Posting up at lunchtime! Feel bad though cos I didn’t listen to Wale properly yet. Maybe this week could be for both?
I reckon we should feel free to discuss records from previous weeks if we’re catching up!
should really listen to wale again because I sort of stopped paying attention part way through which isn’t in the spirit of this. but then again, I stopped paying attention for a reason so maybe not. it’s a lot longer than I remembered it being
Yaggfu Front - “Action Packed Adventure!” - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Think I’ve mentioned quite a few times that mid-90s ('94-'98 era) East Coast hi- hop has kind of always been the sweet spot for me. More recently have been checking for records from just before this period though, from when the East Coast wasn’t as super-serious and there seemed to be a bit more variety and colour. I guess this was the sound that was most prevalent when I a young teenager and was just starting to get into hip-hop. I wasn’t a total head at this stage, though, so a lot of great records (this one included) passed me by.
Yaggfu Front were actually from North Carolina (the first rap group from NC to sign to a major, no less) and was made up of three dudes who met each other while working as DJs on their local hip-hop radio show. Despite their tough guy sounding moniker (Yaggfu = You’re Gonna Get Fucked Up) their album is a lot of fun. Pretty big Pharcyde and Native Tongues influence and and the production leans heavily on jazz samples similar to Premier on the first couple of Gang Starr records. Lyrical themes are all over the place, and some of the songs and skits are genuinely funny (aside from the intro). They handle all of the production themselves and (imo) have great chemistry as a group which has obviously come from spending a stack of time together. Really like a lot of the self-depreciating humor, particularly in relation to girls, that you don’t usually hear that much of.
Think this sold respectably at the time (200k+), but this was entirely via word of mouth as Polygram gave them hardly any promotion at all. Disappointed, the group asked to leave their label and broke up without releasing anything else, which is a real shame. Still, their name is now enshrined in history as part of the DiS Listening Club, so they get their dues in the end! Hope you guys enjoy…
Nice choice! A name I’ve always been familiar with, but I couldn’t name more than one YAGGFU track off the top of my head, other than the one with the video where RA Rugged Man gets carjacked (Busted Loop).
Like you, I wasn’t really drawn to these less serious acts at the time (I always lumped these guys in with the likes of Y’all So Stupid, Mad Kap, Fu Schnickens, Das EFX etc).
I was sure they made a bit of a comeback, but apparently not. Wikipedia says they did stuff with the DemiGodz and I remember Apathy shouting them out at the beginning of ‘Compatible’ so assumed they had joined that crew.
A few tracks in and I’m digging it. Will report back.
Nice! I have literally never heard of this and based off the description it’s right in the sweet spot of what I like so really looking forward to this one
Awesome. How good was Yo! MTV raps?!
When was that? Because he actually threw PM Dawn off stage at some show didn’t he?
No idea when it dates but yeah Yo! MTV Raps is a treasure trove.
also the idea that he’s basically beefing them because their lyrics are meaningless is funny considering the kind of serious heads vs. mumble rapper dialogue that you get a lot atm
Ha - I very nearly picked Van Full Of Pakistans for this week!
I’m really into this period at the moment. More of a mix of styles than my own personal golden age. You the tail end of the sampledelic era (before the copyright claims really started to take their toll) and a wide range of styles - hardcore like Onyx and Black Moon coexisting with the Native Tongues (who were absolutely in the ascendancy during this period) also coexisting with the Afrocentric groups like PRT, Brand Nubian and X-Clan. I have this kind of half-baked, wanky theory about how Enter The Wu-Tang and Midnight Marauders being released on the same day at the end of '93 was symbolic of the end of one era and the beginning of the next, but I’ll spare you the details!
Never really checked for DemiGodz before - going to give them a go…
Ehhh - wouldn’t go out of your way. A few good singles but pretty unmemorable. Generic indie boom bap that was rife around 2000. ‘Compatible’ by Apathy is probably the only thing I go back to nowadays.
I dig this theory!
I nearly picked this too! I actually own it on CD. Worst album title ever.
I know! Has absolutely no connection with the group, or anything that happens on the album! No idea why they picked it.
Did you have it at the time? Props if so. Before the internet era I spent a long time looking for all of the early Rowdy Records stuff (YSS and Da King and I were the main ones I wanted) without any success at all. I have them both now, but this is not the claim to fame that it used to be…
I had a dubbed copy on tape, and got the CD years later when I got into eBay.
I had ‘Contemporary Jeep Music’ at the time on CD though! I grew up in Southend, which was crap for music shopping, apart from ONE shop (Soul Man Records) that had loads of vinyl and a lone CD rack that always had imported gems in, and I’d always just buy stuff I’d never heard of. Remember getting a few gems in there - King and I, Hard 2 Obtain, a few others.
Contemporary Jeep Music is so great. Also some evidence confirming that Mecca and The Soul Brother was another BIG influence from this period.
I remember the days of import CDs - £18-25 shots in the dark! The absolute joy when you’d picked a winner was totally worth it though. Remember getting the Rough House Survivers album (Straight From The Soul) like this and thinking it was the greatest thing. Have you heard that one? More Pete Rock influenced goodness…
I love that Hard 2 Obtain record too.
Know the name, but never checked the whole album. I’ll add it to my growing list.
Yeah - import prices were crazy. Although a single copy of an album would often serve about 6 of us via cassette bootlegs. I think that’s why I can’t bring myself to bin all my CDs, even though they’ve sat unplayed in the attic for years.
I’m really enjoying this. First couple of tracks and I was finding it quite generic (that sample on ‘Where’d You Get Your Bo Box?’ that Black Moon and loads of other people used) but then it kind of springs to life on Trooper 101.
Really like ‘Black Liquid’ and really subtle piano on ‘Slappin’ Suckas Silly’.
Production on this is in my sweet spot. Mr Hook sounds like RZA got trapped in a jazz lounge
Dunno if it’s just how modern speakers handle it, but so much hip-hop from this era has the vocals feeling really muddy and low down in the mix. Always feel like i’m straining to listen to the rappers. (Busted Loop just came on and is better in this respect, actually)
My Dick Is So Large is making me chuckle perhaps more than it should