Saturday, May 20, 2017

'97 Retrospective, Celebrating 20 Years --> "For The People"

Looking back at mid-1997, I remember the first ever Boot Camp Clik album being heavily anticipated. After TIGHT releases from Black Moon, Smif N Wessun, Heltah Skeltah and O.G.C. between '93 and '96 respectively, all eyes were on "For The People" and much like the Wu-Tang Clan, when you get all the members together backed by some quality production, the results tend to be dope. The classic "Headz Are Reddee Pt. II" was the album's lead single and trust me, I'll have more to say about that later. In addition to Buckshot, Tek, Steele, Ruck, Rock, Starang Wondah, Top Dog and Louieville Sluggah, again much like the Wu, the BCC's extended family comes along for this Duck Down ride in the form of The Reps (aka The Representativez), B.T.J.'s, Swan & Boogie Brown, F.L.O.W. and ILLa Noyz. And before I get to the album, allow me to tell a story, and with this being '97, you know I have one, lol. On June 28th, a few days after my 13th birthday, I bought Wu-Tang's "Wu-Tang Forever" and Camp Lo's "Uptown Saturday Night" from a local spot, "Crockett's Records, Tapes, & CDs." I was VERY close to picking this BCC album over Camp Lo, but in the end Camp Lo's album was my pick (I would cop "For The People" months later). Ah, the memories. Now loyal reader, let's dive right into the BCC's debut album!

Release date: May 20, 1997

Saturday, April 15, 2017

"Checking in"

Well what's going on hip hop world, I hope all is going well with you as we speak! Things are progressing well on my end, even with my busy schedule these days. Speaking of which, said (busy) schedule is the reason why I haven't been creating/producing content on the blog outside of the '97 Retrospectives (the next one on deck may be the first Boot Camp Clik album, "For Da People"). As the blog moves toward it's 5th year, I want to say thanks for all of you for your continued support, it's very appreciated!! In addition, I also have a "special project" in the works that'll be presented hopefully within the next few months, so stay tuned for that. In closing, thank you again for the support. Have a great day!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

'97 Retrospective, Celebrating 20 Years --> The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Life After Death"

This retrospective is taken directly from my October 23, 2013 project highlighting The Notorious B.I.G. Any new/updated thoughts will be bold and italicized.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

'97 Retrospective, Celebrating 20 Years --> "The Mix Tape Volume II"

Man, it certainly has been a while since I've talked in depth about Funkmaster Flex on the blog hasn't it, lol? Instead of going back to a previous post and doing it verbatim style, I'm going to tell a particular story again as it relates to Flex. Back in late '95, I remember my cousin Andre copping Flex's "Mix Tape Volume 1" on tape. Prior to that, I didn't know that Flex was dropping a mixtape (the first official one of its kind), however, when I checked this out the first time, I thought it was incredible. In addition to having 1-2 minute editions/snippets of classics that were very familiar to these ears, the freestyles were the highlights of the mixtape, including memorable showcases from the likes of Erick Sermon, Keith Murray, Redman, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Rampage, Fat Joe, Big Pun, Q-Tip, Kaotic Style and a closing "speech" from KRS-One. If you haven't heard "Volume 1" before (and I'm not sure why you wouldn't have at this point in time), I strongly recommend you add it to your collection and to those who already own it, revisit it sometime, I'm sure it's going to take you back.

All of this brings us to the follow up, "Volume II" and yes, the story continues, lol. My aunt Denise knew a local guy in our area who used to come through with CDs, tapes, movies, etc, the "hookups", lol. Previously, she already got me the movie "Rhyme & Reason" when it was just hitting the theaters (in a limited fashion). So, in either late February or early-mid March of '97, the guy came by and in addition to a few other joints, he had a brand new copy of "Volume II" on cassette, and once I was able to look at the tracklist, a whopping 44 tracks, I happily asked Denise if she could buy it for me and she did! You know I was happy as hell. I would hold onto the cassette until I got the CD several weeks later. Also, I was in the 7th grade at the time and in Art class, I remember tracing the following picture for an assignment:

As you can see, this mixtape holds such a STRONG nostalgic vibe with me and that'll be felt all through this retrospective.

I'll mostly focus on the freestyles and other "exclusives" throughout the mixtape. I'll list the other classic songs that Flex included, but I won't talk in depth about those, respectively. So, without further delay, let's get right to it!!!!!!

Release date: February 11, 1997