I mentioned these dudes in my last post on Chicago rap. Well I ordered their ‘underground classic,’ which showed up a week or two ago, with a note in the corner of the photocopied case that this is a ‘limited edition (100 CD’s Only)’. So you should get on this now if you get a chance, 20 bucks sucks I guess but its worth it.
As it turns out this shit is better than I expected. Its got this self-serious late-90s storyline that that takes on this dated ‘don of the clique’/mobster/’roaring 20s’/’the family’ mythology, but I have to say I’ve played it more than most of the rap that actually came out this winter, dated 90s sub-firm nonsense or not. I don’t know how much of my interest is because they’re local, but other than “North Pole Anthem” the majority of this shit isn’t about Chicago, really; some of my favorite chicago rap sounds like it could have come from anywhere. Its just really tight late 90s rap music with really focused and occasionally personal lyricism – and more proof that paranoia can inspire some of the best rap music.
To give you an idea of their range, here’s some lyrics off the more introspective cut “No Surrender,” which sounds like GZA/Killah Priest’s “BIBLE” except with better rapping.
I took advantage of the times that I had
lost my mama when I crashed,
and my father he was fatally stabbed
n***as was sad, cuz the tramp that murdered him, she was trash
n***as was mad, at my father cuz he left us the cash
it wouldn’t last a year
before my funds were exhausted, disappeared
totally clear, becoming broke was my fear
No I couldn’t, never turn to my peers
so many tears, no idea, didn’t have changin gear
livin in fear that i would be abandoned
alienated, i was trapped, i was stranded
in this society where only cash was demanded
singlehanded i planned my victory
consistency would be the key to unlockin
all of my mysteries
the misery was still inside me
right beside me
left beside me
in front of me
wherever i turned, it was behind me
trouble would find me
money would blind me when my thoughts were infernal
bleedin’ bad i needed stitches from a fence that i hurdled
runnin with drugs in my drawers, I didn’t hesitate, pause
i was determined to escape from these laws….