R’nR With Rylo
Spin #61 : Salt-N-Pepa : Very Necessary
SUNDAY DROP - SPIN #61
Welcome to our 61st Spin from our collection called, 'Very Necessary' by the '90s legends Salt-N-Pepa. I remember seeing this record as the Hip-Hop choice for May 2020 on the Vinyl Me, Please website and instantly giving it a stream. I'd forgotten just how good this album was and decided to get it as part of my record subscription at the time. I also remember that there was a lot of backlash when it was released as the monthly choice. Everyone wanted something else, but I think the title is relevant, as it's 'Very Necessary' to have this in you collection. At the moment our daughter (Q) hasn't been feeling very well and I'll let her keep watching Teletubbies and playing with her toys. She was given the fantastic illness of hand, foot and mouth recently and we have been trying to keep her sores dry enough to make sure that they don't spread. Her brother has had it twice now and it looks as though she hasn't spread it to him.
For that reason, I have decided to spin this on in our front room whilst sitting in the sunshine as it comes through the window. Such a relaxing room when the weather is good and I feel that we get more enjoyment from its current set up. Sit back and relax as we spin this classic album from Salt-N-Pepa.
ALBUMS OF NOTE IN (1993): In Utero - Nirvana, Doggystyle - Snoop Dogg, Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest, Black Sunday - Cypress Hill, Vs. - Pearl Jam, Chaos A.D - Sepultura, Yes I Am - Melissa Etheridge, Buhloone Mind State - De La Soul, Lethal Injection - Ice Cube, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) - Wu-Tang Clan
Image : Sandra 'Pepa' Denton, Deidra 'DJ Spinderella' Roper and Cheryl 'Salt' James
If you already own a copy of 'Very Necessary' then please feel free to place your copy on your turntable and listen along as we move the tonearm across to the outside groove. This pressing is to be played at 45 RPM too, just in case you weren't aware and it's your first time spinning it!
Summertime sounds from a tropical island come through the Marshall Woburn II speaker on opener, 'GROOVE ME'. It's instantly catchy with the hook of, "Groove me, I need you. To groove me, I need you". Even though our daughter isn't feeling the best, she has been playing with her toys in the sunshine of our front room and slowly getting back to her cheeky self. She has started yelling out "Mum" or "Dad" just to see our reaction and then she starts smiling. As this one is playing, she is starting to move her head and bop along as she is playing with her toys, meaning it gets her tick of approval. We have had a little bit more time together lately and been able to have our first tea parties by setting up a few of her soft toys and pretending.
Softer vocals lead off second track, 'NO ONE DOES IT BETTER' and it really does sound like a Boys II Men style song at first. Salt-N-Pepa then come in with the beats provided by DJ Spinderella that slowly pump up the crowd (listeners). They have a lot of motivational lyrics and high energy beats across this album and made me go back through their earlier discography. I feel that this is their strongest album overall but I like the follow up, 'Black's Magic', a lot too. There must have been a lot of males in their lives that gave them ammunition lyrically. I've been trying to get as much sunshine as I can lately, in the morning or the late afternoon so as not to be burnt. Also, I'm trying to wake up early and make the most of the day where I can (except if our children have had a rough night).
Last song on Side A is the anthemic sounds of 'SOMEBODY'S GETTIN' ON MY NERVES'. This one starts off with the hook before Salt , Pepa and DJ Spinderella sing in the three verses. Very similar to what N.W.A were doing with their dynamic duo of Ice Cube and MC Ren before Eazy-E would step in. I guess that style of song structure works and has been very successful for so many bands - Beastie Boys and Run DMC to name a few. This song is also a bit of fun to sing when you have someone in your life that is actually ticking you off. The stylus hits the dead wax and its time to flip the LP over to Side B. I've noticed lately that the Marshall Woburn II speaker has been cutting in and out with a Bluetooth connection or interference sound, even though I am connected via RCA. I've had to hard reset the speaker and hopefully that fixes the problem because it's very annoying whilst listening to a record to have "Boop Boop" and then 3 seconds later "Beep Boop".
Quite possibly the biggest song on the album, but that is up for debate amongst the fans, is the song called 'WHATTA MAN'. Salt-N-Pepa used vocal samples from a 1968 song 'What a Man' by Linda Lyndell to support their lyricism across this hit. They definitely had a producer that guided them well during their career and the production on this pressing by Vinyl Me, Please is flawless. This release came with a stencil of Shoop to spray paint onto something, which is a strange inclusion. I'll have to look at other VMP releases to see if this was a thing for Rap & Hip Hop albums during the late '10s and early '20s. I think I enjoy the verses so far by Pepa the most (verse 2 on this track) and like that they've included a lyric sheet with this pressing.
