De’ 1 – Day One was one of the forgotten East Coast hip hop/rap albums that got lost in the shuffle of label politics and administrative changes at Reprise Records. Low sales were another factor which led the album to be shelved. His singles did not chart as high as Reprise anticipated. His singles weren’t enough to push his album towards being released.
The album was supposed to be released in 1993 but never was for those reasons. What ended happening is De’1 completed his album and the album got cancelled due to low sales. In the end the shelved album got locked away in a vault with the other shelved Reprise albums. The album was issued only as a cassette promo to radio stations and magazines.
Not surprising since Reprise Records never really did promote black artists properly back in the 80s and 90s. Reprise dropped the ball on a majority of their black recording artists who were signed to the label.
His entire album was produced by legendary producers of hip hop Marley Marl and K-Def. So you already know this album is going to have that dope boom bap sound. Notice the phat beats and heavy bass. New Jersey can’t get any better than this! Hip hop meets reggae on this album. Despite this album being shelved, Day One is regarded as an underground classic among hip hop head and rap fans. It’s sad how De’ 1 faded into obscurity.
16 With A Bullet was the buzz single for the Day One album which became an underground classic in New Jersey and eventually the whole East Coast. This funky East Coast hip hop cut was produced by the legendary Marley Marl. The song uses a dope instrumental over boom bap beats. A blend of reggae is used as well. 16 With A Bullet samples a replayed version of Al Green – Love & Happiness.
A music video was shot in the city of Houston, Texas for the single. De’ 1 and Marley Marl can be seen sporting dreads. De’ 1 was originally from Houston but moved to New Jersey further his rap career. Of course Reprise dropped the ball on promoting this music.
16 With A Bullet is a cautionary tale about how street life can be deadly and De’ 1’s upbringing in the rough grimey streets of New Jersey. All De’ 1 wants is a good life and to escape from poverty. Poverty is what led him into a life of crime.
True Homies was the lesser know follow-up to De’ 1’s buzz single 16 With A Bullet. Surprisingly the single did not get as much play or gain as much attraction as 16 With A Bullet despite having a music video. Sales have shown time and time again that singles will not always chart high as label executives hope. This single did not chart though.
True Homies is about knowing how true your homies are and how true they really are. A real true homie is down to the end. A real true homie is deeper than a friend. The song tests the strength of true friendships. True Homies is something we can all relate to.
Uneke uses that dope boom bap sound with K-Def’s scratches and production. The song is a K-Def instrumental which uses vocal samples and countless snippets. Uneke is a wordplay of “unique”. K-Def is a master at producing hip hop and rap for the state of New Jersey.
Marley Marl produced Da Underground Sound himself. Da Underground Sound features Reprise label mates Lords Of The Underground and female New Jersey rapper Sah-B. Marley Marl makes an appearance also. The song samples Digital Underground – Humpty Dance.
I rate this album 5/5*****!!