A Music Review 27 Years In The Making: Steady B’s “What’s My Name”

I started listening to rap/hip-hop music in the early 80s, shortly after my older brothers introduced my twin and I to the New York birthed art form. Those early 80s were great times for young black and brown women and men who witnessed the early stages of a culture that has grown exponentially since then. Rap was mesmerizing, and that’s exactly what it was for me before I was even a teenager.

Steady B’s classic “What’s My Name” was one of the first rap recordings that turned me into a big fan and addict of rhythms and sounds that have their roots in the musicality of the African diaspora. I had the album, a 78 inch vinyl, that I played on a daily basis for months. Steady B is one of those lyrical legends that you hear about on the underground and early rap scene. He established himself early on with this second project.

Steady B is a Philadelphia native who is a pioneer of the early rap sound that Philadelphia is known for.

My favorite track on the album is the title track, “What’s My Name.” He rhymes “Steady B yeah you got it right/The MC, master of the ceremony tonight.” With passion and a beat that will quickly make your head nod, the track takes you to a place where purists of rap have sought quality lyricism and beats that give an emcee’s rhyme the power that they need. “What’s My Name” reminds me of Nas’ classic “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” – lyrical prowess that you can only get from those who have proven themselves, and show a natural talent at rhyming and emceeing.

Steady B wrote and recorded “I’ll Take Your Radio.” An early diss track that was aimed at LL Cool J. This track helped put him on the map and solidify him as an emcee to be reckoned with.

“What’s My Name is the quintessential rap album that “rap heads” love, and once they re-examine it, they give it its just props. Every beat on the album is done well and the scratching by DJ Tat Money is exactly what you’re looking for in an early rap album. Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince’s early sound come out of this Philadelphia tradition of precise rap lyrics and cutting and scratching that is superb.

“Use Me” is my second favorite track on the album. It’s a smooth rap track that has a sample in it from an early R&B song. It’s probably one of the earliest rap tracks that featured a sample from

an R&B song. DJ Tat Money’s best scratching is found in this song. I can listen to this track over and over.

“Funky Drummer” is another pounding track with Steady B flowing over live drums. This was a great idea. Live drums and a rapper go together well if it’s done right. Steady B had no problem making it work!

When I want to go to a quality rap album that takes me back to the music I fell in love with as a child, “What’s My Name” is an album that I can go to and be satisfied. I recommend this album to any youth who wants to find the best in early rap music. For upcoming lyricists and rappers, Steady B can be a guiding force showing you how it’s supposed to be done. I would say the same for DJ Tat Money. He’s a deejay who is masterful and talented at what he does. “What’s My Name” will show you that.

Long live Rap and the culture we call Hip-Hop

What's My Name Album Cover

Advertisements

Social Justice and Creativity: My New Studio Project

I am returning to the music scene with a new album entitled “serious FUN.” There’s a time to be serious and there’s a time to have fun is the album’s concept and meaning. This new project finds me digging back into my roots as a lyrical rapper and leaning on my talent as a spoken word poet. I have teamed up with Independent Ear, Inc. to make this new album a reality.

The new project focuses on social justice issues, such as the water rights fight that took place in Detroit, MI this year. I also focus on the situation of black men in the United States with poetry that is gripping and moving. As a creative person, and someone who focuses on human rights issues, it was a must that I used the platform to talk about the reality of black life here in the United States on my new album.

I wanted this new project to have that feel. I wanted it to have a balance with seriousness and having some fun at the same time. I hope that I have accomplished that with this new project!

I enjoyed getting back to creative wordplay – challenging myself with a fast rapping style that some will be surprised by when they hear the album.

The album contains a lot of great production, such as the lead single we just released with Chicago producer 6th Trumpet. I chose us to start off with his VERY funky mix of what I call “Poetry’s Revolution.” I could not have picked a better producer to work with on such a track that contains a social justice message for many of the issues we are facing here, and beyond. You can listen to the track, and buy it here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/poetrys-revolution-6th-trumpet/id944478036?i=944478101.

The balance of the project works well highlighting what I have done and accomplished over the years as an emcee, poet, and spoken word performer. I believe it will give my listeners and fans something to hold on to for a while until I devise the next project with Independent Ear, Inc.

With this project I will be seeking to continue to educate through my spoken word and show people that I am not limited as an artist, and that we should use all of the gifts and talents we’ve been blessed with.

Have some serious fun with my album which will be released on January 20th, 2015!

Follow this link to keep up with the release of “serious FUN”: http://www.independentear.com/artists/christopher-d-sims/

Thank you for your support!

Peace, love, and blessings in 2015 and beyond.