It was all a dream, I first heard Get Retarded on Ego Trip’s The Big Playback CD

MC EZ & Troup – Get Retarded
(From Just Rhymin’/Get Retarded 12″ single; 1988)

What if Get Retarded was the A-side of Craig Mack’s one 12″ as MC EZ and it became a big golden-era hit, consequently changing Mack’s whole career trajectory? Crazy visionz, check it out, BOOM: Fresh Records then had MC EZ & Troup record an album in 1989 and the duo begin rollin’ with Rush Associated management alongside fellow Fresh roster groups EPMD and Nice & Smooth. Thus, EZ & Troup follow EPMD and Nice & Smooth over to Def Jam when Fresh Records folds in 1990 where they release another couple of successful albums in the following years. Fate conspires that Mack still records Flava In Ya Ear, Get Down etc, but they’re MC EZ songs on Def Jam songs rather than Craig Mack songs on Bad Boy – ergo, the Flava In Ya Ear remix features Redman in Biggie’s place and Making Moves With Puff is now titled Making Moves With Russ.

In this parallel trajectory, Puffy still signs another former Fresh Records roster member who’s spent the early 90’s in Rap’s wilderness – Stezo who has now rebranded as Stephen Williams. Hmmm not sure that woulda worked out for Bad Boy tbqh.