviously stood out, and that Charlie Brown may have been one of the worst rappers ever in the history of rhythmic speed-talking.
And now I am an older dude with a wife who has one of those new-fangled ipods and two daughters - one eight and one four - who I like to plug in Christmas lights in the kitchen on a Little Friday evening (aka Thursday), drinking ice cold Miller High Life Lights with tomato juice, and playing all the old school bullshit I've forced my wife to accept on her ipod so that when I have to drive for us to go waste like three hundred dollars for one block of cheese, some olive oil, and some fucking container of yogurt that's got living creatures in it that's supposed to be so good for me it'll add years to my life at stupid assed piece of shit Whole Foods, I can at least listen to an old school jam or two to keep me from slicing open the world with a three dollar broken Reed's ginger brew bottle. This means that, perchance, "Scenario" will come on, which it has, and I will yell out, like everybody else who grew up at that time, "ROWR! ROWR! LIKE A DUNGEON DRAGON!" which has caused me to figure out if I should explain to my kids about Dungeons & Dragons the cartoon since they yell that shit now too and have no idea what the fuck a dungeons and dragons is, probably figuring that shit to be related to Belle and the Beast or some other Disneyfied princess brainwashing bullshit.
Also, due to the influence of Black Moon, I will also yell out "POWERFUL IMPACT - BOOM!" and I've always secretly wished I was saying that while smashing our family car into the front windows of the Whole Foods right as that line came on, crushing a bunch of Zen Buddhist hippie dudes picking through organic fruit with over-analytical pretentious eyeballs, as rich as a Republican businessman, but as full of shit as a Republican preacher.

Download: A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario (I was also going to post the Scenario Remix here but I can't find it on my god damn computer, even though I know I have at least 3 separate Mp3s of it. I'm sure you've heard it anyway.)

Watch the video:

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