Note: The version we are reviewing was the original due to be released in 1994, the new release may be different but basically most tracks should remain the same.
The album that never got a release 5 years ago is finally gonna see the light of day on the 9th of February 1999. For all you that don’t know this is the line up of K-Cut, Sir scratch and new emcee Mikey D who replaced the Large professor, but it never came out cos of all that Wild Pitch label shit. Now I’ve had this album for all those five years and I could understand that if you pick it up today it may sound dated, but maybe it won’t if its been remixed or re-mastered, hopefully it won’t be. When I picked it up in 94 it was a fresh album, and when I play it today it baffles me how such a good album could end up in the vaults for so long.
Don’t forget this group created the groundbreaking ‘Breakin’ atoms’, a classic album that can’t be fucked with but after Large Professor left, he took his creativity with him and it shows, now all we need is for someone to get their hands on P’s album. The original 2 deejays remain, they still got beats and Mikey D is a lot angrier than his predecessor so don’t sleep.
‘Diary of a hitman’ kicks things off with a nice loop and 3 storytelling verses from Mikey D, this has always been one of my favorite tracks from the album. ‘Only the real survive’ originally used the same loop as that group Questionmark asylum and was later used on Rakim's ‘Remember that’, it’s a kick back and relax track, and it pretty dope. The only single that was released form this album ‘What you need’ is pure genius in its production, its layered horns made it an instant classic, and was just a taster of what was in store for what turned out to be their non existent comeback, it even featured brief vocals from Kut & Scratch.
Mediocre tracks appear in the form of ‘Merrick Boulevard’ and ‘Downlow’ but they don’t really let the side down. ‘Hellavision’ is a clever breakdown of what society allows to be broadcast, Mikey even takes a pop at ‘the Simpsons’ for a negative influence on his daughter, imagine if ‘South Park’ had been out then?
Familiar samples are present throughout but you gotta understand that this album used 99% of them first. For example ‘Set it off’ uses the same singing hook throughout, since used on the Roots incredible ‘Clones’ remember that it was here first. This track also features a group called the Warlox, yeah that’s right the Lox were doing their thing 5 years ago with the hardcore kids, check how much they’ve changed on here. Again this is another stand out track, the posse cut of the album (its no ‘Live at the BBQ’ though’. Some nice Interludes appear Pete Rock-Style littered through the album and it shows these guys can find some nice samples and we also get the deejays expressing themselves on the update to the last albums ‘ Scratch & Kut’, this albums closer.
For all of you who originally anticipated this album you won’t be disappointed, but maybe those of you who weren’t around to catch ‘What you need’ won’t fit in with the Nas’s, Nores and Wu’s of today due to its sound that sounds a little old, just remember this was pretty good shit for its time though. Pick it up and take a trip back, all we need now is for someone to release that KMD album and while they are at it see what’s up with that Extra P CD.