This past weekend I set a very strict goal for myself: I had to listen to at least 3 90’s hip hop albums a day. Thanks to rateyourmusic.com and Apple Music, I did just that. My vinyl collection is full of classics from that era, so I also decided to give The Low End Theory, Illmatic, and Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik a spin.
Although Nas put us smack dab in the streets of New York, giving us an inside look at poverty, violence, and the effects this can have on a young black male, I wanted to hear something even grittier. I immediately thought about 36 Chambers, but I had played that hundreds of times before. Before searching for something similar, I decided to hit my inbox.
The first unread submission came from New Jersey lyricist Deal The Villain. His new album was titled Beards, Beats, and Kicks, and the title alone enticed me to click on the link. Boy, was I glad I did.
This was the album I had been craving, and I didn’t have to do any research. The beats stood out from the jump, as Knxwledge, Flying Lotus, S1ncere, and Deal handled the raw production. They were able to create a cohesive soundscape, incorporating gritty drums, classic samples, and funky grooves. Deal adds pure lyricism, and a wide range of real life subject matter. We hear a small part of his personal identity, along with a full spectrum of topics from death, narcotics, relationships, political strife, and the art of hip hop.
Although I was barely born when Wu-Tang’s debut dropped, while listening I felt like I was in the studio with Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, and the rest of the clan. BB&K is a trip down memory lane, all the way down to the recording style. This is highly recommended, so give it a spin and support with a donation.
Executive production duties handled by Michael Cadigan, Lyriq2Go and Myk Dyaleks