Captain Rapp ‘Bad Times (I Can’t Stand It)’ (greg wilson edit)
Previously limited vinyl only 2009.
With all the talk of recession during late 2008 through 2009, Captain Rapp’s ‘Bad Times’ kept running through my head, prompting the idea to put together this edit, which would be pressed to limited vinyl as part of the Ruff Edits series, appearing as ‘Ruff Rapp’ on Ruff Edits #3. Now, with the news reporters back to warning us of a rocky road ahead, with all the social problems this might entail, it provides a topical opportunity to share it here.
Taking its lyrical cue from 1982’s seminal recording, ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, ‘Bad Times (I Can’t Stand It)’ was a socially conscious rap that explored the issues of the day, topped off with the raw pleas of singer Kimberley Ball. Just as important though was the killer Electro-Funk groove that set the more discerning of dancefloors alight. A proper underground tune that was huge for me during the latter part of ’83 , topping my floorfillers list not long before I called time on my DJ career:
This was very much a track you’d only hear if you were tuned into what was going on in the black clubs over here. Like the majority of tracks I played, I’d picked it up on import from Spin Inn, the essential shop in the North for Soul, Funk, Disco, Electro-Funk and Jazz (the elements that made up a specialist night circa ‘83). As I've said before, if you didn't buy your records at an import stockist like Spin Inn, you couldn't seriously aspire to be a black music specialist, and Spin Inn was right up there, along with an elite of shops, like Groove and City Sounds in London, shaping the course of UK club culture via the constant stream of dance music, great, good and not so good, they brought into this country.
Whereas New York was the centre of the dance universe at this time, its hybrid groove and technological experimentation pushing the music ever forward, ‘Bad Times’ was a West Coast, not East Coast track, released on a small label out of Los Angeles called Saturn, with unknowns, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (along with Rich Cason), credited as arranging and performing (Jam & Lewis would, of course, become the most successful dance / R&B producers of the mid-late 80’s). Captain Rapp himself was Larry Earl Glenn, whose 1981 ‘Gigalo Rapp’ (by Disco Daddy & Captain Rapp) has its place in history as the first West Coast Rap 12”.
‘Bad Times’ would be issued in the UK on the Becket label, but failed to make any real impact beyond the black scene. As such, it’s always retained its underground credentials, and a place in the hearts of black music enthusiasts with a fond ear for the early 80’s.
Greg Wilson – October 2011
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