'Set it’ 421 (In House Entertainment, 1994)

“1993 steppin’ into 1994, know what I’m sayin’ …”

This 12-inch has slipped into the ether, the only reference to it I came across online is from a blog called ‘Hip Hop – The Golden Era':

Not a lot of info about this wax released in 1994 on the label, In House Entertainment by 421, a crew from the Bronx composed of Greyson, Jasun and Raquel. Raquel seems to be unknown, but she also did a feature on the Hard 2 Obtain’s track, ‘A L’il Sumthing’ with Artifacts in 1994. ‘Set it’ is produced by Gambino the Music Man and featured MCs like Naabu from the indie group Niyabingy.

(Nyabingy).

Lots to appreciate here, though, starting with the extended ugly sound that does a two-step like a crazed police siren and upsets the musical peace, without a break. There’s a nice kind of warmth to the music, which is offset by the very loose verses from the MCs. Their voices impress on me, all these years later, as if they’re coming straight from the heart.

That discordant note reminds me of the synth sound in Capital STEEZ’s ‘Dead Prez’, an all-time favourite of mine, one of those talismanic songs (see my piece from December last year on the late, lamented MC) – the use of both are clever in the way they unsettle and offer a contrast to rest of the music, adding definition.

Here’s a video of the group – echt-90s NYC indie all of this. Sweet thing.