Ghettocentric 2: The Chitlin' Circuit
Track Lacer & Phat Daddy Bu, Smooth Sailing Records BIOGRAPHY 'That's important to me, to stay relevant through these times. In hip hop, everybody gets their shot. It can be a new jack from Milwaukee tomorrow and start a whole new Milwaukee movement, so I don't like excuses. That sounds like excuses to me.' - Lloyd Banks on why he thinks New York isn't hot anymore, XXL Magazine, September 06 issue. Ironically, it took a quote from a platinum-selling artist from Queens, New York City, New York to express what knowledgeable fans have known all along: Milwaukee does have a movement. And it was inspired by it's influential, yet underappreciated emcees Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu. Smooth Sailing Records was started in September of 1998, when Track Lacer started taking reservations for his first album, CAPITaL DRIVE on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. With 900 names, phone-numbers, and e-mails obtained, the ingenious marketing tactics landed Track Lacer on the cover of the Milwaukee Community Journal and a lead story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Long-time friend Phat Daddy Bu was featured on 5 out of CAPITaL DRIVEs 10 tracks, which went on to sell 1,000 copies. (Despite frequent claims by innumerous Midwestern and Southern labels that they've sold 10K or better, selling 1K in Milwaukees market is almost like winning a Grammy you had to work to get it!!) The shared vision that Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu held carried over into: 2002s classic underground EP, Ghettocentric; 2004s statewide collaboration among three other labels coming together as the group 1848, Forward; and finally, the cumulative results of grinding independently for eight years. 2006s Ghettocentric II: The Chitlin Circuit. Though repping for their Midwestern city with fierce loyalty, Track & Bus greatest strength may be the willingness to think beyond the limits of a 414 area code. That willingness to take chances had led to the respect of some seasoned major label veterans coming along for Ghettocentric IIs breakthrough ride. New York production duo Midi Mafia contribute to Super Bad after having blessed the boards for 50 Cent (21 Questions). Harlem production legend Dame Grease blesses Havin That Dust after birthing DMXs movement (Get At Me Dog). And the seminal, iconic, and revolutionary Chuck D of Public Enemy drops by the hood in Wisconsin for some real talk on Small Town. Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu have led Milwaukees movement from far more than a mere microphone presence. Track Lacer has covered the entire rap scene in Milwaukee for two publications since 2000. Phat Daddy Bu has covered the rap scene in Milwaukee for his own local access TV show, Ghettocentric Television since 2003. Together, Track and Bu have both promoted awareness for the collective rap scene in Milwaukee on both BlackPlanet.com and myspace.com. With the dedication and intelligence of Little Brother, but the club-influenced carefreeness of Ludacris, Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu are planning on taking what Lloyd said..to the Banks!!! Nephertera Skala, Publicist FOR INTERVIEW REQUESTS, LIVE PERFORMANCE BOOKING, OR CD REVIEW REQUESTS PLEASE CALL: 414-534-3297 =============================================================================================== Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu :: Ghettocentric II The Chitlin' Circuit :: Smooth Sailing Records as reviewed by Adam Bernard When people think of underground Hip-Hop they think of a lot of areas. New York usually comes to mind, as do many cities in the South, Midwest and West. Milwaukee, however, is not usually on the tip of everyone's tongue when it comes to fresh beats and rhymes. Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu are hoping that, even if the city isn't the first one that comes to mind, they can add it to the long list that people already mention as Hip-Hop hotspots. Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu's latest contribution to the Milwaukee Hip-Hop scene is Ghettocentric II - The Chitlin' Circuit. I know, with a title like that you might be thinking 'are these guys biting Little Brother?' Judging by the intro alone, no they're not. To Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu the new chitlin circuit is the underground Hip-Hop scene. Their feeling is everyone is trying to say something but you won't hear any of them on the radio, and just like the chitlin circuit artists performed for their own people when they were segregated these underground artists will continue to perform for their own people as long as they are segregated from mainstream radio. It's an interesting comparison that is the backbone of their work, something they're creating for their own audience, not a mass audience. The Milwaukee duo whose main idea is 'It ain't worth it if you ain't rappin with a purpose,' have slower flows reminiscent of late 80's artists, which, along with West Coast and southern artists of the early 90's, seem to be Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu's biggest influences. The song 'Rock Rock Ya'll' sounds more like a Run DMC track than anything in the current underground Hip-Hop scene, and it would be fantastic were it not for the constant 'oh's' in the background that take away from the song. 'S.U.V.' is another track that I think would be significantly better if they took the background sound effect out of it. You can hear them channel Westside Connection with their 'Super Bad' beat, and early Dungeon Family with the song 'Gangsta Cool.' Topic matter on Ghettocentric II ranges from the aforementioned chitlin circuit concept to internet dating, to independent women, with a few good old fashion braggadocios tracks thrown in for good measure. 'Havin That Dust,' a very funky attempt to introduce new slang, and 'Getcha' Bread Back' stand out as two of the better songs on the album. Overall I think Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu are a talented duo. Some of the mixes on Ghettocentric II seem a little off, like the beats are a little too loud, and there are other production issues, like inserting one sound effect too many, but from a RAPPING standpoint I think there's a lot of look forward to, here. Of course, being underground limits one's production choices and I'm sure being in Milwaukee limits them even more, so it might be time for a road trip to get some new tracks because I have a feeling that with the right beats Track Lacer and Phat Daddy Bu could seriously grow their audience. Music Vibes: 6.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10.