Real Live is one of the most slept on groups of the 90's. They are a two man group consisting of rapper Larry-O, and exceptional beatsmith K-Def. Larry-O and K-Def purportedly have been in the Hip Hop scene since the 80's. However, they were mainly relegated to behind the scenes work and production. K-def was actually a protege of the legendary Marley Marl, and has co-produced many of Marley Marl's better ventures in the 90's. Probably the most successful of those was The Lords Of The Underground with their successful break through singles "Funky Child" and "Chief Rocka," which K-Def not only co-produced but did the cutting and scratching on too. Unfortunately, there is not an abundance of information on Larry-O, but that's enough of history...let's get into some REAL LIVE shit!
The Turnaround: A Long Awaited Drama is Real Lives' first and only LP. It was released in 1996 on the successful Big Beat records (eventually bought and absorbed by Atlantic Records), which put out some decent underground Hip Hop in the mid 90's. The album features a few tracks produced by Marley Marl, but the real focus is the stellar production of K-Def. The album's strongest point in fact is the production. The beats are classic and timeless! The only drawback is that lyrically the album isn't up to par, and the themes of songs don't stray from the cliches of money, sex, drugs, and guns.
The biggest highlight of the album is the Real Live Shit Remix, which features Ghostface and Cappadonna from Wu-Tang Clan, Lord Tariq from The Money Boss Players and Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz, and Killa Sin of Killarmy. This song is an undeniable classic. Everything from the beat, the hook, the rhymes, the flows, and the Nas vocal sample, makes this track completely off the meter...this track is incredible!
The album also features some of the best samples and best DJ'ing tracks I've heard in a long time. The DJ tracks are of course hidden interludes between tracks, which is very comparable to what another Marley Marl protege, Pete Rock, used to do on the Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth albums. I have included 3 tracks from the album for you to check out. Towards the end of Real Live Shit Remix there is a hidden K-Def DJ track. Check 'em out!
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