Who’d have thought that out of all the MC’s on Big L’s “Da Graveyard” it would be Jay-Z that’d become the most famous? This song is where I first heard Party Arty, a rapper from the Bronx with a gruff voice and a menacing delivery; someone I was sure would be destined for fame. Like much of the talent from the golden era, this of course never happened. Instead the weakest verse led to one of the biggest Hip-Hop careers of all time. Your mum, your grandma, and your neighbour will all know who Jigga is but ask them who Party Arty is and they’ll probably shrug.
Party Arty, real name Arthur Sheridan, passed away in 2008 without ever releasing a solo album. Having contributed to numerous D.I.T.C. tracks, Arty appeared on a few unreleased projects. He absolutely blessed the hook on Showbiz, A.G. And Diamond D’s “You Want It?” with his husky vocals. How this track never became big I’ll never know.
And here’s Arty on “Neighbahood Sickness” by Showbiz And A.G. from their unreleased album Goodfellas…
Even Party Arty’s group the Ghetto Dwellas (along with D-Flow) never made it big despite them making a hand-full of decent joints.
Take the music video to “Mott Haven” as an indication to what’s happening to underground Hip-Hop in general; this video is so low quality that it’s in danger of fading away.
Fuck the mainstream. Here’s Party Arty freestyling in the streets, because that’s were the talent always resides.
I’d normally add a “Best Of” playlist but pretty much every song I’d add aren’t available on modern streaming services. It’s an irritating situation that for a monthly subscription, Joe Public doesn’t have to think too hard or search too hard for their music… it’s all there we’re told but it fucking well isn’t. But I guess that’s for another article.
Party Arty like all but one rapper he came up with, is underground but deserves to be mentioned with all the overrated mainstream musicians. Like the line in the ironically forgotten Pianos In The Projects; “I just hope they don’t forget me, I want the world to miss me”.
This is a previously unpublished article I started writing in 2014 with updated embeds and playlist.