New addition. It you’re keeping track at home, place this one after Paris’s The Devil Made Me Do it.
From the mid-eighties to early nineties, Uptown Records was a force to be reckoned with. The New York City based label, founded by Andre Harrell, would give the world some of the best R&B acts of the era, such as: Guy, Al B. Sure, Mary J Blige and Jodeci. Harrell would also help groom another soon to be music mogul, Sean “Puffy” Combs, who got his start as an intern at Uptown. Though r&b was clearly Uptown’s foundation, like every other label, they couldn’t ignore the growing success and popularity of hip-hop that was still relatively new in the late eighties. With the success of Heavy D & The Boyz and their rhymes over heavily r&b influenced tracks, it was only a matter of time before Uptown added more rappers to their roster. Puffy would actually discover Uptown’s next rap act, Father MC, who would release his debut album, Father’s Day in the fall of 1990.
Most of the production on Father’s Day would be handled by the production team of Mark Rooney and a third of the Fat Boys, Mark “Prince Markie D” Morales, who both helped write songs for some of the other Uptown acts. Father’s Day would produce a couple of mild hits for Father, but didn’t earn the parental emcee any plaques. Father MC would go on to release two more albums on the Uptown imprint (including his second release Close To You, which you can read my thoughts on by clicking here), before leaving (or being dropped) the label and releasing a bunch irrelevant independent releases that no one has ever heard.
By the way, Father’s Day might have the corniest (and/or softest) artwork of all time. But I digress.
I’ll Do 4 U – This was the second single from Father’s Day. Mark Rooney and Prince Markie Dee (who I’ll refer to as M&M from here on out) tap Cheryl Lynn’s classic “Got To Be Real” for the instrumental, and Father MC begins his career as a r&b rapper. Most importantly, this song would introduce the world to the woman who would soon become the Queen of hip-hop soul, Mary J Blige, as she takes care of hook duties (Blackstreet’s lead singer Dave Hollister is credited for background vocals on this song as well, but after listening to this song several times over, I still don’t hear his voice, or any other male voice singing on this one). Father’s rhymes are corny, but you can’t go wrong with a loop from one the greatest r&b songs of all time and Mary J on the hook.
Treat Them Like They Want To Be Treated – This was the lead single from Father’s Day. This time around Father relives the times when he mistreated the ladies in his life and vows going forward, to treat all his female counterparts with the respect that he would like to be treated with. M&M’s instrumental is standard nineties Uptown New Jack Swing, which didn’t age well. Our host doesn’t help matters with his mediocre rhyme scheme. On the bright side, Father does introduce the world to half of the nineties bad boy r&b sensation, Jodeci, as the Hailey boys, Jo-Jo and K-Ci, sing the hook on this one.
Lisa Baby – This might be the worst hip-hop song (I used the term loosely) ever constructed. Father MC spends the entirety of his verses talking about his ex-girl, Lisa, and how she played him. I mean, this girl was so ratchet she tried to get with his cousin. But the uncredited male voices on the hook are crooning “If she (aka Lisa) wants my love” that he’ll “be there for her”. Wtf? Beside the poorly thought out content, M&M’s cheesy new jack swing backdrop only makes matters worse.
Tell Me Something Good – Fresh Gordon loops up a portion of Rufus’ classic record with the same title, and Father tries to convince some lady that he is the shit and she should give him a shot. I’m not sure what the hook has to do with his lyrics (and Father hi-lariously mispronounces Teddy Pendergrass’ last name as “Pendergrath”), but whatever. Gordon’s instrumental is okay, but lyrically, Father brings nothing worthwhile to the table.
I Come Correct – Father MC takes a break from the love raps and attempts to show the world that he’s a viable emcee. M&M hook up an interpolation of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” to create the smooth backdrop, and Father follows its lead with his delivery, which helps mask his lyrical deficiencies. All in all, this was decent.
I’ve Been Watching You – Lady Kazan joins Father on this one, as our host feeds his guest pick-up lines that she shoots down for the entire song. Think Positive K’s “I Got A Man” or MC Lyte’s “Excuse Me Miss” (which also featured Positive K), only not as good.
Ain’t It Funky – M&M lay down a funky instrumental for our host, as he tries his damnedest to serve justice to it. He drops a couple of curses, makes another reference to Aaron Hall, and tries his best to spit battle bars, but he comes up way short. I’ll give him an “E” for effort, though.
Father’s Day – The song opens with a slick loop taken from the theme song of the seventies tv series “Police Woman”, and some dude saying “Everybody thinks Father MC is on the R&B tip”, which I’m confused why he’s surprised by that thought, since Father has clearly been spilling love raps over New Jack Swing beats for most of the previous eight songs, not to mention the album’s cover, that screams “soft r&b”. Father picks up where he left off at on “Ain’t It Funky”, minus the forced curses, but the same results. I’m still trying to figure out why he thought “I’ll burn a brother like a condominium” was a clever metaphor. The best part of this song is the “Police Woman” loop that thankfully, Howie Tee brings back during the hook. Stick to the love raps, Pops.
Dance 4 Me – Complete trash.
Why U Wanna Hurt Me – And more trash.
Father’s Day is both a presumptuous statement from Father MC (come to think of it, so is his moniker) and an insult to the actually holiday. You’re better off with just buying the singles of the first two songs, because everything after that is mediocre or straight trash, similar to Father’s bars. Unlike his Uptown contemporary, Heavy D, who was able to garner a bit of street cred from his peers and fans and gain respect as a legitimate emcee and entertainer, Father MC will forever be remembered as the r&b rapper once signed to Uptown Records that had Jodeci and Mary J Blige sing hooks on his biggest hits, and had Puffy Daddy as an executive producer on two of his albums.