By KC (host of You Must Learn)
Sometimes groups breaking up hits people hard. And sometimes, it’s just a spectacle to sit back and watch.
When 3rd Bass broke up after their second album, they sat in this gray area in hip hop. They had some good singles for sure, and did their best to fight against the image of White rappers before them (namely Vanilla Ice), but I don’t remember anyone being a hardcore 3rd Bass fan. So their breakup didn’t launch any kind of drawing of lines in the fandom, it kind of got a shrug. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t animosity with those involved.
While MC Serch tried to remain pop relevant, Prime Minister Pete Nice went towards the underground. He hooked up with DJ Daddy Rich to craft Dust to Dust, a record that would find a place with the grittier New York sound that was fighting against that pop aesthetic. And it didn’t pull any punches, starting right away with the lead single “Rat Bastard” which called out Serch pretty clearly over a trademark Beatnuts beat. Officially, the Beatnuts were credited with producing four tracks, but their influence is felt throughout the record. Nice and Rich are responsible for the bulk of the album, which sonically fits in with the time very well. I was particularly a fan of “The Sleeper” at the time, because of the snippets of Le Petit Prince, which I had just read a year earlier in high school. The title track is an uptempo number to close the main body of the record (some versions have a remix of “Verbal Massage” at the end), which was one of the several tracks that highlighted DJ Daddy Rich on the turntables.
Nice was involved with some shady dealings later in life, after never quite returning to the heights from his 3rd Bass days. And even as solid of a record as this is, it barely cracked the Billboard 200 or made much noise beyond that first single. It’s not even a record you can really recommend to anyone now who doesn’t have an appreciation for mid-90s hip hop, because it’s very of its time. But to the small group of people who get it, it’s worth getting.
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