You're hitting all the wrong switches troop begin again
Mumble mouth rappers couldn't last a minute with
Show and Prove by Big Daddy Kane (Ft. Jay Z, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Sauce, Scoob & Shyheim)

This talk of speech impediments and switches is likely a reference to rapper/producer Erick Sermon whose solo debut “Hittin' Switches” came out the previous year. Erick is known for his pronounced lisp.

Taken together with Jay-Z’s reference to the EPMD split in the next verse it definitely sounds like Kane had an issue with Sermon. But what could it have been? Did Kane take Parrish’s side in the break-up?

See here for Kane’s memories of the beef

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I cut hair and you still can't get no part Show and Prove by Big Daddy Kane (Ft. Jay Z, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Sauce, Scoob & Shyheim)

Back in the day Scoob was one of the people charged with keeping Kane’s flat top trim (along with Kane’s homeboy Smooth who was mentioned frequently in his early records). As he said on “On the Bugged Tip”:

Need a flat top, come to Scoob I’m the barber

Here he plays on two meanings of the word part: a parting (as in a haircut) and a piece. Basically you’re no match for Scoob.

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In Born Power, born physically, power speaking Winter Warz by Ghostface Killah (Ft. Cappadonna, Masta Killa, Raekwon & U-God)

Born Power represents 95 in Supreme Mathematics. 1995 is the year that this song was recorded (and first released, on a promo 12").

The second part of the line builds on what Born and Power mean in relation to Cappa’s rhymes. His lyrics are powerful and manifested (or born) physically on the mic.

Breaking numbers down into their Supreme Mathematics components and then building on their meaning is a common practice among Five Percenters. For example, the question “What’s today’s math?” might lead to a discussion on the meaning of that day’s date in Supreme Mathematics.

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So then I washed off the soap and brushed the gold teeth La Di Da Di by Doug E Fresh (Ft. Slick Rick)

Grills are associated more with the Dirty South these days but the trend started in the East. Slick Rick was one of the very first rappers to rock gold teeth, closely followed by Just Ice.

Like furry Kangols, gold teeth were popular with Jamaican reggae artists around that time. Slick Rick and Just Ice both have Jamaican parents. Coincidence?

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And that's where them crazy baldheads dwell Give 'Em Hell by Talib Kweli 1

Baldhead is a Rasta term for non-Rastas, although it is normally reserved for those dealing in oppression, wickedness or other non-righteous behaviour. Baldheads do not have to be literally bald — the name comes from the fact that Rastas never cut their hair.

There is a famous Bob Marley song called “Crazy Baldheads”.

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And I'm D-O-U-G-I-E (fresh) The Show by Doug E Fresh (Ft. The Get Fresh Crew & Slick Rick)

Dougie Fresh?

Clearly Doug hadn’t settled on a spelling for his name yet. By this time (1985) he’d already been credited as:

The first two tracks (with both spellings) appeared on the Street Sounds Electro 6 compilation.

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Brooklyn The Place Where We Dwell by Gang Starr

From the 1985 BK anthem “Brooklyn’s In The House” by Cutmaster DC.

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Bonita Applebum blows smoke in Sha's face If the Papes Come by A Tribe Called Quest

A random reference to Tribe’s previous single “Bonita Applebum”.

The Hootie Mix of “Bonita” was backed by the song “Mr. Muhammad” and featured a ‘Bonita Applebum meets Mr Muhammad’ picture sleeve with Bonita blowing weed smoke in Ali Shaheed Muhammad’s face.

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Like Ghostface, nigga dont front for me Enuff by Masta Ace (Ft. Mr. Lee Gee)

Ace isn’t impressed by rappers who wear excessive amounts of jewellery just to keep up appearances. If you want to rock ice then rock it but don’t do it for his sake.

He refers to something Ghostface Killah said in “Shark Niggas” while making the same point about champagne-popping rappers:

Don’t front for me, man
You gon' play that role, play it though

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Went to London town, tore it down and threw my necklace The Ghost of Christopher Wallace by Jay Electronica (Ft. Diddy)

In 2010 Jay Electronica played two nights at London’s Jazz Cafe (to rave reviews). During the second show he gave his Nepalese pendant to someone in the audience, later tweeting this explanation:

The other night, I gave away my chain & medallion to a brother in the crowd in London. I had to. He was from the same place I got it from.

Several days later, when Jay played in Oxford, the same Nepalese guy gave him a khukuri knife in return.

See this NME interview for more on the pendant.

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