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Organized Konfusion are one of a handful of extraordinary crews who came up under the wise tutelage of the late, great Paul C. The duo from South Jamaica, Queens, doing business as Simply II Positive, recorded a five-song demo entirely produced (and one might presume, mixed, arranged, etc.) by Paul C., who also coached Prince Po and Pharohe Monch’s soon-to-rock-and-shock-the world vocals. On the demo, one can hear the two emcees compress (some might say constrain) their overflowing notepad epics into the appealing format of neat little two and three minute topical songs. Make no mistake, their demo is bangin’. Paul C. laces them with the futuristic whodathunkit drum kits he is famous for mining and tweaking to perfection. The two wunderkinds are clearly light years ahead of most of their peers in the science of rockin’ the mic, innovating upon their influences in a manner both brainy and cool. Once mastered, this demo might have been extended into a legendary EP, and yet one definitely gets the sense that there is something being held back here.
Monch and Po venture ever so briefly into tongue-twisting paragraphs, only to revert to a more measured flow that fits Paul’s killer snares and crunchy funk samples more snugly. Paul seems to be an omni-conductor of sorts, modulating the tone and pace of both the music and the rhymes. He shapes the Simply II Positive sound into a smooth, accessible, even danceable groove, in the process possibly suppressing the emergence of the spasmodic ghetto futuristic vibe that would later characterize the music and mission of Organized Konfusion. On O.C.’s demo, we might presume that O.K. (and most likely Large Professor) are now the mentors, and they give their young protégé plenty of room to breathe. O.C. lets loose verse after verse of lyrics so ill that they could probably short-circuit a corner cipher today, spitting so furiously and fluidly that his memorable performance on his classic debut LP Word … Life, feels like an example of principled restraint. Total wreck is caught on every head-nodder track, especially the original version of “O-Zone,” which sounds like a funky, spacey, disorienting sequel to Organized Konfusion’s “Releasing Hypnotical Gases.” It is a genuine travesty that the corporate powers-that-be never took enough of a liking to OK or O.C. to give their material a fair and adequate push. That is ultimately everyone’s loss, but I’m still thankful these demos exist.