What obscure early 90s rap act Dead at Birth went on to do
As long-term readers of the site will know, if there was ever an ILB Hall of Fame, J-Zone would be an inaugural round inductee along with Townes van Zandt, Les Kellett and April Flores.
Although Zone has effectively retired from music, he’s still got enough content out on the streets: his book, Root for the Villain, is presumably good although I’ve not bought it (I only buy second-hand paperbacks in order to impress women); his legendary podcast Gator$ and Fur$ made a one-off return (for some reason, on the Dazed and Confused website); and he’s still rap’s second best blogger, churning out some classic pieces for Ego Trip.
His most recent article takes in the ignant class of 92 and looks at how their albums would go down if released today: would they get the Odd Future “it’s art” Guardianista cosign, would they get protests or would they just linger in obscurity? It’s a great read, it touches on perennial rap blogger favourite Tweedy Bird Loc and it’s going to introduce you to at least one act who are big fans of rapping about knife rape.
But it was the #1 artist on his countdown that piqued my interest: Dead at Birth. Here’s Zone’s words C+P’d:
There’s very little doubt that Genesis of a Madman: Book 1 is the most offensive rap album ever released. There’s a disclaimer from the record company on the CD insert. Info on the album is scarce. The only images Dead At Birth offer are masks and clown faces. It had to be an experiment of some sort (albeit with some incredible beats) – and turns out it was. Purportedly the group’s MC (Loco) was a Warlock Records employee and was hired by the label to produce a “gangsta rap” album that would enter Warlock into the 1992 fray of controversy. The IRS is again maxed out in all categories: Violence, misogyny, racism, nihilism, gay bashing, matricide, rape, disrespect for the homeless, and not being a father to your child. Lines like “Lincoln freed the slaves, but he ain’t said nothin’ ’bout no hoes” say it all. An additional two bonus slices of audio are added below, but this one is not for the easily offended. You’ve been warned.
So MC Loco, over the course of one song, breaks a woman’s nose because she won’t sleep with him, breaks her nose again for being a slut, and then breaks her nose a third time for menstruating. Elsewhere he opines on what women are good for (“cooking, cleaning, sucking and fuck”) and then hits a pregnant woman with a sledgehammer for shits and giggles. All pretty basic stuff in this kind of music, but entertaining enough, especially when delivered in that early 90s hip-house MC style.
But, like Zone says, the album was actually a project of some sort. Following this YouTube link brings you to some comments by MC Loco himself, Matt Senatore:
ok ya’ll.. it’s been 20 years since I did this.. I never had these views actually.. it was when gangsta rap was kind of popular and I worked at Warlock Records in NYC.. So my boss knew I could rap and asked me to do an album for them. So I came up with this.. I’m 43 years old now and listening to this stuff and it is so not me its hilarious.. BTW.. I am from Brooklyn.. Don’t know why people are saying this is from Detroit..
It’s fun to think there’s a 43-year-old father of two out there just idly reminiscing on his childhood and happening to come across his old joints on YouTube, an wistful smile on his face as he recalls writing his first song about slashing homosexuals at the behest of his CEO.
But like he says, he was already working in the music industry. So he must have done other recordings as well, right? So you do some Googling and you can find a list of every song our man has ever been credited on. There’s “Genesis of a Madman” in its splendor at the top. And then further down…
Matt Senatore, the man who has recorded one of the most ignant, misogynistic, racist, homophobic, aggressive and downright funny albums of all-time… went on to work heavily with Blessid Union of Souls, the Christian alternative rock album of the early 90s. MC Loco actually produce their #1 smash “I Believe” under the pseudonym of Emosia.
As far as hip-hop gimmick changes go, I’m not sure it matches your man who went from being in Hijack to DJ Pied Piper and the Masters of Ceremonies, but it’s pretty close.