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Review: Def IV ‎– Nice And Hard

Def IV ‎– Nice And Hard is a super dope def hip hop album laced with hip hop beats that will compel you enough to buy this album. Their rhymes and lyrics are def as well! Their album is heavily laced with old school hip hop sound with an East Coast hip hop influence. The constant vinyl scratches, sampling style, breaks, and the thrown in breakbeats are what make up the hip hop sound for this album. There’s a lot going on musically inside of the songs on this album.

Def IV ‎– Nice And Hard was released in 1988 on the Rap-A-Lot label around the time when Rap-A-Lot had a distribution deal with A&M Records when they were promoting Raheem – The Vigilante. A handful of groups on the early Rap-A-Lot roster were from New York and New Jersey. Def IV was from New York hence the East Coast sound relying solely on sample heavy sound in their songs and lyrics.

Sadly Nice And Hard is their only album which went unnoticed by music fans. Def IV ‎– Nice And Hard was one of Rap-A-Lot’s most slept on hip hop albums next to Raheem – The Invincible. The album was highly slept on and overlooked for its time. The fact that Nice and Hard was released on a Southern rap label is probably why the album gained limited exposure to the world. If the album was released by Warlock Records, Profile, Fat Beats, Def Jam, Priority Records, Atlantic, or Motown, then their album would have gained worldwide exposure and airplay.

Nice And Hard was definitely a dope title for a hip hop album from the 1980s, but if the album were released today people would think the albums title would be a reference to a Viagra add or something sexually explicit in nature although the album far from being considered obscene by todays standards.

The Def IV hip hop group was composed of New York transplants which consisted of brothers – DJ Vicious Lee and Jon B, beat maker DJ Lonnie Mac, and vocalist Prince E-Z-Cee. DJ Vicious Lee and Prince E-Z-Cee take control for most of this album. However it was mainly DJ Vicious Lee did all the entire pre-production during the beginning. DJ Vicious Lee breaks down most of the vinyl cuts and scratches on this album.

School Boy Crush is one of those hip hop songs which appeals to high school kids. Obviously it’s a love song. A boy waits an hour long just before school lets out so he can be with the girl of his dreams. Things couldn’t be more sweet. It’s more than just puppy love to him.

Honestly one would expect a song such as School Boy Crush to be a song from either New Edition, Klymaxx, Stephanie Mills, or Run-DMC due to its title. School Boy Crush samples Average White Band – School Boy Crush.

Get Busy uses a layered, sophisticated sampling style over constant scratches. It’s a hardcore lyrical rap song by the Def IV. Def IV brings the hardcore funk. This is dope stuff. Get Busy was done completely on an SP-1200 by Wiz.

The beginning of the song turns into a PSA announcement. “The Def IV would like the people of the world to know that we oppose the use of drugs. We totally advocate dancing, having fun, and enjoying life.” After the PSA is when constant scratches and rapping being. The funk begins.

That’s The Way is a funk influenced rap song which constantly uses a sample of Kool & The Gang – That’s The Way I Like It. That’s The Way uses interesting blends of musical styles. Def IV brings the hardcore funk here also.

Obsession is about E-Z-Cee’s failed attempts getting a girl to love him. You can feel the melodrama in this song of his. It’s another love song. Obsession samples Barry White – Playing Your Game, Baby

What Goes Up is an upbeat hip hop song which uses a funky horn selection all over the place. The horn selection brings out the hardcore funk.

What goes up must come down. Analyze it with the lyrics and sound. The song talks about the way some people are living. Some people act so devious they could never be forgiven.

Peep out Tony aka Cool T. He really wants to be an emcee. He met Def IV’s producer. Their producer said he could put his songs down on wax if Tony could get looser than any other emcee that he’d ever heard. Tony kicked down some funky correct lyrics. So they end up in the studio to record a record.

Tony made a hit records which really took off into heights of high sales. His records sold past the 50,000 mark by selling over 50,000 units in the first month. Tony was cool with this success even though he was new to emceeing. He now realizes he could get used to this. So he went back to their producer to make another record. The producer tells Tony, “No. You have to wait, son. It’s all about marketing and strategy.” Tony got self-centered and arrogant by thinking his career was all about him. Tony tells Def IV’s producer he knows another man who is a producer who could make him into a star. He could do a lot more by making Tony even greater than he already is. So Tony and Def IV’s producer end up cutting ties due to disagreements in marketing and business decisions.

So Tony went to the man he knew that could make him into a star. He goes to him to get a recording contract. A lawyer is present by his side. Their lawyer keeps both parties in check. The record company, producer, and recording artist. Their makes sure all parties are receiving checks. Then Cool T’s second album was released. His second album went platinum in just a period of 2 weeks.

Tony thought he was making money due to the success he got from his second album. However that was not the case as he did not read “the fine print” by the dotted line on his recording contract. All the money went back into the record company. Tony’s ego got too big for him. He got played big time by the record company. Now he has no money and no friends. He had dissed everyone he knew.

Things take a tragic twist as Tony was shot in the head by a player hater as he was outside walking by himself. He was murdered in cold blood. As if anyone cared, they didn’t know he was dead.

Now Ann was a lady full of intelligence who was determined to have her own independent career. Her career was fulfilling her needs. Everyone knew Ann would succeed. She had no time for dating men as she was into success. She did it on her own.

She was out one night at the club with the girls. A different type of man stepped into her world. This never happened before. They went outside for walk to a Benzo (Benz Mercedes). She wanted to see if this man had self-respect and where his mind was at. They ended up dating each other. They called each other every day during the week. What a twist!

One day they were cooling off by fooling around downtown at a party. Both of them had drinks at this party. They got down at the club. Every day there was a gift and a flower. She was captivated by him. She could have held on bu the final blow was simple. Her friends tried to warn her but she thought they were jealous. Her life was on the upswing.

The man she was dating was using her for her money. He left her broke.

Thank U is where Def IV gives appreciation and dedication to their label Rap A Lot. You don’t see too many rappers or groups giving thanks to their record labels these days. Thank U is an upbeat Def IV posse cut where each member performs battle rap.

Our Own Style is a dope hip hop song with def rap lyrics which uses a layered, sophisticated sampling style over constant scratches. Our Own Style samples C.J. & Co – We Got Our Own Thing.

Walks Like Sex is a provocative sex rap song with not too raunchy or explicit lyrics despite the title. Parts of Walks Like Sex sample Barry White – Playing Your Game, Baby. What an appropriate sample to choose from.

DJ Ready Red laid down the 909 beats you hear on the song Outlaw. The song Outlaw has a country vibe to it. This song is much different than all the other songs on this album. Hip hop/rap meet country music on Outlaw.

Buggin’ Out Time was a Lonnie Mac DJ’ed and produced. The constant scratches and Afrocentric percussion are what give the song a hip hop feel. Buggin’ Out Time cannot be found on the vinyl version but instead on the CD and cassette versions.

Do It E-Z is an E-Z-Cee solo. It’s his own lyrical freestyle song where he does it easy. The song samples Slick Rick – Mona Lisa. Def IV lets us know they don’t play on the song We Don’t Play. Def IV is nothing to play around with. They rap for the people.

I rate this album 4/5****!!

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