Richard Simpson, better know to the world as Chubb Rock, is a Kingston, Jamaica born emcee who moved to Brooklyn, NY as a kid. Chubb Rock was a pre-med student at Brown University when he received the hip-hop bug and decided to drop out and pursue his music dreams, years before Kanye would coin the action as the title for his classic debut album.
Chubb Rock would sign a deal with Select Records (which was distributed by Arista), where he would release his self titled debut album (which I don’t currently own and have never heard, but will eventually track down a copy) in 1988. He would go on to release And The Winner Is… in ’89 (more on that a bit later) and easily his most commercially successful album, The One, in 1991 – which included three songs that would reach number one on the billboards Hot Rap Singles charts: “Treat ‘Em Right”, “Just The Two Of Us”, and “The Chubbster”; and a 4th single that didn’t reach number one but is probably my favorite song his catalog (“The Big Man”).
Chubb’s cousin, Howie Tee, handled all the production duties for Chubb’s first three albums. But after The One, Chubb and Howie decided to go their separate ways. Chubb would turn to himself and bring in the fledgling production duo, the Trackmasters (who at this point spelled their name as Trackmasterz) to help him produce his 4th release I Gotta Get Mine Yo!
Before today, I’ve never listened to IGGMY in its entirety. I ran across it at Half Price Books store a few years ago; and since I was familiar with some of the singles, and it was on clearance for a $1, I quickly added it to my collection. And here we are.
Some-O-Next Shit – Chubb kicks IGGMY off by going for the neck of any emcee within earshot, as he rips the shit out of this raw instrumental. For anyone who questioned if Chubb could bring it hard, he confirms that he can on this one. Great way to start the album.
I’m The Man – The Chubbster puts his grown man swag on as he brags and boasts with a sophistication not many emcees are able to pull off. The instrumental compliments Chubb’s rhymes well, and I love the sick saxophone loop brought in during the hook.
Pop ‘Nuff Shit – Chubb stays in his aggressive mode, dropping more battle rhymes over a decent backdrop. Not as strong a song as the first two, but still decent.
Don’t Drink The Milk – Our host invites Kirk Gowdy (not to be confused with the legendary sportscaster Curt Gowdy, who I’m sure influenced his moniker) and 1 half of the Trackmasters, Poke, to join him for this weird cypher session. Chubb takes verse one and raps as his alter ego, Nasal (and he rhymes just as the name suggests), and spits about racial issues (I’m still trying to understand what
Chubb Nasal meant by “Bill Cosby niggas”; we all know what that would means in today’s climate, but what did it mean in ’92?). Kirk Gowdy bats second, and sticks with Chubb’s conscious theme, discussing the violence that affects the inner-city; but Tone must have missed the conscious theme memo and drops boastful lines, and at one point claims to “have more juice than the fuckin’ movie”. The instrumental was cool but no one, including the host, impresses on this one.
The Hatred – Now this instrumental sounds more like what you would expect from the Trackmasters. They borrow the overly used Lafayette Afro Rock Band saxophone loop (see “Rump Shaker” and “Back To The Hotel”) and mix it with a Sly Stone sample, creating an airy and emotional back drop for Chubb, as he addresses, once again, the racial issues that plaque North America. The instrumental is borderline cheesy, so I understand if you can’t feel it; but you should be able to appreciate Chubb’s meaty verses.
Lost In The Storm – This was the first single released from IGGMY. Chubb and the Trackmasters replay and sample a portion of Inner Life’s “I’m Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair)”, as Chubb discusses the violence and racism that has us as a nation in turmoil. The song has a good moral and all, but the instrumental sounds like it was made to intentionally hit the pop charts.
Which Way Is Up – Chubb evaluates the ups, downs, trials, and tribulations of his journey in this rap game. He even briefly talks about the break up with his cousin and former producer Howie Tee. I like the honesty in Chubb’s rhymes, but the instrumental is the audio equivalent of watching pain dry.
