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Raw Produce Selling Celery To Get A Salary Pro Se/RedLine • 2006

Hey there, underground fan! You’ve been searchin for Raw Produce’s 'Refrigerator EP' as intensively as we did? You heard it through the grapevine that there was actually a Raw Pro album called 'Selling A Celery To Get A Salary' too? An interview with Cadence taught us that the latter was actually the name used for two demo tapes that were never released officially and an intensive cratediggin journey finally led us to the 'Refrigerator' EP (1997), an album that was basically sold in Japan, with only a few copies sold in the US and thus almost impossible to find over here in the Old Continent (as in the States).

The 'Refrigerator Poetry' EP blew us away and until today it remains a mystery why Boston’s MC/producer Cadence and full-time MC Pitch remained mysteriously underrated throughout the years, although they knit a following to that release with great albums such as 'The Feeling Of Now' and Cadence’s solo projects 'Poisons The Mind Of The Children', 'State Lines' and the recently released 'Creative Commerce', that are all an extension of that typical Raw Pro sound of eerie jazz sampling, complex drum and bass line patterns with a bunch of strings. To make a long story short; their music is unique and a rarity in today’s hip-hop landscape. For all those who don’t know or seemed to be forgotten about Raw Produce, Pro Se Recordings, in conjunction with Redline Distribution, a company that supports old school and quality, issues a collection of the group’s B-sides, remixes and rare 12”s.

A jolly flute loop, repetitive guitar sample and background sax on 'Sink Or Swim' introduces us to Cadence’s typical, multi-layered way of makin beats, accompanied by Pitch’s high-pitch, cartoonesque voice with lush metaphors ('It’s sink or swim, you gotta step to the water because life is bittersweet'), constantly shooting the breeze with Cadence, who kicks narrative raps and anticipates Pitch squeaky voice with much bass tonal in his delivery. And so this album bumps along with surprisingly a lot of cohesion, considered the fact that this is still a compilation.

Two tracks of the 'Refrigerator Poetry EP' are included: 'Nervous', an up-tempo piece of bragadociousness, and 'Tried and True', a string-infested, wandering rap dedication with great sampling and definitely our favourite of the 'Refrigerator' EP. Another classic is the B-side of the debut single 'Make A Mark', with Greg Nice’s legendary verse on 'DWYCK' ('Now may I make a mark') sampled in the chorus, nicely put together with organ vibes, a hypnotic bass line and a sax on top. The crew anthem 'State Of The Art RMX' (of which the original appeared on DJ Revolution’s 'R2K') features Beantown’s finest Akrobatik, Esoteric, 7L and CheckMark of The Skitzofreniks and there’s remixes of J Rawls ('Breathe Deep'), with Rawls' typical snare-hi-hat-sample arrangement, Jon Doe ('The Wack Mc'), addin a whining flute to the great anti-wack mc concept, Vinyl ReAnimators, Grooveman Spot, Omid, Lee Miles and Thes One of the People Under The Stairs giving the anthem of Raw Pro’s last album 'The Feeling Of Now' a hypnotic twist of ringing bells. The compil ends with the up-tempo 'Negative Darwinism', featuring Kofi (a Boston version of Kurious Jorge), an unofficial member of Pitch and Cadence’s first crew The Coalition…

Besides the CD, there’s also a vinyl EP entitled 'Selling Celery', including eight tracks that also appear on the CD with three tracks that were never released on vinyl before. Yep, the fans are treated well and now have not a single excuse to not own everything from a group that always sticks with 'hip-hop authenticity'. If you got problems to understand this definition, just listen to any track of Raw Pro and you’ll get the gist.

POSTED ON 11|25|2006 by cpf

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