EWA100 - #30. Ultramagnetic MC's - Poppa Large (East Coast Mix)

#30: Ultramagnetic MCs - Poppa Large (East Coast Mix) (Mercury. 1992. From the LP Funk Your Head Up)

Mike Dikk: I’ve put "Poppa Large" on more mixtapes than any other song ever. If I go back and look at my tracklists for all the mixtapes I’ve made various people, it really shows my lack of creativity when it comes to that sort of stuff. A lot of people are under the impression that I make really great mixtapes, but the truth is, I’ve mentally cataloged a small handful of songs that everyone I know should like, and I put those songs on everything I make. I put this song on tapes (actually, CDs now) for people who don’t even like rap music, because if you don’t like "Poppa Large", you’re not human.
Ultramag gets a lot of praise on the internet these days. Their whole catalog is openly celebrated and it floats through the internet’s illegal download canals popping boners worldwide. I know it’s blasphemy to say, but you can throw out the rest of Ultramag’s catalog and I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Sure, it was all ahead of it’s time at the time, but it’s now very dated and somewhat irrelevant, except for this song.
This song single-handedly paved the way for Kool Keith’s amazing post-UMC output. He worked the same style of rapid-fire crazy man rhymes into all of his best solo projects. It’s been well documented that this song was conceived through the influence of cocaine, and if you’ve done coke before, you know it gives you this enormous feeling of self-worth and false brilliance. At some point you sober up, and you realize everything you said while you were high was bullshit and you’re still the same sack of shit loser you were before. "Poppa Large" was a cocaine high at its full realization. It’s everything cocaine is supposed to be to everyone who uses it, but very rarely does a person actually achieve their goal of creativity and brilliance beyond their normal output level, but Keith beat the odds and hit a grand slam.
To top it off, you can’t find another video that fits the mood of a song as perfectly as the video to "Poppa Large". Keith is running around grimy locales in a straightjacket and birdcage on his head, and Bono sunglasses way before Bono even rocked them. Spitting schizophrenic syllables like one of those demons from anime movies that have a hundred dicks that shoot out of their chest, except instead of dicks, Keith has words and couplets spurting from every pore of his body and raping any nearby bug-eyed schoolgirl verbally. “Pick ‘em up, eat ‘em up, Pick ‘em up, beat ‘em up. Pick ‘em up, pimplehead. Pick ‘em up, picky. I roll wit globs and I cum real sticky.” That shit looks simplistic and silly on paper, but Keith works it into a frenzy until you are absolutely convinced he’s the best fucking rapper on the planet. A lot of people will say Rakim or Wu or Nas, or BIG, but to me, this is the most quotable rap song ever made, and it’s way more quotable than that Big Lebowski movie and morons all over the country have Big Lebowski parties where they dress up like the characters and smoke joints and watch the movie for the 900th time. Why aren’t there "Poppa Large" parties? Fuck, I’m not fat enough (yet) to get the lyrics to an entire rap song tattooed on me, but if I had to do such a thing, it would be this song, and I’d make sure to get the “cum real sticky” part right above my junk, because that would be cute.

Raven Mack: At one point, I still considered myself stylish enough and good-looking enough to be cool, so I didn't fuck with retarded shit. And now, it's not so much I'm not stylish or good-looking so much as I'm old so my style and looks is dated and makes the Lil Mamas with their cum-glazed lip gloss roll their eyes at me instead of give a second lascivious look. So I sorta missed out on a lot of the Ultramagnetic love the first time around because they were in that kook genre of hip hop where you had to be hardcore or weird to get into it. Still, "Poppa Large" filtered into my too-cool world, and good lord, of course Kool Keith did, because I am a white dude. Around 1996, I think it was standard Whiteboy Talking Points Bulletin Point #3 to jock Kool Keith as the greatest rapper to ever breath oxygen on earth or elsewhere maybe.
Kool Keith for me, at this point, creates conflict. I have thoroughly enjoyed some of his solo shit (probably my favorite, oddly and contrarian enough, would be the tape of Mathew), and some of it is just what it is - stupid weird shit that's weird for the sake of being weird. However, my enjoyment of Kool Keith is so far outweighed by giant fucking doofuses living every aspect of their life in ironic comedy explaining to me how great Kool Keith is, it's hard for me to even give half a fuck about him. I am sure, when we were compiling this list about four years ago when we started, I probably never voted for this "Poppa Large" track because of that. Even though it's a great fucking song. Mike's right - Keith is dialed in on this one like few rappers have ever gotten themselves dialed in for a track. I also am glad this list forced me to rediscover this song, although because of my aforementioned Kool Keith personal conflict, I can only enjoy it during completely solo private moments.
(Also, don't be the cuntface who tells me, "Hey, if you like something, you should just like it because fuck all those other people." Yeah right. When the poorly-complexioned chubster comic book geek who is mad cool on dark corners of internet forumland starts wearing t-shirts of some shit you like, you know it's time to leave that shit behind. Guilt by association, and regardless of how good something is, you don't need to get yourself all associated with faggots. Of course, that's more of my too-cool attitude coming through again, but fuck it; it got me this far, I'll take it to the grave.)

Download: Ultramagnetic MC's - Poppa Large (East Coast Mix)

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