Black Trek IV The Voyage Home – Chubb puts his conscious cap back on as he deals with racial inequality (which is apparently Chubb’s favorite topic) and drops a few jewels for those brothers that think being pro-black is just looking the part: “I don’t need no beads placed around my chest to be considered a black man…a picture of Malcolm is not on my wall, he’s in my heart, that’s smart”). Quality rhymes from our host, but like the previous song, the instrumental fails him.
Yabadabadoo – This was the second single released from IGGMY. The other half of the Trackmasters, Red Hot Lover Tone (who also released a solo album in ’92) and Rob Swinga (who sounds like a poor man’s Grand Puba) join the Chubbster on this cypher joint. Speaking of Grand Puba, the Trackmasters use the same loop that Pete Rock used for he and CL’s “Skinz” record, in which Puba joined them on. No one will blow your mind lyrically on this one (though it was interesting to hear Chubb take an indirect jab at Cypress Hill), but it’s still a fun and enjoyable listen.
So Much Things To Say – Over a raw and simple instrumental, Chubb spits one long verse, throwing verbal darts at anyone in his path; he even takes a shot at his label. This was solid.
The Funky – The Chubbster invites Kirk Pone to join him on this duet dedicated to STD infected groupies. Next…
3 Men At Chung King – And yet another cypher joint. This time around our host invites Red Hot Lover Tone (again) and Grand Puba to each spit a verse a long side his. The instrumental is lackluster but Puba still manages to spit a dope verse and walk away with this one. Which has inspired me to start a new hash tag: #MOYOS (murdered on your own shit).
I Need Some Blow – Chubb summons his alter ego Nasal to the mic for this one. As you may have guessed from the song title, Nasal admits that he’s an addict and talks about the evil deeds he’s done in order to fund his fix, which includes robbing and stealing; you know, the usual crackhead stuff. The mediocre instrumental along with
Chubb Rock’s Nasal’s animated delivery come off a bit too lighthearted for such a serious topic; but maybe our host didn’t want an already bleak topic to sound too dark.
I’m Too Much – Chubb Rock smoothly and confidently coast over a slowed down reggae tinged groove. This was dope.
My Brother – This one dangles its toes over the “bad rap and r&b” pool, but Chubb Rock’s solid content and lyricism keep the foot, or song, from completely soaking itself in those forbidden water. The instrumental and the singing on the hook are for the birds.
I Don’t Want To Be Lonely – Now this one completely falls under the bad rap and r&b umbrella.
I Gotta Get Mine Yo – Decent instrumental + dope rhymes, courtesy of out host = solid title song.
A Message To The B.A.N. – Chubb relives the ups and downs of his 1991 Grilled Cheese tour, as he pokes fun at his crew, or the B.A.N., which is a hilarious acronym for “bitch ass niggas”. Hilarious acronym aside, this song didn’t add any value to IGGMY.
Enter The Dragon – This one should have been left on the cutting room floor.
The Arrival – Chubb runs down his time in the game, starting from his beginning in ’86 to IGGMY. Chubb’s rhymes are decent, but the instrumental is so dry it left me coughing.
See You In October – The Trackmasters take a loop from Kenny Loggins’ Chaddyshack theme song “I’m Alright”, and turn it into an airy, melodic, and emotional backdrop for Chubb to speak to he and his wife’s unborn seed who was due to arrive in October of 1992. Some may find it a bit corny, but being a father and all, I thought it was pretty nice.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve underrated and underappreciated Chubb Rock as an emcee through the years. After listening to I Gotta Get Mine Yo! in-depth for the past few weeks, there is no denying the Chubbster’s lyrically ability, delivered to the listener in his commanding, unique baritone voice. Unfortunately at 21 songs, IGGMY is way too long, and a large portion of the tracks suffer from mediocre to garbage production. By the mid way point of the album, a lot of the songs begin to run together like sentences written by a 3rd grader. Shave this down to the strongest 10 or 11 songs and IGGMY suddenly turns into a much better product. But if the Queen had balls she’d be King, so whatever.