Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beat Master Records / Vision Records (1989)

There's a lot to like about this label, starting right off with the baby blue (I've read that the labels on the first pressings were light green) and the slightly off-kilter print job. The true beaut though is the logo for the Beat Master Records label itself, which looks like it only released this jam and one other Clay D 12-incher, "Give Me Head." I like how the logo uses three different fonts: 1) the pseudo hand written style for "BEAT," 2) the big blocks of "MASTER," and 3) the straight-ahead sans serif for "RECORDS." The line drawings of what look to be a variation on dueling Akai MPCs go for the win every time. It's a bit curious to me that the label went with MPC samplers given that Florida bass music is often associated with the Roland TR-808 drum machine, which looks quite a bit different.

I'm always on the hunt for Miami Bass-related records, which probably has a lot to do with the fact that the first music video I ever saw was for 2 Live Crew's "
Pop That Coochie." After a typical middle school day of getting yelled at by 8th-graders for wearing a bicycle helmet (a couple of enlightened dipshits liked to serenade me with the "Wong Fong the Helmet Mon" moniker), avoiding a "troubled" white dude who always tried to slam kids' fingers in gym lockers, and aimlessly daydreaming through Miss Bliss's science class about maybe sorta kinda trying to "go out" with a girl who played the saxophone and wore combat boots with short shorts, I'd kick back and relax at home by microwaving up some of that awful Velveeta cheese for nachos and plopping down to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation. One fateful afternoon I decided to manually flip through the channels and my life was never the same after I stumbled on The Box. It probably didn't help that immediately after pulling my eyeballs off the ceiling from observing the antics of Luke, Mr. Mixx and Fresh Kid Ice, I was then treated to the trip that is the Geto Boys doing "Mind Playing Tricks on Me." Up until that moment, hip-hop in my mind had really only consisted of Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" and this one girl back in Oklahoma that had a Public Enemy t-shirt. But aw man homey, seeing Bushwick punching his hands bloody on the concrete and ladies shaking it all over in Miami was a real instance of education as to what else was out there.

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