The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features

A long time comin'

La Coka Nostra's been prepping this debut for a minute
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 17, 2009

VIDEO: Slaine and Ill Bill of La Coka Nostra, "It's a Beautiful Thing"

In March 2006, for the first time in years, Slaine had good reason to abstain from punishing his nostrils at suicidal rates. The then-fledgling Southie MC had spent the prior week at Lethal's crib in Los Angeles, where the House of Pain and Limp Bizkit DJ flew him to record tracks and have a break from the drug hell that he was immersed in around Southie. In years past, Slaine had fought off hepatitis-scarred junkies in detox at the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury. Irish hip-hop cats look out for one another; around 2000 – when he temporarily left Boston in search of a career in New York — an often-homeless Slaine (known then as John Doe) used to crash on House of Pain member Danny Boy O'Connor's couch.

On his 2006 Cali adventure, Slaine was impressed that women suddenly found his pasty round physique attractive when he climbed behind the wheel of Lethal's Beemer. But the highlight of his trip came in the studio, where Slaine's childhood rhyme hero, Everlast, was inspired to write raps for the first time since he traded his mic game for the Grammy-winning Whitey Ford persona ("It was like having a beast on each side of me at all times keeping the old man in shape," says Everlast about trading verses with Slaine and Ill Bill). Lethal laid the beats, Non-Phixion cult leader Bill jumped in the cut, Everlast lived up to his name, and Slaine — who, back home, was still squatting in a grimy Southie crack den — was on the verge of pitching for a House of Pain expansion team known as La Coka Nostra. LCN play the massive Rock the Bells tour at the Comcast Center this Saturday.

Though the crew only started recording three years ago — and took until this week to drop its debut disc, A Brand You Can Trust (Suburban Noize) the LCN concept was born roughly half a decade ago in Danny Boy's imagination, and has since touted myriad affiliates and incarnations (past core members include Big Left and Kaves from Lordz of Brooklyn). Since conception, they've been dubbed everything from a white-rap all-star squad to a hip-hop mob of sorts. One frightening portrait features the central LCN characters surrounded by a gang of roughnecks whom Shaq wouldn't battle with a chainsaw. But despite LCN being an internationally notorious group whose members have collectively sold tens of millions of records — catalyzing an online movement that makes the 2 Girls 1 Cup phenomenon eat shit — it took more than just skills, props, and contacts to cook a convincing classic and avoid being hip-hop's answer to Rock Star Supernova.

Waking the dread
In Boston, Slaine is a hometown anti-hero; since linking with LCN, he's also dropped a money solo disc, collaborated on the critically fellated Special Teamz project with Beantown stalwarts Jaysaun and Edo G, and, as a kicker, played a substantial role in Ben Affleck's directorial debut, Gone Baby Gone. Slaine also married his long-time girl and had a son, which was why the only time he could do this interview was in his car while running errands the night before jetting overseas for LCN's first European tour.

1  |  2  |  3  |   next >
Related: Here we go, yo, Scrunk happens, From ’Ye to mixtapes, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment, Hip-Hop and Rap, Everlast,  More more >
  • Share:
  • Share this entry with Facebook
  • Share this entry with Digg
  • Share this entry with Delicious
  • RSS feed
  • Email this article to a friend
  • Print this article
HTML Prohibited
Add Comment

[ 01/31 ]   Damon & Naomi + Sharon Van Etten + Michio Kurihara  @ Brattle Theatre
[ 01/31 ]   Dixie Diehards Jazz Band  @ Cape Cod Museum of Art
[ 01/31 ]   Ani DiFranco + Gabi Moreno  @ Tupelo Music Hall
[ 01/31 ]   Cowsills  @ Wolf Den @ Mohegan Sun
[ 01/31 ]   Boston Kleztet  @ Newton Free Library
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   FRESH VETZ | VET STATUS  |  January 27, 2010
    It's a bright sign for hip-hop when at least three promising subterranean sluggers ride flows comparable to that of the almighty Nas.
    Jenny Ulysee was inside her stepmother's hair salon in Mariani, Haiti, when the January 12 earthquake caused a nearby building to buckle and collapse onto the roof of her family's business.
    Scott Brown’s Senatorial victory is merely the latest sign that red tides are creeping upon our once-progressive Commonwealth. Don’t believe us? Consider that Kenny Chesney sells out Gillette Stadium every summer, and, of course, that wealthy Republican presidential hopeful with the fantastic hair was recently our Governor.
  •   AFTERSHOCK  |  January 20, 2010
    From the second that the Richter scale registered at 7.0 in Haiti, a desperate grief rippled through Hyde Park, Dorchester, and other corners of this region, which is home to the third-largest Haitian population in America.
  •   MAN AT WORK  |  January 20, 2010
    It's easy to manufacture illusions of rap stardom. Any MySpace whiteboy with a few grand can fill a mixtape with big cameos, and for a little more, guests will even shout his name out. But though such pay-for-spray practices have kept established artists eating they've also compromised the organic dynamics that once pushed the genre forward.

 See all articles by: CHRIS FARAONE

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2010 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group