Shorty Long was a talented young emcee from The Bronx originally known as Shorty Lovestick, who gained some underground prominence when Lord Finesse took him under his wing and supplied his services in creating the underground hit "Shorty's Dowin' His Own Thang" for Long. The track was released on 12" which was one of two records released on Long Shorr Records; Long's shortlived independent imprint that also released the Mike Smooth produced "You Know It's Good" B/W "Let's Get At It..." two years later.
"Shorty's Doin' His Own Thang" caught the attention of many true underground heads, with it's agressive bassline, drums of death, repetitive horn samples, cuts and of course Shorty's unique candor and hardboiled vocal performances, that classic early '90s shit, with a lot of slick braggadocious rhymes, hardcore lines, and shouts to close peeps in the industry and references to his home hoods. The B-side was a similair affair, complete with a classic '90s shout-and-response hook, more glaring horns, and a typical hard hitting D.I.T.C. styled rhythm track might not sound completely right until you pump that motherfucker LOUD. "My People's" has all the trademarks of a Diggin' prodcution, who Short was of course closely affiliated with, through the track is actually done by someone named Plead The 5th, which could very well be an alias considering the implications of the name and the quality of the production hardly sounding like some no name producer who never worked again. The aforementioned '96 follow-up 12" "My Peoples" / "Let's Get At It" shows much of the same style, and it's great to hear DJ Mike Smooth bring his A-game, showing him really adapting to the production styles of the guys that produced his and 'Ness' classic debut album back in '89. Another nostalgia trip here is the B-side, which is a posse cut featuring DJ Timbalan (today known as Amed, the in-house producer known for several classic records), C-Terror, Fanatic, De La, Joe-Sex, Moet. Beside the first name, I've never heard of any of these guys before or after, which is hardly a suprise, but you gotta love those '90s posse track that such a large majority of underground albums of this sort had back then... and this was of course before the individuals recorded their parts wherever and sent over the ProTools files.
Between the two singles mentioned above, Shortly Long was in the middle of recording an album, rounding up some of the illest underground producers in his circle and solidified his D.I.T.C. affilliation. He's not part of the D.I. crew in any official capacity, but had the Bronx bombers had the same agenda as the Wu, he would definitely be considered a Diggin' Killa Bee. For the album, Long produced several studio sessions between '94 and '96, letting his inviting rhymes collide with blazing beats by DJ Mike Smooth, Amed (DJ Timbalan), Showbiz, and Buckwild. Something else very interesting is that one of the cuts features Harry-O and John Doe, who the hardcore Crates head will recognize for their respective, multiple apperances on Lord Finesse's and Diamond D's second albums in 1992 and 1996, respectively - where they both did a pretty damn good job avoiding to be outshined by the veterans. Other guests from these sessions included Firehead (who released a Buckwild produced 12" on Kurrup Money in 2000), Moet (who also appeared on the '96 posse cut mentioned above), and femcee Moet. I believe DJ Mike Smooth was to be the executive producer in charge of the original album.
In 1996 hip-hop was changing, much thanks to glittery suits and prominent samples, more ackin' to covers, of '80s disco hit, thanks (but no thank) to Mr. Papa Diddy Pop, and not suprisingly Shorty Long's material for the album which it seems was pretty close to completion found itself shelved. Thanks to incredible peeps like the guys behind One Leg Up records, the label was in 2008 able to release eight previously unreleased tracks recorded for the album between '94 and '96, and releaed as "DJ Mike Smooth Presents Shorty Long in 'The South Boogie' EP". Since all the songs that had already been released on 12" singles, like his biggest hit "Doin' His Own Thang", was missing from the tracklist but was recorded around the same time, I think it's safe to say that at least all of the A-sides were intended for the album; and who knows maybe even the B-sides to. The One Leg Up record was an extremely limited release, that's of course out of print today, so I don't think there's any harm in posting these seven cuts in this Lost Tapes compilation featuring the other four released Shorty tracks, to create an eleven songs set that clocks in just shy of 50 minutes and really gives the impression that you are listening to a slightly rough, but banging, long lost album, or at least the majority of it. And it's a true gem at that. Tracks #1 to #8 is taken from "The South Boogie EP"; tracks #9 and #10 appeared on the "Shorty's Dowin' His Own Thang" single while the last two cuts coming from the 12" release of "You Know It's Good Baby". If you haven't heard more than a track or two from this guy, and especially if you're a fan of the mid-'90s sound of D.I.T.C., make sure to NOT sleep on this as I would bet some good cash on you absolutely loving this as much as myself.... On a related side note, I really wonder what happened to Shorty though? Probably got tired of the shady music business, but who knows. Anyone got any info, please post a comment or send me an e-mail to the address near the top to your right.... Until we now more, or Traffic or a similiar label decide to release the LP in its intended entirety, download, press play and TURN IT THE FUCK UP!!
01. "Purple Rain" [prod. Amed]
02. "Nothin' New Under the Sun" [prod. Amed] (Ft. Harry-O & Jon Dough)
03. "Say My Name" [prod. Showbiz]
04. "Be Alright" [prod. Buckwild]
05. "What's Criminal" [prod. Amed]
06. "South Boogie" [prod. Mike Smooth]
07. "Crime & Corroption" [prod. Mike Smooth] (Ft. Firehead, Moet & West)
08. "Shorty'z Dowin' His Own Thanng" [prod. Lord Finesse]
09. "My Peoples" [prod. Plead The 5:th]
10."You Know It's Good Baby" [prod. Mike Smooth]
11. "Let's Get At It" [prod. Mike Smooth] (Ft. C-Terror, De La, Amed, Moet, Fanatic, Joe-Sex)