Before we even get to how really, really, ridiculously good the production on "Off The Books" is, the way Big Pun kicks off the song is just legendary. It's an early on-record appearance from Pun, and the single exposed the late rapper to a wider audience as he so deserved. It's BARZ galore with, well, BARZ, like: "Big Pun, Pun the name that makes the kids run / Like spelling murder reverse it deliver redrum." The Shining reference, FIRE. Cuban Linx, JuJu & Psycho Les also spit memorable verses ("your career's on life support, and imma pull the plug"), and now on to the beat… According to Les, who made and loved the joint, he had held the instrumental for something like 5 years before its 1997 release as JuJu wasn't too keen on it. What got the "party beat" completed was a co-sign from Big Pun, who, upon hearing it, let the guys know that it was going to blow. Just incredible all around, you don't need me to tell you how infectious the Buddy Baker "Sign Song" sample is. Obviously recommended if you mess w/ 7 inches at all, and now if we could get "Watch Out Now" on the same format…
- music label: Get On Down 1997 / 2016
reviewed by kanim 12/2016
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