Blogger/internet radio DJ – and former entertainment lawyer for acts such as Jay-Z and Missy Elliott – Combat Jack recently sat down with Complex to give a behind-the-scenes look at some of Hip Hop’s most heralded albums.
The first song Combat Jack dissected was 3rd Bass’ “Gas Face,” which he explained came on the heels of the Beastie Boys’ departure from Def Jam. “[Russel Simmons] had nothing but hate for his former white boys and his revenge was resting on the shoulders of his new white rappers, MC Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice (and DJ Richie Rich) who formed the rap group 3rd Bass. I thought 3rd bass was pretty good and had some good songs, but didn’t feel MC Serch too tough, especially since he liked dropping the ‘N’ word in my presence like it was all good in the hood.”
Combat Jack revealed that he actually had a cameo in the song’s video, as well as a young MF Doom. “‘The Gas Face’ was their second single off their debut album. Someone from the label suggested I get involved in their video. At the time I rocked a baldie, way before them Onyx cats. Pete Nice asked me to jump in the video. Being that I was brand new in the game, I jumped at the offer. If you peep said video, I’m the cat rocking the Afro wig that gets pulled off before giving the camera the Gas Face. In the same joint is a very young MF Doom (Zev Love X).”
Other songs included Original Flavor’s “Can I Get Open,” on which Jack opined that “Jay-Z murdered them on their own shit,” Jay-Z’s “In My Lifetime,” and Notorious B.I.G.’s “Who Shot Ya?”
“When Nashiem [Myrick, producer of ‘Who Shot Ya?’] played the song in our office, I had no clue this was going to be the gasoline that would fully ignite the whole East Coast/West Coast beef bullshit. We had no clue Tupac would take this song as a major diss. We had no clue that ‘Pac would soon join ranks with crazy ass Suge Knight and Death Row and use this record as motivation to bomb first. We had no clue this record would later, indirectly, lead to the deaths of not only Tupac, but our man Christopher Wallace. All we knew was that B.I.G. was that dude and the record was Smokey the Bear forest fires. Every car in every borough banged this hard. If we all had had a crystal ball and was able to see the chain of events that would lead to the future, maybe this record would have never been made. But now I’m talking crazy.”
Other classics on the list were Junior Mafia’s “Player’s Anthem,” The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize,” Busta Rhymes‘ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” and 50 Cent’s “How To Rob.”