Today Marks the 20th Anniversary of Esham’s Experimental Classic “Tongues”! [Editorial]

Happy Juneteenth  everyone! Today marks the 20th anniversary of Esham’s 2001 influential underground “Acid Rap” classic “Tongues”! “Tongues properly showcases  why Esham is the Godfather of the Wicket Shit. And it’s due to his venomous witty experimental quickness flow approach inside the  LP that is bound  to keep your head bobbing until your very own neck breaks!  Esham’s addictive collabo tracks Devilshit” and “All Night Everyday” (FT. Heather Hunter) with Kool Keith should’ve lead to a full on collaboration record between the two wild microphone legends. While the brutal disses against Eminem  (“Chemical Imbalance,” “Gloczup“, “Mr. Negativity”, etc) led to NATAS and D-12 fully brawling at Warped Tour during the Summer of 2001. Both of the super important Detroit groups were kicked off Warped Tour too! Detroit hip-hop history 101! 

Now here is a guest write-up from Reel Life Productions alumni, Daniel Jordan, on how the June 2001 era of Esham’s “Tongues” impacted his life!

From Daniel Jordan personally:

“It was the summer of 2001, my junior year of high school had just wrapped up and I had just gotten my first car, a 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse (like in the Fast and the Furious). Two albums came out that month that were the soundtrack to my whole summer. The first one came out around my birthday June 4 and it was “Spankmaster” by Kool Keith. Being a fan of Keith and Esham separately my wig was blown to know that Keith signed with Gothom/Overcore AKA Reel Life Productions. You see, I’m from the Bay Area and I come from the Murder Dog era. Murder Dog was a publication in Vallejo California, it had its finger on the pulse of everything in the underground. Being a subscriber I was quite familiar with many independent artists throughout the Midwest and the East Coast. I always had a special place in my heart for the underdogs: The true masters of their craft that never got recognized on a mainstream level. Keith and Esham were two artists I always went to bat for. I would try to put my friends on to their music and only the cool ones got it. The kids who didn’t understand, I didn’t want to be friends with anymore, I could see we didn’t have much in common. “Spankmaster” set up a number of collaborations with Keith and Esham that foreshadowed what was to come with “Tongues” that was about to arrive just a few weeks later. You have to understand, this just a few short months away from 9/11, life as we know it forever would change, these were the last remaining days of a pre-9/11 world. Music was intense, we were at the precipice of a youth movement. World Wrestling Federation was hard-core, shock value in music was at an all-time high. Times were good. The day “Tongues” came out I couldn’t wait to get to Wherehouse Records to get a copy, and guess what, it wasn’t there. I had to go to a few other stores and finally track it down. But once I did and put that motherfucker in it I hear the flamenco style guitar open up “Walking on the Flatline”. The production on the album was in the same vein of “WWW.COM” by NATAS.

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“I appreciated the production on those two albums so much I went and tracked down the drum machine that was used for it. The Roland MC505 (which I still own to this day, it’s in my closet collecting dust because the shit sounds so dated. But that thing was a beast in it’s time, you have no idea). I spent the whole summer listening to this album, experimenting with psychedelic drugs and fooling around with chicks. I was coming of age around this time. Whenever I go back to this album it brings me back to that time when life was simple, cruising around town in my whip, doing drugs and getting laid. What else could you ask for? That same summer Keith and Esham were on tour and I was able to see them in San Francisco at Maritime Hall. I went with this hot chick I worked with, she was in her mid-20s (and I got her to flash the crowd, that was pretty sweet). That chick was the bomb, she would buy me booze and drive around town with me, I was barely 17 years old, she could go to jail for some of the shit we did together but I digress. She’s basically a Juggalette, even though she never even listened to Insane Clown Posse. Chicks like that are cool as fuck, just down. I wish I could find a chick like that these days… Anyways, dope album.”

Where were you when “Tongues” first dropped? What are your favorite songs on this album? Post your thoughts below! 



from Faygoluvers


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