Norman Rogers is better known to everyone in the world, other than his mother, as Terminator X, the deejay from the legendary hip-hop collective Public Enemy, during their most prominent years (87′ to 99′). My remembrance of Terminator X during PE’s golden years is him as a light skin version of Kool Moe Dee, minus the Kangol with a high top fade, and I swear the dude never spoke a word for at least a 5 year period, if not longer.
The PE reign was so prevalent during this period that all of its members and associated acts such as Professor Griff and Sister Souljah, were able to parle the group’s success into solo projects. Naturally, Terminator X also took advantage of this exposure, landing a solo deal with vanity Columbia label P.R.O. Divisional/RAL, and releasing Terminator X & the Valley of the Jeep Beets in 1991.
Its been a long while since I’ve listen to this album in its entirety, and I don’t remember a lot about the album. There is probably a just reason for that.
Random Factoid: Terminator X broke both his legs in a motorcycle accident in 1994.
Vendetta…The Big Getback – Intro to The Valley of the Jeep Beets .
Buck Whylin’ – Rightfully so, Chuck D is the first emcee to bless the mic on The Valley of the Jeep Beets , with an assist from Sister Souljah, preaching her conscious sermons during the hook. This was cool. Not live changing or terrible, but cool.
Homey Don’t Play Dat – This was the first single released from the album. TX’s funky James Brown loop makes for one sick instrumental to vibe to, way back then and now. Female emcees Bonnie ‘N’ Clyde do a serviceable job on the mic, but TX’s instrumental is the true star of this one.
Juvenile Delinquintz – After a brief interlude informing the listener that “there is no escape from the Valley of the Jeep Beets” and some dude giving a nonsensical equation, the next line you hear is from one of the Juvenile Delinquintz saying “Uncle Sam, the mascot of America”. From there on they spend the rest of the song discussing the mis-education and the bs black youth have to put up with to get a diploma. I had to chuckle when the teacher ask the class “does anyone have a question?, to which one of the JD’s replies “yeah, who gives a fuck?”. It was also pretty funny to hear one of the guys claim that the food served in the school cafeteria is not even adequate for a dog’s diet, so he chooses to eat lunch at McDonald’s as if that’s a healthier alternative. Even with their awareness of the flaws in the school system, these young men still know the value of an education in America, as they end this one with “yeah, we say fuck school, but we still get through”. TX’s instrumental was pretty nice as well. Well done.
The Blues – Over a nice TX instrumental, Andreas 13 (yeah, I never heard of him either) spends the length of this one
singing rapping the blues. Like most blues songs the root of his woes fall around money and women. Andreas’ verses were competent but the chick singing during the hook (and sometimes during the verses) was so annoying I wanted to shake the shit out of her.
Back To The Scene of the Bass – The first emcee from the Interrogators starts this one off tracing the bass, musical speaking, back to the scene of the crime (whatever that means). Then the rapper covering the second verse completely flips the script and repaints his struggle with actually smoking base. Yes, this nigga was a crackhead. Props for his transparency, but the song was still below average.
Can’t Take My Style – A short interlude with Terminator X cuttin’ on the ones and two’s.
Wanna Be Dancin’ – Celo (not to be confused with the one from the Goodie Mob) of the The Casino Brothers (yeah, I never heard of them either) gets a chance on this solo attempt at a dance track, but fails miserably. The uncredited female vocalist sounds like the same annoying culprit from “The Blues”, and she doesn’t fare any better on this song. This was indeed a hot mess.
DJ Is The Selector – I didn’t care much for this one.
Run That Go-Power Thang – TX decides to take a brief break from the boom-bap and gives a band called Spacey B Experience a shot. They kind of reminded me of the Brand New Heavies minus N’dea Davenport. This sounds like a throw back to the seventies, like something that would have fit on a Foxy Brown (the Pam Grier character, not the deaf rapper) soundtrack, which isn’t a bad thing.
No Further – Wtf? Compared to the rest of the songs on The Valley of the Jeep Beets this felt a little out of place. And it didn’t help that the vocalists, Section 8 sounded terrible.
High Priest Of Turbulence – A short TX instrumental medley.
Ain’t Got Nuttin’ – Some guy named Chief Groovy Loo comes out in battle mode, swinging for the fences on this one. Unfortunately, he only manages to foul off a couple of pitches before popping out behind home plate. The short TX instrumental at the end was pretty nice, it would have been nice to hear it used in an actual song.
Terminator X & The Valley of the Jeep Beets has a few bright moments (i.e. “Homey Don’t Play Dat” and “Juvenile Delinquintz, which TX knew were the strongest songs on the album since they were both released as singles) but overall the results are underwhelming. Considering the roster (with the exception of Chuck D) is full of a bunch of
no name starving artist, this should come as no surprise. Regardless of the amateur artists, TX is still responsible for the lackluster production. I’ve never heard his follow-up compilation Super Bad, and after this experience I don’t know if I want to.