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Fragging with the Tombstone neighbor! -- a history of New Orleans's Tombstone Records

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 25, 2009 01:44pm | Post a Comment

tombstone records
This blog entry is a look back at one of New Orleans's more obscure hip-hip labels, Tombstone. Tombstone Records was a notable New Orleans Rap label in the 1990s that released a handful of high caliber releases that sold over 100,000 albums around the South in three years before abruptly ceasing operations after a series of cataclysmic misfortunes.

It was founded by Elton “June” Wicker Jr. Most of the production was done by Merrill “Real Roc” Robinson, who also worked for Mobo. Other production was done by Ice Mike and the one-and-only Mannie Fresh. The label's biggest commercial success was the uncontested "Queen of Bounce," Cheeky Blakk, whose 1996 album Let Me Get That Outcha was a massive local hit for Tombstone before she jumped ship for Total Respect. Tombstone apparently operated on a shoestring budget with pleasingly dinky synths, cheap album covers and no music videos -- but unlike many local New Orleans labels of the 1990s, Tombstone seems to have been more fully committed to the compact disc format than most of their peers, forsaking the cassette for almost every artist.



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Parkway Pumpin - Be Pumpin' Hits Like its Motown

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2009 04:34pm | Post a Comment
Parkway Pumpin Records logoAlthough many independent labels appeared in the wake of New Orleans's 1991 bounce explosion, Parkway Pumpin' was one of the first. It was also one of the most influential stables of talent, although the limited finances of KLC (the man behind the boards) resulted in precious few recordings. When Master P relocated No Limit from Richmond, California to New Orleans, most of the original roster (aside from his siblings) was taken directly from the legendary Parkway label.

Most of Parkway Pumpin's associates never got around to recording with the label. Artists like Fiend, Mac (as Lil Mac The Lyrical Midget), Mystikal Mike (as Mystikal), Mr. Serv-On and Da Hound (Da Gert Town Hounds/Full Blooded) all went on to record popular records at No Limit without having anything released in their time at Parkway Pumpin'. Only one future No Limit Soldier did, Soulja Slim.

39 Posse
39 Posse cassette
The first act to record on Parkway Pumpin' was 39 Posse, a trio comprised of Shack, DJ KLC and MC Dart. Shack was born Derrick Mushatt in 1970. He grew up in a large family with nine siblings. When he wasn't working, he often rapped at parties. MC Dart's real name is Dartanian Stovall.

Untouchable Records - down wid it cuz we bound to get it

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 27, 2009 01:15pm | Post a Comment

Untouchable Records was one of the many New Orleans rap lables that sprang up in the early nineties after the advent of bounce. A small label with a roster of musicians that, for the most part, came and went as they pleased, they nonetheless featured some of New Orleans' biggest, most notable talents. It was
started by Al "Rock" Capone; he also handled some of the production of the mostly downtown roster.
Most of their production was handled by Gary "Ozone" McKee, as well as the Tombstone-associated Merrill "Real Roc" Robinson, and even Cash Money's prolific genius, Mannie Fresh.

West Syde Gz Pimp Dogg Forever Loaded

1994
The first release on the label was Raw II Survive's West Syde Gz, produced by Merrill "Real Roc" Robinson, L.O.G. and Swift. With titles like "Crippin' in da Darkness" and "West Syde Gz," you might assume that it has a west coast sound. Rest assured, it's unmistakably New Orleans. It's also solid but not especially memorable, perhaps hampered by its very low budget sound. 

Also released in 1994, 9th ward rapper Pimp Dogg's Forever Loaded (produced by Double O, San Quin and L.O.G.) is the winner of the two. I'm not sure who influenced who, but it's got a gangsta bounce sound at times very similar to Fila Phil with the dynamics of Mr. Ivan and 6-shot.

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