Remembering Flava Tribe...
American Retrospective is proud to announce the latest addition to their “Remembering…” series of culturally significant recording artists’ complete discographies. The forty-fifth entry in what Time Magazine has heralded “a time capsule of varying musical genius for all to enjoy,” is the complete collected works of Flava Tribe. Not since the Wyld Stallyns has a group contributed so much to changing the musical landscape of a particular genre as Flava Tribe. Consisting of Wyles Mallo and CmcD the Replicant, Flava Tribe is undoubtedly one of the most influential bands of the past thirty years and remain a constant presence in the modern popular music scene. AR, in conjunction with 1 Tuff Place, is pleased to provide the eager public with the most comprehensive collection of Flava Tribe’s rich musical history in Remembering…Flava Tribe. This six disc set consists of:
Nightingales (1 Tuff Place / Interscope Records)
Flava Tribe’s multi-platinum, critically acclaimed debut album quickly vaulted Wyles Mallo and CmcD the Replicant from the suburban wasteland of Long Island, NY to the forefront of both the recording and teen dreamboat magazine industries. Described by CmcD as a “shiftless commentary on the current state of things, both musically and culinary” Nightingales is made up of both longing and jest. Featuring eclectic, revisionist sampling (solely dependent on the films The NextKarate Kid and the Jeff Speakman vehicle The Perfect Weapon) set against a backdrop of gorgeously trite guitar riffs, Flava Tribe single-handedly ushered in a new style of hip-hop music for the disaffected youth of the Bush administration. Dubbed “Cosmosis” by the drowsy masses, Flava Tribe won fans over not with their exquisitely stylized onstage costume numbers (of which there were many…most involving at least one member in a corset), but with their playful (some say “androgynous”) style of play. Unmistakably catchy with infinite quotable lines, Nightingales birthed the hit singles “Alive”, “Rubber in My Wallet”, and the Grammy-nominated “Pogoballs”. Unlike many similar groundbreaking artists, Wyles and CmcD fully embraced the swanky life that awaited them in the public eye (particularly Mallo who was henceforth known for his bizarre behavior on the strangely popular television program Celebrities Uncensored…having once beaten a paparazzi with a bucket of Kennedy Fried Chicken on the steps of the Viper Room). This penchant for the LA nightlife and a growing dependence on King of Spirits brand Absinthe led to the four year gap between Nightingales and their follow-up album, aptly titled, Beer for Breakfast.
Beer for Breakfast (1 Tuff Place / Interscope Records)
Having relocated to the sunny shores of Malibu, Beer for Breakfast is more than just a sophomore slump record. To call it an overindulgent, masturbatory work of maniacs would even be too gentle. But one way or another, through some cosmic interweaving of Brady Bunch references, a xylophone, and incalculable amounts of narcotics, Flava Tribe delivered what Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed “the single greatest follow-up fuck-up record…EVER.” Poised to not repeat the actions that made Nightingales a success, Wyles and CmcD abandoned the sound that had made them millions of dollars (and for the Replicant, a twice-divorcee). Once again produced solely by Flava Tribe, Beer for Breakfast turned their sound evermore inward, scrutinizing the ideals of celebrity and fame. On “Perfect Strangers” Mallo laments that maybe their sound is “kinda gay” and even “too white for Elijah Wood.” Recognizing the effect their pyrotechnically-drenched stage shows and Rodgers & Hammerstein-influenced music videos had on their key demographic (that being 8-15 year old girls), Flava Tribe reworked their image to accommodate all the vaudevillian trappings they are now known worldwide for. Nowhere a better example than the closing number on Beer for Breakfast, “Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, B, A, select, start,” a twelve minute opus in which CmcD deftly pushes and pulls his lyrical suspenders as far as the song’s fibers allow. To call this album aural heroine is an understatement.
Wyles Mallo – Biscuits & Gravy (Innkeeper’s Daughter Records)
Following their 18 month “Beer for Breakfast…Dry Heaves for Brunch” world tour Flava Tribe announced a yearlong sabbatical to, as Wyles put it, “exorcise our demons…namely alcohol, crack rocks, and Premarin for me and Casino War for CmcD.” Their year apart saw the Replicant wed yet another GED-recipient (this nuptial would last four months, the longest of his three matrimonies) and relocate to the jungle coastline of Honduras for what he called, “an effort to free my mind and encourage the flow of chi throughout my ravaged body.” Wyles Mallo, on the other hand, continued his unabashed lifestyle of high-priced escorts and even higher priced predilection for exquisite cuisine. This year of “fancy dining” (as he often termed it) resulted in the solo endeavor “Biscuits & Gravy,” a concept album depicting a day-in-the-life of Wyles. From the album opener (“Cottonmouth City”) to the closer (“Vomit Pillow”) the listener is invited to be a fly on the wall witnessing Mallo’s seemingly unending appetite for food, drugs, and FDA policymaking (one of his many civic endeavors during the Flava Tribe time off). The album’s rejection of all things hip-hop (no samples, rapping, or posturing) left audiences clamoring for the Flava Tribe cosmosis aesthetic they had all grown to accustomed to. Some thought, that with CmcD’s return to America in late November, the sound they so desperately sought would return.
