93 ’Til 2019: Souls of Mischief’s Opio Opines on Hiero’s '93 Classic in 2019’s “Shaft” & “Always Be My Maybe” + Rhettmatic homage

Posted by Billyjam, August 12, 2019 11:39am | Post a Comment

Souls Of Mischief  "93 'Til Infinity" video for timeless title track off Hiero crew's 1993 debut album LP + CD; a song whose influence is deemed to indeed be until infinity as proven by its prominence in 2019
including its inclusion on the 2019 remake Shaft original soundtrack

The Souls Of Mischief ever-popular, landmark introductary first single “93 ’Til Infinity” has been long considered a timeless hip-hop track but this year the title track off the Hiero crew’s 1993 debut album has been given a whole new lease on life thanks in great part to appearing in the soundtracks of two major 2019 movie releases.

It appeared prominently in both the recently released Shaft (setting the tone for the 2019 remake of the blaxploitation movie classic as part of its opening scene) and also in the popular (Amoeba Berkeley-friendly) Bay-centric, Nahnatchka Khan directed romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe starring Randall Park and Ali Wong.

In the latter it appeared not once, but twice in the widely acclaimed Netflix rom-com that also featured the Del The Funky Homosapien drawn iconic Hiero logo plus a poster of fellow Hiero member Pep Love who contributes backing vocals to the 93 'Til Infinity album.

Not only was the A-Plus produced song, with its infectious sample drawn from Billy Cobham’s track “Heather” off the jazz artist’s 1974 album Crosswinds, featured in both films but it was also celebrated by DJ Rhettmatic on the World Famous Beat Junkies and Visionaries member's recently released LOOPS, CHOPS, BEATS, & VIBES - VOL. 2 collection on the stand-out track “West Coast Vibration (An Ode To Souls).”

DJ Rhettmatic
told the Amoeblog that, “It’s an ode to Souls Of Mischief, because it’s the 'Heather' (93 til infinity) sample that I flipped. Back story of this recording is that when I was in the Philippines for New Year’s this year for a family reunion, I found the Billy Cobham Record at a gig with Shortkut for two bucks. I had the record already but doesn’t hurt to buy another one for cheap. And I always wanted to flip that sample.”

With this recent new exposure the classic hip-hop track has received a whole new audience, many not even born when the song was released, has been introduced to the Oakland crew’s two and a half decade old release as witnessed by the two comments recently posted to the YouTube posting of the song’s video (see screen shot above. Recently I caught up with Opio of the legendary Souls Of Mischief quartet to ask him about the seeming timelessness of his crew's song. “People whose lives were impacted by that song are coming up now in a position of power…….maybe that song was special to them when they were younger,” he noted in reference to its prominent appearance in Shaft and particularly Always Be My Maybe.

Referring to the latter film as,  “like a Bay Area love letter,” he conceded that while sometimes songs may end up in soundtracks of TV shows or movies due to the hard work of an agent seeking “placement” of a specific song, in the case of the “Maybe” soundtrack that it clearly, “was more of the person making the movie wanting it to be in there” especially since it was used in both the opening and again in the one of the film’s key scenes. Opio also noted how the main character sports a sweater with the iconic Hiero design and that, “we had a Pep Love poster in there too.” “They really showed a lot of love to Bay Area hip-hop in that movie,” he added of the film that also features a Dan The Automator poster plus Amoeba Music Berkeley t-shirt features (read Amoeblog on that topic).

Even before all the attention “93 Til” has received in 2019, the song has resurfaced numerous times in the twenty six years since its initial on Jive. The track was among those included on the on the NBA 2k18 soundtrack as well as on the 2002 compilation remix album Another Late Night: Zero 7. Last year around this time Dinked Records released on 7” vinyl format  93 'Til Inifinity (Remix) / Instrumental 7" that note is still avail from Amoeba’s online store. And upon the 93 album's 20 year anniversary the Get on Down record label lovingly reissued 93 'Til Infinity in two CD versions; 20th Anniversary Edition and Super Deluxe Edition; both of which limited releases are understandably out of print. However in print and avail from Amoeba is the more recently reissued 2LP vinyl set of the long out of print 93 'Til Infinity (2LP) as well as the CD version.

In regards the longevity and wide appeal of that song that appears to transcend both time and musical genres, Opio offered that, “It crosses over into fans of other types of music….even if you’re not a big hip hop fan” the song resonates with “all music fans.” From a hip-hop historical standpoint “93 ’Til Infinity” was unlike not only anything in Bay Area hip-hop/rap back in 1993, but the song was also unlike anything in hip-hop in general at the time. Part of the inspiration for the song’s uniqueness, said Opio came from “The greats that came before us from what I consider the Golden Age, the late 80’s when all of those guys were really pushing the envelope, and one of their main messages they got across was you can’t steal peoples’ style. You have to be 100% original; conceptually, the way the beats sound, the vocabulary of the words you use, everything. Basically if someone has done before you just steer clear of it. That was what was going on in hip-hop in general and we just kinda stuck to the code.”

For an upcoming opportunity to catch Souls Of Mischief, who were at the recent B-Boy Summit in LA, performing "93 'Til infinity" live they play New York City's Brooklyn Bowl on Satruday August 24th (8:30pm 21+ show tix $25 here) and on the first weekend in September for the anticipated 2019 Hiero Day in its eight glorious year and now expanded into Hiero Weekend that will include the Sunday Sept 1st Hiero Day/45 Sessions at the Uptown 2-8pm and the Sept 2nd day featuring 30+ acts festival advance tix -all ages are just $19.93  found here.  Check back on the Amoeblog closer to the Labor Day weekend for a proper preview of this big Oakland event.

Relevant Tags

Billy Cobham (1), Souls Of Mischief (23), Always Be My Maybe Netflix Ost (1), 45 Sessions (6), Hiero Weekend 2019 (1), Hiero Day (10), 93 'til Infinity (1), Dj Rhettmatic On The World Famous Beat Junkies And Visionaries (1), Heather Off 1974 Album Crosswinds (1), Shaft 2019 Ost (1)