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Three Times Dope - Original Stylin’

posted on Sep 19, 2005 Three Times Dope - Greatest Man Alive (Link Expired)
Three Times Dope - Increase The Peace (Link Expired)

Three Times Dope - Original Stylin'

Three Times Dope
Original Stylin’
Arista Records, 1988

Three Times Dope consists of Illadelph natives E.S.T. (emcee), Chuck Nice (producer), and DJ Woody Wood. At the time of Original Stylin’s release the crew was known to be down with Philly’s own Hilltop Hustlers (the infamous Steady B and Cool C) as well as BDP. Although Chuck Nice’s beats are bona fide bangers and Woody Wood’s expert scratching is an integral part of the album’s appeal, it is E.S.T. who steals the show. E.S.T. is a vintage emcee’s emcee of the late ‘80s, a garrulous mic controller, an adroit, personable storyteller, and a street commentator with a gift for straight wrecking shit.

A proud protégé of KRS-One, the ‘Acknickulous One” maneuvers between show-off wordplay, juvenile misogyny, and everyman musing with charisma and confidence. He attacks the granite snares with gruff tenacity but maintains the fluidity necessary to flip seventy-five cent words alongside lively slang. This energized lucidity sets E.S.T. a world apart from the era’s horde of sloppy BDK impersonators who feverishly cram Latinate syllables into every bar.

The self-proclaimed “Unusual Fellow” flows in concert with the ringing, insistent, layered tracks cooked up by Chuck Nice, L.G., and Steady B, resulting in a palatable, unpretentious form of edutainment. The somber “Increase the Peace” is both a scathing critique of petty jealousy, crass materialism, and unthinking aggression as well a poignant, reasonable plea for harmony. The urgency of the song, which was recorded at a time when Philadelphia’s homicide rate was four times higher than that of New York City, is underscored by musical and vocal samples borrowed from slain peacelovers Marvin Gaye and Martin Luther King. Even the infamously overplayed single “Funky Dividends” interrupts its barrage of stylized pomp and comic levity with moments of self-effacement.

The music as a whole is perhaps somewhat over-dependent on the James Brown catalogue, but the producers do a fine job of constructing funky, shifting backdrops for E.S.T. to kick his conversations. “Greatest Man Alive,” is an undulating, stirring jawn that just teems with witty one-liners and rugged flows. It may be the album’s most masterful cut and unfortunately, its superlative dopeness is only approached in a few spots during the rest of the record. Regardless, Original Stylin’ is a walkman and boombox classic that still sounds invigorating, engaging, and brand new today.

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Comments for "Three Times Dope - Original Stylin’"

  1. Great review.. 3D were, and still are my favorite old school Hip Hop group.. EST was before his time.. Too bad they fell out wit’ the Hilltop Hustlers,and whatnot.. They were,and would’ve continued to be a force in the game.. Hell, Cool C got at the entire Juice Crew’s neck like it was nuttin’.. Keep the reviews comin’.. peace..

    mreman    May 26, 07:13 AM   
  2. ES was easily one of the most original MCs of his day. As an album, it’s pretty well-rounded and even the obligitory “social commentary” and “gold digger” songs come off.

    As far as going overboard on JB – that might be true, but few have made such a convincing case for ruthlessly plundering the Godfather’s catalog.

    Robbie    Sep 1, 06:05 PM   
  3. I played this so much back in the day the tape broke…

    DJ Mad Wax    Sep 1, 06:40 PM   
  4. my freiend has a baby by the boy est he don’t pay shit he owes 14,000 an then some he is not the greatest man alive. i think she should take him to court or blackmale his fake ass.

    c dog    Nov 4, 06:53 PM   
  5. She should blackmale his ass? INTERESTING! It’s too bad OhWord no longer has an online store, I suspect this slogan could be on a t-shirt.

    DJ Flash    Nov 7, 06:50 AM   
  6. yo im the original Kut Master D straight out of north philly I’ve been in Virginia since 1987 and grew up on the best hard core(schooly D),original (3xdope)rappers around thats dope.

    Dupree Harmon aka K.M.D.    Dec 22, 04:24 PM   
  7. ^Thanks for checking in, that’s ill.

    R.H.S.    Dec 22, 04:51 PM   
  8. i own the domain if anybody is interested

    3xd    Apr 18, 05:40 PM   
  9. I miss old school hip hop like it’s nobody’s business.

    Rap is just not the same anymore.

    — anon    May 3, 11:34 PM   
  10. i got this on tape and cd…“original stylin” “greatest man alive” crushin and bustin” straight up” funky dividends” “from the giddy up” all pure bangers

    Tabauri    May 18, 01:21 AM   
  11. Answer this: Where can I buy your video “Funky Dividends” on DVD or where can I get access to view it whenever I want?

    The thing is, there isn;t anywhere I know in the US where I can get your video. But there was a time I could view it on YouTube and it brought back some great memories. Now, your video is not viewed on YouTube b/c of some violation.

    It make sense if your group is still selling and marketing your product, but if no one can get it anywhere and you’re NOT selling it, then why not have it on YouTube – afterall, isn’t that free advertisment?

    Or does it make it right to make some good songs and keep it from the public? You only have 10 responses. after this, it may be the last. Take some good advice: Don’t stop the talk – TALK HARD = RAP HARD and keep it alive.

    Thank you for your time.

    hollywoodmogul21    May 30, 04:31 AM   
  12. what song three times dope sampled for funky dividends?

    myron carr    Nov 30, 01:25 AM   
  13. I don’t own this album but i have that nickulas land.It reminds me of the Edo G record that came out the following year full of 60’s soul samples.Very great and original.They don’t make rap like this anymore

    kristian kriesel    Mar 27, 11:25 PM   
  14. I grew up with E.S.T and most people dont know that he’s still doing it big with writing songs for artest like BEYONCE

    eltrain    Oct 21, 12:22 PM   
  15. 3D.what joy they brought to this then 16 year old’s ears over hear in london town.crushin and bussin got smashed to pieces.drop the hi-hat.

    — mastomic    Jan 19, 11:53 AM