Monday, April 29, 2013

Lost Portals To Secret Realms

Where IS it? Damn it. Way back in 2010, Creative Juices Music released a sampler album with a couple very tantalizing songs by UG of the Cella Dwellas. "Taken from the forthcoming album: Portals," it said. Wow, not only were we finally getting the first solo full-length from UG, but after listening tot he songs, it was clear he was reclaiming his crazily creative  mystical style! By 2011, Portals was being announced all over the blogosphere... videos of UG in the studio were posted... it had (and still has) a "coming soon" page on ughh. They even had an exact date - May 17th. Creative Juices had it listed on their website and every email blast if you were on their mailing list. It was there... and there... and there... It was there all the way until Spring of 2012, when it wasn't there anymore.

Well, I contacted Creative Juices and asked them about it. They gave this disappointing reply, "Since its been there for over a year we decided to take it down until we knew more about what was going on. Thanks."

If you look at Creative's output from 2010-2012, UG was all over it. He's got mad cameo verses and guest spots. He had a couple more songs on their second sampler album in 2012. That album unfortunately didn't specify which projects each song was from, so it's hard to say if any were intended for Portals or just guest spots... Well actually, "We Not Playing" wound up on an Ide album. Even one of the "taken from Portals" songs from the first sampler, "Scripts and Scrolls" eventually wound up being placed on Ide & Alucard's latest album.

Remember the announced return of the Cella Dwellas, too? Where they were doing a reunion album with Nick Wiz? They had a video and everything. It's been a long time since we heard anything about that, too.

Did UG just disappear? His twitter hasn't been updated since 2001. It feels like the UG appearances we were seeing by 2012 were stuff recorded for Portals and Creative Juices just stuck them on other projects rather than let them go to waste. I mean, look at that ad. The album was to be produced by Ide and feature Ill Bill... then there's a song with UG and Ill Bill on Ide's Rite of Passage album? That's gotta be a Portals song. Dude could've dropped off long before his material quit dropping.

And it's especially frustrating because Portals seemed so right for him. Creative Juices has great production that's perfectly suited for UG's voice and exotic lyrical content. I mean, let's face it, some of their core artists are really just guys emulating UG's lyric-writing. But he was still the master. The stuff we heard of him on CJ was some of the best we've heard from him since the Dwellas first came out in the early 90s. Were some of his 12"s or mixtapes a little below par through the late 80s and early 2000s? Yeah, okay. But this album was setting to become a return to form... and that's not just speculation, because we got to hear some of it. Granted, I would've preferred a Necro-produced beat for UG than a verse for his album; but overall this was going to be a great album.

So where is he? Where's Portals? I'd start calling hospitals, except I'm starting to think those calls should've been made back in 2011. But seriously, I want answers. Somebody must know something.


  1. I just came across this. I know its two years later, but i would be happy to explain what happened, whats happening and why Portals has never come out. The songs that surfaced were mainly just features with UG. The material on Portals surpasses by far.

    1. Yes, please! I don't suppose there's any hope of them seeing the light of day at some point?