Friday, 19 April 2013

Shy FX & Gunsmoke - Gangsta Kid

Shy FX & Gunsmoke - Gangsta Kid (SOUR, 1994)

To finish off this series of posts on a gangster theme I'm going to look at Shy FX & Gunsmoke's 'Gangsta Kid', with a follow up on its sequel, 'Gangsta Kid II', tomorrow. Gunsmoke was an MC otherwise known as Rodney Dixon who was a friend of Shy FX and apparently a student at the time these tunes were made.

The track starts off with a violent movie-like sequence in which Gunsmoke finds out from a companion that someone's been dissing him. When he spots the person in question he gets out of the car and confronts him ("Pussy'ole, come here!"), then shoots him several times before making his getaway, explaining he did it because he's "the original gangster". In an interview, Shy FX he says this was based on a real life incident and was put on the record because while everyone else just sampled gangster movies they wanted to "do something more original than that... get some London talk so that everybody can relate to it still". They were trying to draw attention to the violence that was happening on their doorsteps.

It goes on to sample a line from Ray Liotta's character Henry Hill in Goodfellas: "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster", repeating "gangster" several times while changing the pitch. The track is essentially an earlier version of 'Original Nuttah', with the same Amen cut-up, 'Love Is Not A Gamble' bassline and horn sample from Cypress Hill's 'I Wanna Get High', only with vocals from Gunsmoke rather than UK Apachi: "Too outta orda, man ah gwan like a dem ah big time gangsta". It goes on to sample another couple of lines from Goodfellas: "Every once in a while I'd have to take a beating... everybody takes a beating sometime" and then finishing with the quote that opens 'Original Nuttah': "One day, one day some of the kids from the neighbourhood carried my mother's groceries all the way home. You know why? It was outta respect".

Hear DJ Ron dropping 'Gangsta Kid' towards the end of his set at Quest - The Untouchables from June '94 below. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow.

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