Friday, February 19, 2021

Universal Species ‎- Southern Special Agents - 1997

12" - 1997 - Strik 9 Records 

 I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of good indie 12" coming from Louisiana reviewed on my blog. This 12" released by Universal Species in 1997 is now definitely one of them. 

Universal Species was a crew from New Orleans comprised of Charlie V, Serp, Southstar, Z' Comma, Pistola, DJ Troubleman & Rupo the Don Capochino. 

Universal Species - Photo courtesy of Charlie V 

This rare wax is composed of 3 tracks titled "Infamous Thoughts Vocals", "Southern Special Agents" & "Zone Gazin" on the A-Side and all the instrumentals on the B-side, all produced by Pistola. After listening to all the tracks, you'll understand that their style had nothing to compare with New Orleans Hip-Hop at that time.

Charlie V : "Off the top of my head, the story of the actual group Universal Species crew forming came into bring I’m guessing was around 1995 .... the various members were joined together. 

You had the DJ Trublman and Z’comma, they were childhood friends from Hollygrove and Gert Town area in Uptown New Orleans. The Caucasian cousins, Serp & Southstar from Metairie, La who were well studied emcees of Nas & Mobb Deep. Both were technically sharp with lyrics! There was the producer / beat maker Pistola from Gentilly area along with the overseer Rupo keeping business in order. 

I myself came on as the Hype Man / Emcee / BBOY and I knew Dj Trublman from High School and the local record store in Hollygrove named Odyssey Records in which I was working."

Charlie V - Photo courtesy of Charlie V

Charlie V : "I was approached to join the group in sessions, I didn’t know how it would work being that, we all loved Hip-Hop but were surrounded by a heavy Bounce Culture in which the lyrics where not the focus ... and we were the opposite !

We began meeting up in Metairie and had writing and beat sessions ...

Our first gig was in Slidell at a firecracker store ...we rocked it ... began doing more shows. We opened up for then local acts such as  Juvenile & Ms.Tee, and we eventually did radio promos for WTUL & Q 93. We finally had enough change and time, we went to Festival Studios and bargain recording the Universal Species crew EP."

Like most of the groups during the 90s, their first 12" was their only one record released. The group members went separate ways after that... 

Charlie V : "Pretty much after the members had kids and other obligations.... everyone moved into other areas like tv production, car sales, etc... I still did TV, some radio and hosted a weekly poetry show from 1998- 2005. First show was Nubian TV 1994-97 then 1997-2003

and 2nd show was called W.R.E.C TV."

Mad Props to Charlie V, thanks for your time. 

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