Slow Pain - The Baby OG
Since 1992 no one in Chicano Rap has had a consistent output quite like Pico's very own Slow Pain. It all started with a group named Street Mentality consisting of rappers Lil V (R.I.P), Bandit and of course Slow Pain before he ventured into a solo career. Originally, Slow Pain's sound and approach was more hip hop oriented than the laid back, funky raps we have come to know over the years (more like decades).
A lot of attention has been given to Brownside due to their collaboration efforts with the late and great Eazy-E, but little is mentioned of Slow Pain's affiliation with Ruthless. Back in the day (at least 24 years ago) we could hear a young Slow Pain freestyling on the Ruthless Radio show and even featured on the theme song with fellow Chicano big names like Kid Frost and ALT (whom he formed a short lived group, 3 Deep, under the record label).
Unfortunately, like Brownside's experience, nothing materialized under Ruthless after Eric Wright's (aka Eazy-E aka Casual) passing. But, as the Chicano Rap gods would allow it, Thump Records put forth Slow Pain's debut along with a string of singles and even a music video. There's something infectious about Slow's music, more often than not you'll find yourself liking a song instantaneously. According to Silent Giant Entertainment, his moniker was donned on him by DTTX (R.I.P) of Lighter Shade of Brown so naturally his debut had production from ODM (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5 & 7). So let me begin with those songs. The intro track is catchy with that deep distorted sample of Ice Cube's line "the little locs are harder than the OGs" from "Lil Ass Gee". Keeping the upbeat mood and an interpolation of a classic old school West Coast favorite, "Baby OG'z" serves its purpose of keeping you entertained for a few minutes.
ODM makes for a legit and talented producer in his contribution to the three additional songs. "Slow Pain Baby (To The Left To The Right)" has a dope bass thumping with Slow riding the beat naturally. There is another version on a maxi-single called the "Double Dutch Remix" with Rocky Padilla on the talk box and Diane Gordon on the vocals which I have not had the pleasure of listening to yet, though the remix is not ODM's production. The other track produced by ODM is a definite banger, "Ride With Me" is an exemplary display of production skill. Sounds better than the alternative track produced by Daz. The last track with the LSOB sound was "Wicked Ass Funk" with a slow tempo, groovy synthesizer and a laid back flow supplied by both Slow Pain and Lil V. Had he not passed away during the making of the album, I'd say he had a promising start and could have potentially made a name for himself.
I have read that "Money Maid (Fallin' In Love)" was a popular track back in the mid 90s and that is probably true considering that legendary KDAY Mixmasters Tony G and Julio G had a hand in it. It also happens to contain elements of "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by The Spinners.Keeping the upbeat mood and an interpolation of a classic old school West Coast favorite, "Baby OG'z" serves its purpose of keeping you entertained for a few minutes. I have read that "Money Maid (Fallin' In Love)" was a popular track back in the mid 90s and that is probably true considering that legendary KDAY Mixmasters Tony G and Julio G had a hand in it. It also happens to contain elements of "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by The Spinners.
Among some of the best weekend tracks is another interpolation of a classic old school song, "Saturday Night Ballin'" is an instant classic and a timeless Chicano classic. It's a masterfully crafted melody with a clean rap devoid of obscenities. We even get this on a music video. A guy by the name of Carlo Zenella produced the track and also another favorite of mine off the album: "So Many City's". Now, this song has this incredible instrumental with a female's hymn laced into the beat while Slow Pain lays his rhymes and Lil V compliments it with his smooth delivery. Just an overall great tune. The last of the tracks produced by Zenella was "If You Get High", which has a great synth but is one of those tracks I find myself skipping often.
In the final quarter of the album, there's a song that was labeled a lost track on another release by Foesum from Long Beach. "My Trigger Finger" was one of the first songs I heard by Slow Pain and also one of my favorite emcees of all time, the incomparable, ALT and Foesum's T-Dubb. It had one of the best ALT verses of all time and who could forget when T-Dubb says: "muthafuckas better recognize, with my house shoes, t-shirt and creased up Levi's/ that we was down to make another hit with them eses locos down to start some shit". Knowing that Tony G laced the beat makes it all that much more worthwhile.
"We On A Mission" is a track I tend to skip, a lot. Just sounds like too much static (theres a lot going on) and not sonically pleasing. As a bonus track, "Saturday Night Ballin' [REMIX]" touches our ear drums with its hypnotic and enticing sample of the classic Rick James "Cold Blooded". This was an excellent way to wrap up his solo debut album. Funky all around.
With ODM making some of the beats, this album sounded like it was an extension of a contemporary LSOB album (sounds a lot like "Layin' In the Cut"). Looking back, it was sort of odd that Ruthless would house rappers that didn't like each other (Brownside's feelings towards Frost) and Slow Pain working with Dat Nigga Daz in the same time he worked with Eazy and simultaneously working with LSOB despite Toker dissing them. But alas we were granted one of the best produced albums in the Chicano realm.
01. Intro - The Funky Funk Bomb
02. Baby OG'z
03. Slow Pain Baby (To The Left To The Right)
04. Money Maid (Fallin' In Love)
05. Ride Wit Me
06. Saturday Night Ballin'
07. Wicked Ass Funk
08. So Many City's
09. If You Get High
10. My Trigger Finger
11. We On A Mission
12. Saturday Night Ballin' [REMIX]