My favourite track on the album is up next with 'NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS'. I can't help it when this song comes on and find myself really bopping along. Our daughter got up to spin around and have her hands above her head on this one too. Our son also loved bopping along to this one and was wiggling his hips and doing Popeye arms. Both were laughing their heads off and that makes Night Kat Kiz and I pretty happy. I like the start because it really throws you into the beats of DJ Spinderella before Salt kicks us off with, "Now who do you think you are, putting your cheap two cents in? Don't you got nothing to do than worry about my friends? Check it....". Probably makes Side B the strongest on the album but I'll wait until the end to confirm that. Last song on the side is, 'STEP' and changes the pace by slowing down from the get-go with DJ Spinderella getting on the mic. Feeling a small bit of burnout with my writing lately and you can probably tell that I'm not writing my best on this album. Not sure what it is, maybe lead up to more change in my life and the anticipation? Or there are a variety of factors not allowing me to achieve certain things. All I know is that I keep moving forward each day, whether big or small steps. "All you gotta do is just step-step".
The next song, once you take LP 1 off the platter and return it to its sleeve and put LP2 on is called, 'SHOOP'. Pepa absolutely kills it lyrically from the start and really pumps up the room. I know this song was back in the public eye again due to the movie Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds. Probably my second favourite song on the album because of that rolling beat and pausing to great effect, which makes us as listeners focus more on what they are saying. There is a cameo on this one by Big Twan and it works with the song. I found out that shoop actually means sex, which I didn't know before reading up on this song.
'HEAVEN OR HELL' is the next song and just by the name reminded me of the Black Sabbath album by the same name. I've been searching for a dual cassette boombox for the last couple of years and all I can find is ones for sale that say, "cassette player untested or doesn't work". I'm surprised because bands & artists these days are releasing their albums on cassette again. Surely there is a company out there that will be the first to re-release a dual cassette portable radio. I feel like this album would sound great coming from a boombox. Not my favourite song on the album because I feel it just goes into the background a bit after the huge song before. I was actually shocked when I found out that this was the third single released from the album. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Another song that might not be as memorable as earlier tracks is up next called, 'BIG SHOT'. The flow is just too slow for the chorus that I feel doesn't really work well but the rapping in the verses lifts this song. "(So I'm a bitch now?) Oh, shoot, there they go right there!". I'm a purist and won't skip songs on the LP by lifting the stylus but the highs of the earlier songs really should have been spread out across the album. Time to flip LP over to Side D and drop the stylus again. If you want, make sure you take a toilet break and grab a drink to finish this one. Our daughter has left the room to go take a nap in her cot now and that tells me that she has lost interest in the album (or extremely tired).
Travelling back to the softer sounds of a Rick James album comes in the form of next song, 'SEXY NOISES TURN ME ON'. Produced by Salt and the layers across this album are coming through the Marshall Woburn II speaker quite well. This one has the organ playing in the front tweeter/speaker whilst the bass beats play across the low speakers. I had to turn it down a bit because our daughter is asleep now but this is a well produced track. I'll have to look up what Salt-n-Pepa are doing now and if they are still making music. But as I'm thinking about that the sounds of ,'SOMMA TIME MAN' come through the speaker. This one returns to something similar to the earlier tracks and for a moment thought it was "Somebody's gettin' on my nerves" again. This one is pretty catchy with the hook but the alarm sound can get old quick. "He's a somma time man, some of hers, some of mine. He's a somma time man, get you some of the time". I wonder how big this album was in the early '90s, back when I was under five years of age. I like finding new artists, bands or albums each month and give myself a target of finding two a week. I'm not buying the records but lately have come across some really good bands that have made my record want list (for when we win the lottery).
Whilst daydreaming of that thought, the last song on the album comes hard through the speaker - 'BREAK OF DAWN'. Probably the strongest song for a while on the second LP other than 'Shoop'. Read along to the lyrics on this one as it is structured so well and the beat being laid down by DJ Spinderella is infectious. I say that this is the last song because the actual last song is a public service announcement about the awareness of AIDS. I guess what was going on in the early '90s made the girls feel they had to do that - 'I'VE GOT AIDS (PSA)'.
Thanks for your time this week and hope that you enjoyed our 61st Spin from our little collection. I love that we can listen as a family and they can look back in the future and read up on these memories. If you enjoyed this week then make sure to check in on our social pages next Wednesday for our MWSP! Remember to hug your loved ones and enjoy the sunshine before the winter cold comes. Can you believe that we are already more than a quarter of the way through the year 2023. Also a big shout out to my friend who is doing it real tough lately. I hope that you find your special someone mate and someone that deserves you.
You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore" - William Faulkner
Until our next Spin, be Kind to people named after condiments and be Kind to your Wax!
1993 (2020 REISSUE)
AZOR, WYNN,SHANNON AND SALT-N-PEPA
REPUBLIC / VMP PRESSING
SPEED PLAYED AT
BLACKS' MAGIC (1990)
BRAND NEW (1997)
ELE (EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT): THE FINAL WORLD FRONT - BUSTA RHYMES (1998)