Jewelz – Brother Ali “Sweet (Potatoe Pie)”

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What do I need to know?

There’s about a gazillion tracks that literally teach you how to bake pies but not quite like this.

What’s the story?

Ali swears that he can not only put it down on the mic but also in the kitchen. No recipe just off the dome and the recipe is customized so it changes every time? Color me skeptical on that one but the Brother gives a preview of how he gets busy going through the recipe only to hold back the secret ingredients and exact measurements because well he’d have to kill ya.

Yeah I rhyme kind of nice, but my sweet potato pie slice will get me five mics
Nothing out a box or a can
It’s all natural, that which grows out the land
Toss ’em in a pan, mix the white with the brown sugar
Got the mixing bowl looking like my children
Hop in and I drown them in the butter sauce
a couple tossed up eggs to make it fluffy soft
Cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, vanilla
If I tell y’all the rest, well then I got to kill ya
Even if I give you a list of the ingredients
Step by step instructions on how to season it
Just how to set your oven when preheating it
Shit just ain’t gonna taste the same unless Ali did it
I ain’t just putting pie on your table
I’m trying to bring a tear for your eye for your baby

And if he doesn’t kill you the pie probably will as Ali points out the ill effects of too much munching on the sugar and butter that makes up the bulk of said pie in the second verse. Way to be a buzz kill Brother Ali!

Is it any good?

Rather than a desert the track was an appetizer for the Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color album that followed. Brother Ali flips Common’s “Sweet” by taking out the beef and adding veggies and vanilla extract instead. It’s creative and original so props on that and as I stated above while he gets all braggadocio about his cooking skills he still leaves ya with a message to eat right.

Type of knowledge dropped?

Health knowledge for the diabetes and healthy portions advice. It’s not deep or profound but like my man Blueprint said its nice to hear “emcees that rap about the consequence instead of glorifying a lifestyle that lacks any type of common sense.”

[message_box title=”Additional Details” color=”white”]Artist: Brother Ali
Album: Freestyle
Year Released: 2012
Producer: NO I.D.
Label: Rhymesayers

 

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Jewelz – Boogie Down Productions “Beef”

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What do I need to know?

Mr. Knowledge Reigns Supreme has so many Jewelz that we could make the entire section about his catalog alone. Throughout his career KRS has taken us on a journey that has seen his stances on everything from politics, religion and yes food evolve as he has grown. “Beef” comes off of the 1990 Edutainment album that covers a number of socio-political topics from the Blastmaster.

What’s the story?

On “My Philosophy,” KRS let us know he’s down with a vegetarian diet passing on “goat or ham or chicken or turkey or hamburger.” On “Beef” you start to understand why as he details the specifics on how meat gets to the supermarket and ultimately onto your plate. Not appetizing to say the least. In the midst of completely disgusting you with details, KRS calls out the FDA as legal drug dealers for slanging meat as a truly healthy and needed part of your diet. If the best way to get people to give up meat is to go to a slaughterhouse then this is the audio version of that experience.

Let us begin with the cow
The way it gets to your plate and how
The cow doesn’t grow fast enough for man
So through his greed he makes a faster plan
He has drugs to make the cow grow quicker
Through the stress the cow gets sicker
Twenty-one different drugs are pumped
Into the cow in one big lump
So just before it dies, it cries
In the slaughterhouse full of germs and flies
Off with the head, they pack it, drain it, and cart it
And there it is, in your local supermarket
Red and bloody, a corpse, neatly packed
And you wonder about heart attacks?

Is it any good?

One verse is all it takes and KRS goes in on the government, suggests reading material for you to improve your diet, educates on the unnatural way animals are grown to increase size etc. And this was way before cloning meat and pink slime! I could only imagine the sequel. Lyrics are still extremely relevant, however, the beat doesn’t have the same lasting appeal to me. Regardless, KRS is one of the best at edutainment and here knowledge was dropped!

Type of knowledge dropped?

