Vinyl Addicts comes through with the illness once again as we present the debut (and I believe only) single from 321. Now I’m sure you’re askin’ yourself “Who?”, but if I tell you that 321 was part of the Ill Demonic Clique maybe you know who I’m talkin’ about. The Ill Demonic Clique was founded by the UMC’s, Haas G and Kool Kim, and they first appeared on the scene back in 1993 on the UMC’s track “Ill Demonic Clique”, the b-side of the “Time to set it straight” 12”. I’m not sure how many cats were actually in the Ill Demonic Clique, but the self-titled crew anthem also featured Goldrush and Rux, so I’m guessin’ they must have been members as well.
On their second LP “Unleashed” the UMC’s presented a style that was totally different from the style of their critically acclaimed debut album “Fruits of nature” and because of this drastic change the fans kind of turned their backs on the group. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the album went triple wood and Haas and Kim decided to focus on their solo careers. With the disappearance of the UMC’s the Ill Demonic Clique kinda disappeared as well, but luckily for the few fans the crew had left there was this one 321 release, “Rock the ruff rapps”.
Released on Hard Life Records this record has UMC’s written all over it. Produced by Kool Kim “Rock the ruff rapps” more or less brings the same vibe that you heard on the “Unleashed” LP. Now people can say what they want about that “Unleashed” LP and I agree that it’s far from a masterpiece, but I never really understood all the criticism. Off course the album was no “Fruits of nature part 2” and the change of styles might have been a bit too drastic for most fans, but that doesn’t mean that “Unleashed” was a bad LP, right? Well anyway, I liked the second UMC’s LP so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I dig this single also.
I don’t think 321 ever released another record after this single, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Kool Kim and Haas G are still makin’ music. As you may know Kool Kim released a nice indy single, “Ya gotta know” b/w “Skills R amazing”, through Broken Records back in 1997 and also put out a cd-only album titled “The haz been” in 2001 (if anyone can make me a copy of this album, please contact me). The last thing I heard from the man was a track titled “You and I” which can be found on 2003’s “School of Emceeing Volume 1” compilation. Haas G is now known as Phantom Of The Beats (but also went by the names Hassan and Hassan Big Haas The Fantom) and strictly produces these days. Throughout the years he did beats for Busta Rhymes, Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, Lil Kim, Pop The Brown Hornet and a whole bunch of others.
Japan’s DJ S-Ky featured “Rock the ruff rapps” on his recent “Spec:al roasted beans” mixtape and I’ve been told that a lot of Japanese record collectors are now after this 12”. It pops up on eBay from time to time and that’s where I got my copy. I paid 15 bucks for it, but a few weeks earlier it went for 56 bucks, so I guess I was lucky.