Artist: 3' Da Hard Way
Title: A Dirty Cop Named Harry/Ladies/Strictly From The Bronx
Label: Noontime Records
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These guys are often confused with another group called Three The Hardway, who dropped a few 12"s at the end of the 80's, but upon studying they're clearly not the same guys. Despite many rumours (and the line "From the school we call hard knocks" on 'Hyped'), reading the small print reveals no connections in terms of artist names.
The guys in this particular trio went on to become the group Hard Knocks, who dropped the dope 'School Of Hard Knocks' album and a bunch of 12"s on Wild Pitch in 1992. J-1 and Zulu evolved into The Spear Chuckers production team for Hardhead (the MC) and Stoneface (the DJ) as Hard Knocks, while Noonie (founder of Noontime Records) stayed as executive producer throughout. Although the label states that the three cuts on this 12" are 'from the upcoming album: 'First Come, First Served', I think that it simply served as the perfect demo for Wild Pitch to sign them up.
This record was their debut, and featured two of the cuts that would later be re-released on Wild Pitch; 'A Dirty Cop Named Harry' and 'Strictly From The Bronx'. There's not much difference to the later versions, but there's a 'Noisy Edit' of 'Harry' which is slightly stripped-down and 'Strictly...' is longer, with an extended outro. I always loved the cutting up of MC Player on the latter ('Peace to the original South Bronx...'), so an extended version is good news for me.
But where this record shines is on the otherwise-unavailable track, 'Ladies'. This fast jaunt through the merits of the female species is backed up with a funky bassline, some dope horns and some decent cutting ('g-g-girls move their butts!'). The lyrics while nothing new are sharper than a scalpel - the MC has skills:
"Ladies, of all shapes and sizes... the majority are full of surprises.
Some of us of us love 'em and leave 'em, cheat on 'em and mistreat 'em,
But we can't live without 'em, so why try to out beat 'em?
Starvin' like Marvin when I don't get no lovin' - let a week go by and I'm stone cold buggin'
I gotta have it, it's a female habit - drop the drawers... and I'm quicker than a jackrabbit.
I don't like dykes or girls who wear spikes or women who approach my dinner table in Nikes,
I'm choosy when it comes to a real lady, she has to be down for a crime and not shady..."
If you listen carefully, you can hear the same 'squealing' sample they used in the Hard Knocks track 'Runaway Child, Running Wild' later on. 'Ladies' has been featured on a dope mix (Chairman Mao's 'Underground Railroad'), and as a result this is a popular request for lots of diggers, but strangely it hardly ever turns up. Although listing prices isn't the way forward for this site, I'd have to suggest that unless someone uncovers a box-load of this record, you'd be seeing a strong battle for this on eBay, as it's not been on there at the time of writing. A thoroughly great record, and the whole mysterious Hard Knocks story behind it makes it even more interesting.
Now, I wonder what treasure is hidden in their archives?
- Reviewed on 15th November 2010, 20:46 by Chris
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