This story begins around 1992 in a basement of a house in Central Islip in Long Island, NY. The house belonged to an aunt of J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E member, one Curt Cazal. Curt’s cousin, three years his junior had fixed up the basement with a barbershop chair and a bunch of his high school friends would hang out down there when they got out of school and on the weekends. Curt and his cousin would cut hair in the style of the day and cats would hang out the whole afternoon checkin music on the radio or listen to mixtapes on a boom box. If an instrumental came on, an impromtu cypher might start up and Curt had the opportunity to check out a lot of young, local talent. Since J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E had been in a deal for several years, Curt was always looking to put on local C.I. talent and get them heard and signed up to labels. It was at one of these fade-n-rap gatherings that he heard a local 18 year old MC rhyme for the first time.
Keith Murray had some minor experience in the Rap biz. His uncle had been a bodyguard for Big Daddy Kane and he had gone along to a few shows with him. One time Kane was playing at the Nassau Colliseum and he was taken along with a few of his cousins to see the show. His uncle Born would usually encourage the young upstart to spit rhymes for his buddies but at this show he took him backstage and had him perform for the whole Juice Crew. That was his very first experience fraternising with rap pro’s.
As we all know J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E had a deal with Idlers (a subsidiary of Warlock). Idlers had a made a lot of money selling The Jungle Brothers on to Warners after “Straight Out the Jungle” dropped, so they were investing in a lot of fresh, new acts. Curt had a deal with Idlers and played them the “Cause I’m Keefy Keef” joint he had written with Keith. He managed to get an advance from them to record several more tracks with the L.I MC. Curt still had commitments with J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E who were in the deal with Big Beat Records at that time . Due to a combination of touring, recording and Keith wanting to get his shit poppin, the rest of the Keefy tracks were never fully completed. Around this time Keef met and then signed with Erick Sermon and got features on Sermon’s “No Pressure” album on “Hostile” and “Swing It Over Here” – and the rest is history. He becomes part of the Def Squad crew along with EPMD and Redman and drops his debut album and single “The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World” on Jive in 1994.
Now, we’ve been working with Curt since last year (2012) when we dropped the first of the J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E records and in early 2013 we worked together on the Q-Ball & Curt Cazal – Makin Moves 1994 EP. We inquired about the Keefy Keef joints and discovered that all that was left of them were some old Ampex reels (see the sticker art). Curt grabbed an old 8-Track to preview the tracks which he hadn’t revisited for over 20 years. On listening he came to the conclusion that the tracks weren’t clean enough for conversion and release, so he took the very risky step of “baking” the tapes to bring them back to life.
What we have for you is something very special indeed. The baking process was indeed successful and 5 tracks + 1 acapella were salvaged. We have the original demo version of ‘Three’s Company” which appeared on the [bootleg & bootleg of the bootleg] 12″, but this version has an unheard verse by Curt at the beginning of the track. We also have the version “Cause I’m Keefy Keef” that was “released’. But that’s not all – we have 3 amazing bonus joints that have never been heard/leaked: Flow Swifty + Acapella, Lethal Dosage and what was surely destined to be a hit single, “Thoughts My Brain Consume”. This archiving process and the results we have achieved is one of the highlights of all the work we’ve been doing over the past few years. So please, grab an L or an OE brew, chill the f*ck out and BLAST these snippets real loud and check out the very first recordings of Keith “Keefy Keef” Murray…….KA-BOOOOOOOOOOM!!!