Spanish Fly - Trust No Man Special Edition

Spanish Fly - Trust No Man Special Edition Chicano Rap

Carrying the title as the first artists signed to Familia Records, Spanish Fly has captivated the interest of the underground scene for over two decades with limited content. They served as pioneers, innovators and influential figures that helped shape and pave the way for what became Chicano Rap. Even Lil Rob stated in an old interview by BrownPrider, when asked what made him want to get into the game, he says "I heard Kid Frost, heard Lighter Shade of Brown, I heard Ese Rich-Roc/Spanish Fly and Proper Dos' "Mexican Power" ...that was who I heard first doing it Chicano style.".

Without neglecting their skill, it's more so their story that I find really unique. Like many of you, I was under the impression that Ese Rich-Roc (ERR) was deceased, that is, until I heard the commentary on the "Trust No Man Special Edition" (TNM). It was really confusing initially. It took me a while to distinguish between the different voices, I hadn't a clue that DJ Tricks spit a few verses on the TNM album. Listening to the Special Edition gave me a newfound respect and appreciation for TNM. While the audio quality is not always top notch, Frank describes this as sounding "dull, coming from cassette analog recording before computers" were the preferred way of recording, it provides the grimey & distinctive signitature Spanish Fly sound.

If I was to rank the intro to the CD, I'd say it is in the top 10, can't think of a better way to kick off an album than the way these guys did it: "Spanish Fly coming at you... Straight from the 90s [Hispanics make up the largest number of all gangs]" and an epic verse that showed how skilled Ese Daz could be on the mic. The instrumental alone sounds even more grimey and eerie. The second track is hands down my favorite jam off the album, it wasn't until I heard the commentary that I realized how many tunes this particular song consists of and also worth noting that DJ Tricks has arguably the best verse.

The self titled third track was supposed to be at a slower tempo with somewhat of an emphasis on the low bass, but accordingly Murry thought this should have a more radio oriented tempo. Either way, the faster paced version is more rhythmic and ERR's performance is outstanding, in contrast to the originally planned version. Interesting commentary on this track, I never knew they took some shots at Kid Frost, or that ERR was from Harbor City Rifa. ERR continues with this swagger approach on "Dope's Gotta Hold On Me", describing his addiction as a metaphor for love and affection one gets from woman.

SxFly's only feature on the album was Lil Chill from the Hub City, made two appearances: first on "The Dealer" and again on "Kill 4 Thrillz". The latter is a dope sample of several old school tracks like "More Bounce", "Atomic Dog" and I assume other I can't detect. Track 6 on both TNM and Special Edition is an interview, the first is a short clip about them saying they're "kicking facts," on the SE-TNM version it gets more detailed, Frank and Louie talk about what happened to Rich Roc: he didn't die, just strung out on drugs (a tecato).

"Murder Goin' On In The Area" has a dope verse on here, the samples are eerie. "Shotgun" has another doo-wop samples that I have a hard time getting into so it's difficult to give a subjective opinion on this song. I noticed that songs where ERR rapped, he did it solo, as in DJ Tricks and Daz were absent. Tracks 9-12 are more soul doo-wop samples, potentially I feel ERR's rhymes could have come across more on different style of beats.

The Special Edition had a few extra tracks, such as "Just Two Fools" which had only Ese Daz and DJ Tricks. This is where the chorus for "2-1-3-1-0 Harbor Area Loc" originated from. This song stands out from the rest of the tracklist due to the production and sound. "Dont Let No One Get You Down" is another song with a more polished production. The instrumental to "The Dealer" is a big bonus, so much was put into this, except that the sound drops in the first half (Frank could have polished that). The final song on here is "Hispanic Soul" which accordingly was dropped because the song sounded too much like "Kill 4 Thrillz" or "Spanish Fly", however it would have served as a good filler.

Ultimately, the "Trust No Man Special Edition" has provided me a new perspective on the album. I grew to appreciate it for DJ Tricks' craft. The commentary really adds insight to the groups dynamic. Gives us the answers to some of the mystery around Spanish Fly's fate.

02. The Dealer
04. Dope's Gotta Hold On Me (feat. Ese Rich Roc)
05. Kill 4 Thrillz (feat. Lil Chill)
06. Interview (feat. Lou Loc, Tricks)
07. Murder Goin' On In The Area [ORIGINAL VERSION]
08. Shotgun (feat. Ese Rich Roc)
09. Wrong Side Of The Track [ORIGINAL VERSION 1ST VERSE)
10. Smile Now I Won't Cry Later (feat. Ese Rich Roc)
11. Tequila
12. Rest In Peace [2010 Version] (feat. Tricks)
14. Just Two Fools (feat. Ese Daz, Tricks)
15. Dont Let No One Get You Down (feat. Tricks, Ese Daz)
17. Takem To The Streets [INSTRUMENTAL VERSION]

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