‘When The Glove is on the Wheels of Steel, he’s Reckless’ raps the familiar voice, the raw rasp of a young O.G on top of his game, before the tune explodes into cuts and scratches that threaten to tear your speakers apart right there. You resist an urge to pull out a windmill on your lino square and instead slump back in your seat with a grin, head-bobbing to the frenetic B-Boy beat, re-imagining your body popping heyday. The 12” on your player is none other than Ice-T and Chris “The Glove” Taylor’s 1984 electro monster, ‘Reckless’, with additional input from Dave Storrs (aka The Alien Wizard). B-Side is the equally phenomenal ‘Tibetan Jam’.
You will possibly know ‘Reckless’ from the 1984 movie ‘Breakin’’, where Ice-T appears as a party MC, an early appearance from the true Original Gangster and proof, were it needed, that he has been doing it for decades. But don’t hold that questionable introduction against it. Instead revel in a tune, which, with its sparse yet intricate production and perfect unison of rapper and DJ in head-to-head harmony and mutual musical appreciation, serves as a perfect reminder of hip-hop’s early power and sheer originality of sound.
We all know what happened to Ice-T, a fascinating road of original gangstability, rap stardom, political baiting, movie making, heavy-metalling, and televisual pastiche. But what of the magical hands in The Glove? Well the full story is too long to go into, plus we don’t really know it. What we do know, however, is that Chris “The Glove” Taylor was a key player in the early West Coast hip-hop scene, alongside fellow pioneers DJ Flash, Kid Frost and The Egyptian Lover. Along with Ice-T he was part of pioneering group The Radio Crew on the equally significant Electrobeat Records, and with that crew released the ultra-ultra-rare EP “Breaking and Entering”, accompanying the 1983 documentary of the same name. It was The Glove’s hand that you see at the beginning of Chaka Khan’s 1984 Melle-Mel intro-ed classic cover of ‘I Feel For You’, and throughout the video. And it is The Glove who has extensive mixing credits on Dre’s ‘The Chronic’ as well as production rights on Nas and co’s 1997 ‘The Firm’ album. Two true legends whose influence goes on, far and wide from the coast that birthed them.