Ultramagnetic MC's Critical Beatdown: A 25th Anniversary Retrospective
Other groups in New York began to take notice of the sound and overall sonic aesthetic Ultramagnetic MC's were putting forth in their recordings and either took cues from them or it spurned them to become more detailed in their own production. Ced Gee was in the middle of a circle of DJ's, producers & studio engineers that would forever change the way Rap sounded in New York during the late 80's. Amongst them was Marley Marl, DJ Mark The 45 King, Kurtis Mantronik, Ivan "DJ Doc" Rodriguez, the members of The Bomb Squad and Paul C. The Bomb Squad have always cited the production on the early Ultramagnetic MC's singles as being highly influential on the sonic aesthetic they crafted on It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back.
Keith, Ced, Moe and Trevor shifted the brunt of their recording, mixing and production from the Ultra Lab to Paul C and CJ Moore's Studio 1212 when they began recording the rest of the album which would become Critical Beatdown. Over the course of what took about a month Ced Gee made beats using the records provided for him by Moe Love and TR Love while taking direction and constructive criticism from Paul C in the studio in regards to recording. "Ced Gee (Delta Force One)" and "Kool Keith Housing Things" were produced and recorded in the Ultra Lab. While Ultramagnetic were seen as individuals that were divergent from the rest of the Rap world there were a lot of well known Hip-Hop luminaries involved in their careers and the creation of this album.
Red Alert was responsible for making the connection that brought Ultramagnetic MC's to Eddie O'Loughlin's Next Plateau Records, which at the time was a burgeoning Rap label home to acts like Red Alert, Hurby Luv Bug (as Hurby's Machine) Black, Rock & Ron, Kings Of Pressure, Salt N' Pepa and Antoinette. Critical Beatdown was also executive produced by Andre Harrell of Uptown/MCA and at the time Ultra was recording at Studio 1212 acts like CJ Moore's Black By Demand, The Heartbeat Brothers, Mikey D & The L.A. Posse and Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud were making notable recordings. Paul C even contributed here and there during the production process, including producing the classic "Give The Drummer Some". Ced Gee, Marley Marl, DJ Mark The 45 King & Paul C were among the wave of producers that revived the interest in James Brown by sampling his back catalog to craft beats that resonated with fans worldwide.
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