I've been on a lot of fox hunts for records in my life. There was the trip to the old diner in New Brunswick, NJ for the first four Kool and the Gang LPs when I was 13 years old. Then there was bargaining with a crackhead for a giant box of obscure funk 45s while hoping he didn't rob me the entire time. Of course, there's my brief venturing into the basement of Out of the Past record shop in Chicago (I felt a year melt off my life after simply standing on the staircase) and I can't forget trying not to disturb the untangling, friable asbestos in an old thrift shop as I fished through jazz LPs. But perhaps my most embarrassing, painstaking and memorable hunt for a record was 1991's journey to find hip-hop duo Freshco & Miz 's Greatest Flow on Earth LP. In December 1990, the New Music Seminar champs/quintessential one MC, one DJ group of the year appeared on Yo! MTV Raps to promote their new single, "We Don't Play" b/w "Ain't U Freshco?" My best friend, Kev, was watching with me. Freshco gave viewers a sample of what was to come and plugged the group's upcoming LP with the aforementioned name. And then nothing happened.
The following summer, Kev told me he found the album at Music Factory on Fordham Road in the Bronx, then rattled off imaginary song titles like "Make Way For Miz" and "Freshco's Too Fresh." After a year of competition, Kev finally had a record I didn't have. This was payback for the Anttex album, which featured Mobb Deep's Havoc in his first ever on-wax appearance and claiming to be "small like a teddy bear." (The sickles and Spofford stories came out a year later.) I used the last of my allowance money to get down to Music Factory. They told me a Freshco & Mix album never existed. I tried Upstairs Records' mail order, Rock and Soul, Beat Street, Yellowbird Music, Music Plus, Sam Goody, The Wiz, Greenline Records... even the bootleggers on 125th Street... after an eventual $50 in phone calls and public transpo, I wiped the egg off my face, cursed out Kev for three hours straight and accepted that one of my favorite groups had fallen into the rap Bermuda Triangle.
In 2000, I had the pleasure of performing on public access TV in Sydney, Australia with Miz cutting it up behind me (I need to rip the VHS tape). All questions were answered and hopes simultaneously dashed about ever hearing a shelved Tommy Boy LP from that era. But years later, CD-Rs of unreleased tracks floated around the internet and I discovered two years ago that a short documentary about the group was in the works.
So I discovered the other day that thanks to World Supreme Hip-Hop, the film has been released to YouTube and one of the earliest hip-hop casualties of the "marketing over skills" mantra finally get to tell their story in full. I won't wax on about the group - just watch it below. I think I'll hide this one from Kev, though. A Pisces forgives but never forgets.
Directed by Shawn Conrad