Thursday, January 22, 2015

The BCC Files: Black Moon's "War Zone"

Release date: February 23, 1999

All songs produced by Da Beatminerz

1. "Intro"

2. "The Onslaught" (Buckshot)
Featuring Busta Rhymes

With Busta on the hook, this was a hype (and of course dope) way to set things off after the brief intro. And speaking of dope, that certainly describes the next song I'm about to cover!
*5 out of 5*

3. "War Zone"

Buckshot and 5ft ride this DOPE beat so nicely in true Boot Camp Clik fashion, no doubt, probably one of the dopest songs that even the most hardcore BCC fan haven't heard. (Also in a fun fact, there was a brief version of this, featuring Rock from Heltah Skeltah, that was included on the bonus disc of their "Magnum Force" album.)
*5 out of 5*

4. "This Is What It Sounds Like (Worldwind)

Another dope song here with Buckshot coming through on the solo tip. Lyrically you could tell three songs in that Buck was stepping his game up.
*4 out of 5*

5. "Freestyle" (Buckshot)

With 3 very good verses (and no hook), this was less a freestyle and more an actual song if you ask me. In certain ways it comes off like a freestyle when you listen to it, still very good though.
*4 out of 5*

6. "Five (Interlude)"
A female with a nice voice interviews 5ft, who mostly talks about how Black Moon came together.

7. "For All Y'all" (5ft)
Featuring Heather B

Even though Ms. Heather B was on the hook, you could tell she was just waiting to kill this beat, and chances are she would've had she came in with a verse after the 3rd one from 5ft. Speaking of 5ft, lyrically he steps things up on this album too. Another very good song.
*4 out of 5*

8. "Come Get Some" (Buckshot)
Featuring Louieville Sluggah

1/3 of O.G.C., Louieville Sluggah, joins Buckshot on this apply titled, decent song.
*4 out of 5*

9. "Weight of the World"

 I may be overrating this one, but hot damn I like it! Lyrically it's on point (Buckshot and 5ft go in supreme details about how they deal with things when they feel the "weight of the world is on their shoulders"), but a large portion of my rating is based on the DOPE beat supplied by Da Beatminerz.
*5 out of 5*

10. "Evil Dee is on the Mix"
An instrumental, nothing more (a dope one too).

11. "Show Down" (Buckshot)
Featuring Q-Tip

This Q-Tip assisted joint also appeared on Funkmaster Flex's "The Mix Tape Volume 3," albeit in a shorter form.
*4 out of 5*

12. "One-Two"

Another dope song which instantly reminds me of Kool G Rap's "Take Em To War," another dope song I might add. Buckshot came through with a tight verse, but man 5ft kills this one, almost like he was going for "verse of the year."
*4 out of 5*

13. "Frame" (Buckshot)
Featuring Cocoa Brovaz

"They comin' to shake ya frame," no doubt. Buckshot, Tek and Steele were feeling it on this one, an additional slice of BCC dopeness.
*5 out of 5*

14. "Buckshot (interlude)"
 Another interview clip with the same woman from the 5ft interlude.

15. "Two Turntables & a Mic" (Buckshot)

 "Two turntables and a mic, one phat MC on the set!"

At one point in hip hop, those three essentials were the key to a good/great show and many other things, and sadly that's something we really don't get anymore (I also like Buckshot's "commercial rap get the gun  clap" line). As far as this song, it's pretty good with a nice throwback vibe courtesy of Taana Gardner's classic "Heartbeat."
*4 out of 5*

16. "Annihilation" (5ft)
Featuring M.O.P. and Teflon

 Oh yes, the BCC with the Firing Squad! Like you don't know what to expect when M.O.P. (along with Teflon) hops on a track. Come on now. Needless to say, this joint bangs and it's about as hard and aggressive as you would except.
*5 out of 5*

17. "Duress" (Buckshot)

Buckshot is lyrically trying to fight off the devil throughout this song. Very good for what it is.
*4 out of 5*

18. "Throw Your Hands in the Air" (Buckshot)
Co-Produced by Rockwilder

A nice little apply titled song to bring the album to a close, even with the upcoming outro. I like how they let the beat ride out as the song ends, something I've always been a fan of.
*4 out of 5*

19. "Outro" 
 Respectively, this was a strange way to close the album (a brief audio clip of the Rock assisted "War Zone" song) when the previous song would've been just fine.

Oh man, this album is certainly better than what I remembered, and is that because it's been a while since I've played it? Possibly. Sophomore jinx? No, not at all. Granted, this is not on the level of "Enta Da Stage," but on its own it's a pretty dope album. Speaking of dope, that's definitely what the lyrics and production is on this album, and of course Buckshot and 5ft really stepped things up lyrically. They sounded older, but that came with experience and maturity since 1993. A true recommendation to check this out if you haven't done so already, and if you own, throw it in sometime. 4.5 stars for this one.  

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