CmcD – Beyond the Cosmos (1 Tuff Place / Red Shorts Productions)
Emerging from a nine month stint living in the Honduran rainforest, CmcD spent most of his time following his third divorce studying under the tutelage of former college roommate and born again Taoist, G. Todd Fresh. In their self-constructed temple, he taught the Replicant that monetary gains and million-selling albums were less important than retaining a fully stocked wardrobe of skimpy, red mesh shorts. G. Todd (as he was often referred to) educated that it is “not the size of the crotch, but the comfort of the package” that leads to self-awareness, and what better material than 100% nylon? Under his strict doctrines of dress, CmcD eventually revived his communal and professional relationship with Mallo, but under difficult pretenses. Never leaving his Malibu beachfront estate, or changing out of his patented tight red shorts, the Replicant began work on the next Flava Tribe album, tentatively titled Screwface’s Accomplice. Production stalled for months with Wyles reentering the Betty Ford Center (further upping his frequent flier miles there) and CmcD’s mounting impatience with computers and all other “non-elemental beings.” The wheels finally came off in March of that year when, already $10 million over budget, CmcD set fire to all the master recordings of the “Screwface” sessions and proclaimed himself “beyond the cosmos,” thus rebuffing the means of their previous successes. With G. Todd serving as Executive Producer, CmcD recorded “Beyond the Cosmos” in three weeks and, of the few who actually purchased the album, many believe that the process took too long. Selling less than 50,000 copies, “Cosmos” was a decided failure, but CmcD (having in a final act of madness shed the Replicant moniker entirely) saw the cover art and it’s reliance on the color red as a sign of hope. Everyone else gave up on CmcD and, with Wyles Mallo on his seventh unsuccessful road to sobriety, the public turned its focus away from Flava Tribe.
Pocket Change (1 Tuff Place)
Years and months passed without event, CmcD tried his hand in the film industry (all three of his films going straight to video, though Sorcerer Kings in Eden still runs late night on Cinemax every now and again) and Wyles Mallo all but concerned himself exclusively with tabloids and Celebrities Uncensored. Some things that should not have been forgotten, were lost. History became legend, legend became myth, and for two-and-a-half years, Flava Tribe passed out of all knowledge. G. Todd fled the country with the millions he had embezzled from CmcD’s squandered fortune. Wyles had been on the FBI’s Missing Persons list for over seven months. The Flava Tribe brand occupied the same place as New Kids, New Coke, and New Jack, between cool and kitsch FT was no more. Sure, the Danish were just getting their first taste of Beer for Breakfast, but Wyles Mallo, in Flava Tribe’s only Denmark appearance, once walked off the stage in Copenhagen accusing the promoters of lying to him, thinking they were playing Denver, Colorado. All of this changed, when in August of that year an LA-based disc jockey named Sven Carlsson (without coincidence, a first generation Danish immigrant) unearthed a completed song from the “Screwface” sessions, entitled “Lollipops In My Mouth.” The song immediately went into heavy rotation and slowly began its ascension up the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Word spread to an Oregon forest where Wyles was living like John Rambo and he promptly boarded a bus down the coast to CmcD’s ramshackle of a house just off the grounds of the Malibu Sands Beach Club. What resulted from their encounter, and subsequent seven week studio session, is Pocket Change. A minimalist document of floundered aspirations and sposed-to’s, Pocket Change is essential Flava Tribe. Returning as the Replicant, CmcD delivers a now world-weary suspenders cadence to compliment Wyles grizzled vibrato voice and guitar. The samples return in all their glory, on such instant classics as “Just the Two of Us” (a variation on Coach Lubbock and Just the Ten of Us, not Bill Withers’ sentimental favorite of the same name) and “Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs.” The inclusion of “Lollipops” makes this THE definitive Flava Tribe album, the watermark for which all subsequent endeavors will be judged.
Remembering…Flava Tribe ( 1 Tuff Place / American Retrospective Recordings, Inc.)