The WW II Vocoder system (named SIGSALY or Project X) remained classified from 1943 until 1976, when the patents were finally released. It was so classified that many of its engineers weren’t aware that it had been declassified. Even then, members of the 805th US Signal Corps remained mum, wary of telephones and variants of unvoiced hiss energy–the white noise shh of secrecy. A BBQ reunion could compromise national security. Luckily there was no Facebook at the time, nor Twitter, nor people on the internet being dicks about stuff.
In the words of my grandma, “There’s many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip.” (Though I suspect she stole that from someone.)
In the words of Eazy-E, “Don’t ask me, ’cause I ain’t said shit.”
In 1995, I received a package from the offices of Rap Pages in Los Angeles. It contained an unmarked cassette and a note in backwards print. Upon descrambling, I realized that Rap Pages editor Gabe Alvarez had compromised his personal security by mailing me a dub of 4 songs from Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… , months before the album was scheduled to drop/save us all. “Verbal Intercourse,” “Knuckleheadz,” “Guillotine,” and “Incarcerated Scarfaces.”
I am divulging this now, 16 years later, which in cryptology years, was yesterday’s backside. For the first time ever, this rare scrap of Rap Pages ‘ folk art is currently on display above.
I just want to commend Mr. Alvarez for simultaneously upholding hip-hop’s no-dub nondisclosure anti-bootleg policy while hewing to hip-hop’s break-me-off-with-that-new-shitness. The finest of lines.
Quiet is crypt.