| Original Concept
Original Concept started out as the Concept Crew, a group who had a popular college radio show on 90.3 WBAU-FM back in the early 1980s. Their show “the Operating Room” was broadcast on Monday nights from Adelphi University on the same station which featured the Spectrum City DJs (Chuck D and Flavor Flav) who later went on to form Public Enemy. The Concept Crew included Andre Brown who went by the moniker “Doctor Dre” (who later went on to DJ for the Beastie Boys), as well as Tyrone “T-Money” Kelsie, Rapper G, Easy G, and Wildman Steve. The June/July 2006 issue of the magazine Wax Poetics contains the definitive written work on WBAU-FM’s disc jockeys.
Although not a lot has been written about Original Concept, the group is probably best known for the song “Can You Feel It.” Bill Adler, who was once the director of publicity for Rush Artist Management, explained it best in the liner notes for the Def Jam Classics Vol. 1 album. “Original Concepts first record “Can You Feel It?” was the B-side of Knowledge Me” which was released in February of 1986. A very dense and funky production, the tune was a kind of hip-hop answer to The Art of Noise’s “Close To the Edit,” and has since become one of the most sampled source records in rap.”
In the fall of 1988, the rap group Original Concept released their Straight From the Basement of Kooley High LP on Def Jam Records. The album’s liner notes credit none other than Michael Diamond for helping out on the track “She’s Got a Moustache.” This was first brought to our attention back in 2003, when someone had the audacity to list a copy for auction on eBay.com with a description mentioning the Beastie Boys rapper Mike D. in bold typeface. Needless to say, that copy sold for two to three times its expected street value and prompted other potential sellers to dig out their copies and advertise them the same way.
If you are wondering why it has taken us awhile to acknowledge this appearance, it is because Michael Diamond’s vocals are not prominent on the track, if they are there at all. Similar to the work Mike D. did on the Los Fabulosos Cadillacs’ album El Satanico Dr. Cadillac, his contribution to Straight From the Basement of Kooley High is not momentous enough to warrant rushing out and buying the album. On the other hand, if you are collector who will feel incomplete until you own a copy, pick up this historic rap LP.