Mellow Man Ace – The Brother With Two Tongues (June 2, 1992)

Part two of my Mellow Man Ace posts. Enjoy.

What’s It Take To Pull A Hottie (Like You)? – Mellow Man Ace kicks off The Brother With Two Tongues with a heavily r&b flavored track, and sounds thirsty as a man with an empty canteen walking through the Atacama Desert, as he tries to put together the perfect formula to get an extremely hot female to go out with him. Bronek Wroblewski (which may be the illest name in the history of the world) gets credit for the bootleg New Jack Swingish instrumental. The song is pretty cheesy, but I can’t stop singing the catchy hook.

Brother With Two Tongues – Julio G (not to be confused with Mellow Man Ace’s other production partner, Tony G) steers things back to more of a hip-hop feel for the title track. Mellow Man Ace uses the decent instrumental to spit more of the Spanglish rhyme styling that he created. I’m not crazy about this song, but it wasn’t terrible.

Linda – Julio G borrows from the often used Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” for the instrumental. Ace uses it to sing praises to the woman who has him open for the moment, Linda. Every time I hear Ace say “Linda” (with his accent its pronounced “Leenda”), I immediately thank about that viral YouTube video from a few years ago of the little boy telling his mom “Leenda, you’re not listening”. Oh yeah, back to the song. It sucked.

Babalu Bad Boy – DJ Muggs gets his only production credit on The Brother With Two Tongues on this one. He builds his instrumental around a loop from Herbie Hancock’s “Fat Mama” (that you’ve heard before: see 2pac’s “If My Homies Call” and Chi-Ali’s “Step Up”) and turns it into an enjoyable backdrop, while our host speaks about his humble beginnings and boasts about his Cuban coolness. This was solid.

Gettin’ Funky In The Joint – Ace never finds his footing on Julio G’s horrible instrumental. Wait. Did Ace just say “I come off like niggas”? What does that even mean?

Hypest From Cypress – Cipher time! Ace invites Krazy D, Tomahawk Funk from Funkdoobiest (credit as “Chief T” in the liner notes) and his big bro, Sen Dog (from Cypress Hill) to join him on this one, as they rep for their hood. On paper, it doesn’t sound like an impressive combination: Mellow Man Ace, a relative unknown (in Krazy D) and two sidekicks in their respective bands. But don’t sleep. Everyone puts in work on this one (even though Sen Dog regurgitates most of his verse from “Shoot ‘Em Up”), with the exception of Ace, who sounds way to laxed compared to his focused and hungry compadres. Julio G lays down a raw and funky backdrop that satisfies the rumblings in the bellies of Ace’s guests. This song should have wrapped after Ace’s verse. Instead, Ace and his crew go old school, rhyming over a simple clap, but none of them come close to recapturing the magic they had on Julio G’s instrumental.

Funky Muneca – By this point it’s clear that Mellow Man Ace enjoys combining Spanish words with English words for his song titles. In this case, he combines “Funky” with “Muneca”, which is a term of endearment for a woman you’re fond of (it translates to “doll” or “dollish”). Yeah, I think the song title is pretty corny too, but the song is even worst. The instrumental is the audio equivalent of faucet water (without a filter) and Ace’s rhymes are arguably cornier than the hook and the song title combined.

Boulevard Nights – The Baker Boyz and Julio G collab to create the dark backdrop,  underlined by a mischievous rumbling bass line. MMA uses it to discuss what goes down at night on the streets of L.A., which pretty much doesn’t go beyond partying, chasing girls, flossing and more partying. In his final verse, Ace says: “So many hotties in the house if you were sick you’d wanna rape ’em, but keep it cool homeboy and um, video tape ’em”. This line sounds a little creepy (especially the part about rape), and if The Brother With Two Tongues was released in 2018, I’m sure Capitol would have been forced to pull it off the album. All in all, this was a decent listen.

Me La Pelas – “Me La Pelas” is Spanish for “suck my dick”. Ace starts the song off by saying this is part two of “Mas Pingon” (which is Spanish for “Go Fuck Yourself”) from Escape From Havana. Our host spits most of the song in Spanish with a muffled effect on his mic that makes it sound like he recorded this in his basement on a karaoke machine. Speaking of basements, Julio G’s instrumental has a dusty quality to it, and it’s actually pretty decent. But if I had to pick between this and “Mas Pingon”, I’m rollin’ with the latter. What? You don’t agree? Me la pelas!!!

Ricky Ricardo of Rap – The song sounds just as corny as the title reads.

Welcome To My Groove –  Tony G gets his only production credit of the evening, and it happens to be a house beat that MMA uses to drop pick up lines over. Ace sounds corny, the female vocalist (credit as “Jeaneete” in the liner notes) on the hook sounds godawful, but I kind of enjoyed Tony G’s instrumental, even though I feel like I shouldn’t.

Mellow Says Hello – MMA gives his shoutouts over a Julio G produced instrumental that recycles the same Lowell Fulson “Tramp” loop that Muggs used for “How I Could Just Kill A Man”. Since Muggs adds some adlibs to this song, I’m sure he gave Julio his blessings for the blatant jack.

There is a hidden track on the cd version of The Brother With Two Tongues, which apparently is titled “Time To Get Busy, Busy”. Ace sounds a lot more animated that anything else on the album, and strangely sounds like a mixture of Onyx and Mr. Cheeks from Lost Boyz. This song is proof that animation doesn’t always equate to entertaining.

Mellow Man Ace didn’t sound spectacular on Escape From Havana, but he did have some solid moments. And even though the majority of the production wasn’t great, it still felt like the album’s foundation was cemented in hip-hop. On The Brother With Two Tongues, Ace sounds like a man struggling to find his identity throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks, all in the name of trying to make a hit (bars!). While he does have some true blue hip-hop songs, he has just as many experimental ones, as he tries his hand in r&b (“What’s It Take To Pull A Hottie (Like You)?”), house (“Welcome To My Groove”), intentional pop (“Linda”) and comedy (“Ricky Ricardo of Rap”). Needless to say The Brother With Two Tongues fails, and would have been more suitably named The Brother With Multiple Personalities.

-Deebub

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