Do you know what today is???? Yep, you guessed it! If you live in the states, its Election Day! If you haven’t voted already make sure you get out there and vote. Now back to our regularly scheduled program…
To those who don’t know, Prince Markie Dee is the former member of The Fat Boys (the light skin one), turned producer for some of Uptown Records early nineties artists, turned solo artist, himself. He released his debut solo album, Free, in August of ’92 on Columbia Records (you can read my review on that album and get more on PMD’s background here). Much like the songs he produced for others, Free was chock-full of R&B saturated hip-hop instrumentals with love themes. The album received poor reviews and soon Markie Dee would be looking for a new label home. Fittingly, he would land at Motown where he would release his sophomore effort, Love Daddy.
Prince Markie Dee and his long-time production partner, Mark Rooney would handle most of the production on Love Daddy, with help from a few outside parties. The album went so far under the radar that I don’t think anyone bought it when it came out and the critics didn’t even waste time reviewing it. Years ago, I bought it for a few bucks and haven’t listened to it in its entirety until now.
By the way, the artwork on the album cover is awful.
Miss Jones (Interlude 1) – Love Daddy begins with the first of a series of interludes that has the bedroom-voiced and former radio personality, Miss Jones seductively interviewing Prince Markie Dee about the album over some quiet storm shit.
Crunchtime – Markie Dee is joined by his protégé, Hasan The Love Child for the first song of the evening, as the two take turns spittin’ some decent boastful shit for Markie’s limited male fan base. Anthony Perez and Kevin Perez (I wonder if they’re related) use the same Grover Washington Jr. loop (“Hydra”) that Da Beatminerz used for Black Moon’s classic record, “How Many MC’s…” and dress it up in pretty keyboard chords and a harmonized hook (that annoyingly has our host repeating: “Look for doddy”). This makes for a decent start to the evening.
L.D. – If you haven’t figured it out already, “L.D.” is short for “Love Daddy”. Our host calls on his former Fat Boys’ alum, Buffy aka The Human Beat Box (who’s credited in the liner notes as Darren “Buff” Robinson) to produce this one and he samples the heavily recycled Isley Brothers “Between The Sheets” for the backdrop. I found it semi-interesting that Buffy is credited for the instrumental, since Markie accused Biggie and Puffy of stealing this instrumental from him and using it for the classic record “Big Poppa”. Markie Dee tries his best to emulate Biggie’s “player” swag on this one (I chuckle every time I hear him say “Let your guard down, I’m sure to get up in ya with speed, make sure to bag it up, so I can catch my seed”), but falls very short.
Tell Me That You Want It – Markie D and his longtime production partner Mark Rooney interpolate Tom Browne’s “Jamaica Funk” for our host to spit game to a certain lady over. I love the groove, but I was even more impressed by the group, Onome’s dope vocal performance on the hook and adlibs (I’ll have to check if they have any of their own music out there). This was pretty dope.
Miss Jones (Interlude 2) – Miss Jones continues to flirt with Markie over the same quiet storm instrumental from the previous interlude.
Garden Of Love – The Perez boys lay the R&B on thick with this one. Markie uses it to talk sex, dropping lines like “I bust off like a gat” and leaving the object of his erection “cummin’ like Niagara”. Billy Lawrence compliments the mellow groove nicely, sprinkling her pretty vocals on the hook.
I Wanna Get With You – The Perez boys recycle a loop from Teddy P’s “Love T.K.O.” for the backdrop (another
overly used popular sample amongst hip-hop producers/artists). Our host uses it to go on the hunt for some good good and ends up meeting a chick named Miranda whom he feeds “lines about delusions of grandeur”, which is probably the illest bar Markie Dee ever spit in his life. Mark Rooney almost derails this one with his out of key chords on the hook and adlibs (he kind of sounds like the terrible Juice Crew crooner, TJ Swan), but it winds up being a decent listen.
Mellow – This is easily my favorite song on Love Daddy. Markie takes a break from all the love and sex talk, as he and Hasan get braggadocio and talk their shit over a feel good instrumental built around an ill loop with a bangin’ bass line. Our host must really like the word “grandeur”, as he forces it into a second consecutive song. This time around he’s “having visions of grandeur”, and I’m not sure what that even means. But regardless, Vincent Mason’s addictive groove we’ll keep you vibin’ and hitting the replay button, over and over and over…
Miss Jones (Interlude 3) -More of the same as the first two interludes.
All My Love All The Time – And back to the R&B. Prince Markie Dee invites R&B singer Joe (how impressive is it to have a common name like Joe and be able to use that alone as your stage name? And it worked!) to join him, as they rap and croon, respectively, about getting to feel and taste a certain lady’s punani. During his second verse, Markie refers to himself as a “two hundred pounder”, which is a stretch, since I’m sure he was far north of 250, but it makes for a good chuckle. It was very nasty to hear Joe beg a chick to “give it” to Markie Dee (“Love Daddy”) at the end of the song, but this is an irresistible banger that sounds better with each listen.
Back Is The Incredible – If “Mellow” is my favorite song on Love Daddy, this one is my second fav. The Marks hook up the drums from Taana Gardner’s classic record “Heartbeat” and add some airy synth chords to bring the instrumental to beautiful completion, while our host and Hasan spit passable bars over it.
Everyman – Markie’s “perfect gentlemen-meet all your needs” persona comes off as insincere, and the overly emotional synthy instrumental sounds cheesy.
Out Of The Love – After taking the love of his life out of the hood and showing her the finer things in life, Markie discovers she’s been cheating on him, so now he’s out of the love. It’s always comical to hear a man tell a woman “I made you feel like a woman should feel”. It’s not a great song, but I enjoyed the instrumental and the jazzy bridge break.
Who’s The Man – Our host uses this jazzy mid-tempo groove to talk his shit on, as he claims to be “smoother than a baby’s ass” and that he’s “puttin’ an end to niggas rap careers.” While the former is debatable, the latter is a flat out lie. It was kind of pointless to have Hasan come in at the end of the song and spit eight bars, but whatever. Random thought: Heavy D had a song with the same title…was this an indirect shot from one overweight lover to another? And can I get a question mark at the end of the song title, please?
Call My Name – The Marks loop up Mtume’s “Juicy” for the backdrop and our host uses it to tell his peeps that if they need anything he’s just a phone call away. This is another instrumental that Markie Dee claims Puffy and Biggie stole from him. He should have just handed it over to them without a fight.
Miss Jones (Interlude 4) – One final flirting session between Miss Jones and our host. It sounded like she may have creamed her panties when Markie mentioned he might do some work in movies.
Mellow (Special Remix For My People) – The two Marks sample the funky guitar break from Idris Muhammed’s “Crab Apple” record for this remix, as Markie and Hasan spit more braggadocios bars over it. Markie Dee sounds a lot like Heavy D on this one.
Can I Get A Witness (Interlude) – It’s labeled as an interlude, but at almost three minutes long it might as well have just been called a song. Over jazzy instrumentation, Markie Dee invites Dwight Thompson to takes us to church, as he croons the same line over and over again, throwing in a few adlibs here and there. And that concludes Love Daddy.
On Love Daddy, Prince Markie Dee apes portions of Biggie and Heavy D’s style, picks the low hanging fruit with his sample selection, bombards you with sappy love raps, but somehow he manages to make most of the shit sound good. I know the hardcore organic hip-hop heads won’t feel this album, but if you’re like me and enjoy an occasional taste of R&B rap, you’ll find a large chunk (no pun intended) of Love Daddy entertaining, in a guilty pleasure kind of way.