This week’s Rock Candy anthem comes from Anthony L. Moss, a.k.a. Mossberg, who grew up in Little Rock and made a nearly perfect Southern rap album, “Ashes II Ashes, Dus 2 Dus,” in 1995. The album came out on Scoop Records, which used to be on Asher Ave. and now appears to be a Shipley Do-Nuts. Among others, in the liner notes, he gives thanks to “Allah tha merciful and forgiving” and to “my Grandmother and my favorite Aunt Pam and all my Homies and Brotha’s in Tha Mountain — Granite Mountain!”
“Granite Mountain Hustler” was his attempt at a radio-ready single, but the album has other great moments, from the low-key muscle flexing on “N-L-M” to some Manson-referencing horror rap on “Black-Hood-N-Axe” (sample lyric: “I’m alone in my home made of human bones”). This is Little Rock rap at its most imaginative and unstable. And the cover art speaks for itself.
The album was engineered by Kenny McCloud, who’s worked with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and Suga Free, and the instrumentals were mostly handled by a cracked genius named Roy “Mace Man” Taylor, who went on to start a band called The Infinious Funk Mob. There’s an incredible video on Youtube of Taylor playing haunting outsider funk on some cable-access talk show in California (he’s uploaded 544 videos so far, actually, a lot of which seem to involve him fishing or cooking).
Moss eventually started going by Durdy, and joined the group Durdy Jack Lex Ball, who made two pretty good albums with guest verses by people like E-40, Young Buck and Bun B. He put out another solo CD called “Earl Flinn” in 2008, and I don’t know what he’s been up to since.