Health Knowledge and even some political as well when discussing the role the government plays in the current American diet.

[message_box title=”Additional Details” color=”white”]Artist: Boogie Down Productions
Album: Edutainment
Year Released: 1990
Producer: KRS-One
Label: Jive/RCA Records

 

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Jewelz – A Tribe Called Quest “Ham & Eggs”

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What do I need to know?

Most of the Tribe members are of Muslim faith and the Qur’ân prohibits the consumption of pork.

What’s the story?

Tribe members espouse on the elimination of pork and eggs from their diet so they can keep the LDLs down and the HDLs up as the hook drives home. The crew clearly was still early in their healthy vegetarian adoption as noted by Phife still eating steak, candy yams and beef jerky while Q-tip is practically eating chicken all day except for eggs. Still it does a decent job of giving you a brief glimpse into the challenges of new vegetarians be it temptations

Gum drops and gummy bears tease my eyes
A sight for sore ones and some bore pies
And other goodies that are filled with goop
With fried apple roots
Delectable delights, control my appetites

or families that didn’t understand the change

Why, just the other day, I went to Grandma’s house
Smelled like she conjured up a mouse
Eggs was fryin’, ham was smellin’
In ten minutes, she started yellin’ (Come and get it!)
And the gettin’s were good
I said, “I shouldn’t eat it”, she said, “I think you should”
But I can’t, I played my vegetarian
No cats and dogs, I’m not a veterinarian
Strictly collard greens and the occasional steak
Goes on my plate

Is it any good?

Left field just like the rest of the People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm album when the Quest first entered the hip hop lexicon. However, its actually a fun song about getting your diet right and not the norm especially when it first dropped. It’s not self righteous and the extended break just mostly let’s you enjoy the beat.

Type of knowledge dropped?

Nutirtional knowledge mostly for stating the obvious cholesterol impact of the normally high fat and unhealthy American breakfast.

[message_box title=”Additional Details” color=”white”]Artist: A Tribe Called Quest
Album: People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Year Released: 1990
Producer: A Tribe Called Quest
Label: Jive

 

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Jewelz: dead prez – “Be Healthy”

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What do I need to know?

Usually dead prez is throwing up the proverbial middle finger to the system but you can’t be revolutionary and gangsta if you aren’t taking care of the mind, body and soul. For this track they take a quick break from their normally political raps to tell you ‘true wealth is good health.’

What’s the story?

Stic.man and M-1 let you know what they grub on and espouse the benefits of a vegan diet. Both have varied between vegetarian, vegan (no eggs or dairy products) and raw foods diets for nearly twenty years.No junk food or sweets just lentil soup, fruits and vegetables and whole wheat. I’m most impressed with how they still managed to keep marijuana as an essential part of the plan (from the earth baby). You gotta love hip hip.

I don’t eat no meat, no dairy, no sweets
Only ripe vegetables, fresh fruit and whole wheat
I’m from the old school, my household smell like soul food, bro
Curried falafel, barbecued tofu
No fish though, no candy bars, no cigarettes
Only ganja and fresh-squeezed juice from oranges
Exercising daily to stay healthy
And I rarely drink water out the tap, cause it’s filthy

Is it any good?

The beats nice and its a cool, albeit short, song that gets to the point. It also ends randomly with Prodigy of Mobb Deep (who suffers from sickle cell and changed his diet and drinking ways for his health) telling you in pure Queensbridge fashion that you’ve been living foul for too long and you need to get your act together son or hear the sound of the four pound! Ok… I made that last part up but tell me a threat at the end of Prodigy’s outro wasn’t the only thing holding this back from being a classic guest appearance.

Type of knowledge dropped?

Health knowledge. Seriously, who is knocking fresh fruit, vegetables and exercising?

[message_box title=”Additional Details” color=”white”]Artist: dead prez
Album: Let’s Get Free
Year Released: 2000
Producer: Hedrush, dead prez
Label: Loud Records

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