Get 2 Know Deaf 2 U

Deaf 2 U aka Deaf 2 U Productions/Inc. was the production duo of Lucious "Luck" Mercer and Neal "Purp" Forrester, who first met at Amityville Junior High School. The group produced three songs for Gee Street singer Ambersunshower (previously a member of the duo Groove Garden) and another three for De La Soul, culminating with masterpiece "Trying People," the final track on AOI: Bionix. Shortly thereafter, they reemerged producing and rapping under the new name, Mood Doctors, with their debut album General Medicine released independently on a label called Deaf 2 U. (Mood Doctors have since released no fewer than seven albums, but that's for another post or seven.) 

Mercer and Forrester did also rap under the name Deaf 2 U on at least one song, "Caution," which appeared on Tags Of The Times Version 2.0, a compilation put out by Japanese label Mary Joy Recordings in 1999. An interesting artifact of its times, this compilation series featured tracks from some of the most popular underground hip-hop acts of the late '90s and early '00s, including Company Flow, MF DOOM, Talib Kweli, Aesop Rock and Aceylaone to name just a few. Nevertheless, Deaf 2 U's appearance stands out and not just because it's the only song they released under the name. It's also noteworthy to hear two artists who came up under De La Soul (if you haven't figured it out already Luck is Posdnuos's brother) rapping on a song produced by Da Beatminerz's Mr. Walt in a kind of alternative hip-hop setting. In that sense, "Caution" foreshadows the turn De La themselves would take on their AOI albums.

Below you can hear "Caution" followed by Deaf 2 U's first credit, Ambersunshower's "Blue Skies Butterflies" (1995), and De La Soul's "Oooh," "Foolin'" and "Trying People." (For the other two Ambersunshower tracks Deaf 2 U did, you'll have to dig up her Walter T. maxi-single.)


Lungs - Osprey Tape

Repping NYC's Tase Grip by way of our Wrong Island, Lungs aka Lone Sword spits on this, his Osprey Tape, like a rap fiend scripting bars far beyond a regular user's fatal dose o'er beats like flakes picked from carpet, gathered together and sculpted into one glorious hit. A 26th birthday present to self, it's his longest and most complete project to date, which also makes Osprey a fittting, though long overdue, debut for Lungs on this here site. Stream continuous

Break Plissken - Not an End in Itself

Another timely blend from the Break man's Minneapolis sessions.


Dunbar - "Why You Do That" (prod. by Josh Lamont)

For "Why You Do That," Dunbar summoned up the type of Josh Lamont beat that helped make Rozewood's The Ghost of Radio Raheem one of, if not the, last decade's dopest documents of Amityville hip-hop. It's short, slow, and straight to the point of slapping the shit out of you. Sure Shot and Bunchy Cartier's No Hook 3 has been operating in kind since October 2020.


Kaleber - "P.T.I." ft. Zonya Love

The words "it's been a long time" speak more than volumes in hip-hop; they speak classics bridging decades. When Kaleber raps them on "P.T.I.," they speak too of the silence between now and the stated departure, of an endless unspoken void all the more familiar now in times of isolation and distance, and of the indescribable regret one knows feeling they could have done something more to prevent that departure, to close that distance. "P.T.I." embodies the indescribable and in so doing, one hopes, helps to heal the lasting unimaginable trauma Kaleber has endured losing his brother and going on in this world without him.