Who?: Sir Ibu (of Divine Force)
So one of my peeps hits me up like, and I quote, “Alvin, if you can find “Holy Wars” (1988?) by Sir Ibu, Supreme and Nefertiti in downloadable form, I’ll name my first born after you.” No need for all that since aiding others in the name of fresh Hip-Hop is part of my Personal Legend a la The Alchemist (not the rapper/producer).
Well, after some savvy Internet searching I have found the track (above) in question; it is truly a rare Golden Age of Rap gem. The name Sir Ibu will befuddle neophyte rap fans. Q-Tip gives him a name drop in his “Renaissance Rap” video (why it didn’t get its own track on his great The Renaissance album is still perplexing), but here is a little background… [continued after video]
Sir Ibu is one of the MCs in Divine Force, a rap outfit so obscure that the only substantial info I could find on them was usually around and about Ego Trip’s The Big Playback album [ahem, which I have on vinyl, sealed]. The aforementioned album is essentially the companion audio to the through Ego Trip’s Book of Rap Lists.
According to my findings—it was just a Google search…I’m saying, Lexis-Nexis is expensive—Divine Force originally consisted of Master Shykwan, Supreme M.C. and Ice Tee. Eventually Sir Ibu would replace Shykwan, who dipped to join the military, and Jizer got down as the group’s DJ. With the team now set, the group would release “Holy War” on Yamak-Ka Records in 1987. Interestingly, Yamak-Ka’s president was Melquan, who would shortly thereafter manage the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA. Melquan subsequently secured record deals for the GZA and the RZA at Cold Chillin’ and Tommy Boy Records, respectively.
Sir Ibu would drop a joint called “I’m the Peacemaker” in ’89 via 4th & Broadway Records (the same label that released Eric B & Rakim’s Paid In Full). I can’t find much on Ibu after that. Another example of this almost forgotten MCs influence is on Ghostface’s “Mighty Healthy.” Mr. Starks interpolated some of Ibu’s bars on this early Supreme Clientele heater. Seems like Ibu did get a check for that tribute, though. (below)