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“Once Upon A Time” is a maxi-single released in 1993 by the rap group TPS, which stands for Teenage Pimp Squad. Hailing from Los Angeles, California, the group consists of two members, The Madd MC and Tone, who were both part of the group PG-13. Released under the label Sta Shun “S” Record Co., the maxi-single features six tracks showcasing the group’s gangsta hip-hop style.
The maxi-single includes a mix of radio versions, instrumental mixes, and LP mixes. Kicking off with “Shaba Dooda (Radio),” TPS brings a smooth yet gritty sound that captures the essence of early 90s West Coast hip-hop. The track “Once Upon A Time In A Jungle” is a testament to TPS’s storytelling abilities, painting a vivid picture of life in the urban jungle. The instrumental mix of “Shuba Dooda” highlights the production skills of “H” Power, allowing listeners to appreciate the beats and melodies without the vocals.
On the flip side, “Check-N-On My Bitches (Radio)” and “Check-N-On My Bitches (Instrumental Mix)” showcase the duo’s raw and unapologetic lyrical content, which was a staple of the gangsta rap genre during the era. The maxi-single concludes with “Shaba Dooda (LP Mix),” offering a different version of the opening track.
Distributed by “S” Power, “Once Upon A Time” is a snapshot of TPS’s talent and the West Coast rap scene in the early 90s. The group’s unique blend of storytelling and hard-hitting beats is a reminder of the golden age of hip-hop, making the maxi-single a valuable collectible for fans of the genre.