Producer Spotlight – Society

(Note: this is also posted at Can I Bring My Gat?)

Society - Yes 'N' Deed

Society – Yes ‘N’ Deed 1994

Society – F.U.N.K. (From Us Nasty Kidz) 1994

Society – What Is A Man? 1994

Ever since these crazy kids have started this Gat lark I’ve been dying to post this. Nobody I’ve ever spoken to about this guy or this release knows anything about it, and it seems that I’m the only person who saw the vid for ‘Yes ‘N’ Deed’ on Yo MTV Raps over a decade ago and hunted it down – first on cassette, and then a few months later on cd. As for vinyl – well lets just say that Mr Bush should find his infamous WMD in Eye-Rack before the vinyl for this ever turns up.

Anyway… this Society guy seems a bit of a concious chap judging by the inlay cover of the EP. His Field Klick Manifesto reps the unity of the black male and female against oppression, a not unsurprising turn when you see that he was affiliated with PE’s Professor Griff, a fellow member of the Field Nigguhz Klick (full line up – Griff, Society, Lord Mecca, Nappy Ness and Mighty Buda The Baldhead Dred.) What’s a little more surprising is that Society was on Luke Records at the time. Yes folks, I already know that Griff himself was on there too for a minute, but where Griff followed his own path for production, it seems that Society was guided more by Luke who exec-produced the EP, and brought in Miami Bass legend (and current DJ for Mike Jones) DJ Slice to handle all the main boardwork.

This, I feel, is the reason why the ‘Yes ‘N’ Deed’ track has so much boom. Mr Campbell ensured that the 808 came through in this track to test the systems of those suckered in by the strings and Rakim combo. Society himself comes off as the 5th member of Onyx on the cut – you can almost picture him moshing off the walls of the studio and screaming into the mic.

‘F.U.N.K.’ meanwhile seems a more standard mid 90’s NY Hiphop affair – slow paced, snare and horn heavy, with a Q-Tip sample as the hook, while ‘What Is A Man?’ is Pete Rock-ish in the extreme before the chorus comes in and sits uncomfortably over the beat. It was a choice however of this, or ‘Rap As An Art’ where a badly chopped Guru sample is nothing but a bad distraction, so be happy with your lot.

What happened to Society after this? Who knows? I can find no evidence of any further releases at all. It seems he slipped through the cracks somewhere and never resurfaced. Lord Mecca meanwhile is still recording – write up here. Griff is still touring and recording with PE and producing at HDQRTZ studio in Atlanta. DJ Slice tours with Mike Jones and holds down a streaming internet radio show on HiphopFundamentalz.com. Luke continues to promote and encourage local artists in Miami, and continues to perform under-publicized charity work. He probably still gets lots of ass too.

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