Every good family of artists seem to have a 2nd generation. Duckdown Records and Boot Camp Clik have been creating beautiful hip-hop for years in the form of Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah, Smiff-N-Wessun aka Cocoa Brovaz, and O.G.C. With some appearances on BCC's "For Da People" and some collaborations the Heltah Skeltah LPS and the OGC LPs, The Representativz (Lidu Rock and Supreme) finally released their debut album "Angels Of Death". Even though they have been apart of BCC from the beginning, they are considered part of the new era. This reviewer loves the music of Duckdown Records and Boot Camp Clik. Unfortunately, The Repz are one of the weak links. Even though the album is not bad, it relies on the well-known BCC guests and much of it falls on the generic side.
Production is mainly handled by Supreme with some by Cuzin Bob, Bucktown USA, Steele, and Shaleek. Even though the pounding drum tracks do hit hard, the keyboard melodies and generic verses send the production right on the border of boring.
The best tracks have guests. "Represent Baby" (produced by Supreme) features Rock of Heltah Skeltah, Cocoa Brovaz, Top Dog of OGC, & D. Real of The B.T.J.'s. This is a dope posse cut due to the performances of the guests. The only problem is the played out phrase "Represent, represent baby!" that is played in a female vocal sample. Still, the guests and Supreme do a good job on the mic and create a strong family atmosphere. It is simply one of the best tracks on the LP. with Supreme"God Degree" featuring Rock was produced by Shaleek. This is a very energetic track that has feeling of biblical power. Rock handles just the hook but his energy in extremely intense. "…You wanna take it to the streets / Ain't no problem here / Dressed in black and strapped for the robbery /I'll be damned if some n*ggaz gone be starving me! / It's hard to eat and they need God degree!..." Even though the song is dope, it would be incredible if Rock had a verse too. "Representativz", produced by Supreme, has some cool scratching by DJ Logic. The Steele vocal sample of "Representativz living nocturnally" creates a sinister and eerie atmosphere for the song. "Tell Me" (produced by Shaleek) also produces an eerie vibe as it takes the listener down the dark and dangerous streets of Brooklyn. "News Flash" featuring Rock and Steele is a cool track produced by Supreme. With no catchy hook, the song is a about them taking over Hot 97 in New York City. It's cool track especially if you are familiar with that radio station. They take over the radio station because they have vital information. The only problem is that when the info is finally relayed, it does not hit as hard and becomes somewhat anti-climactic. Still, it's the most creative track on the album. "The Rich" featuring Tek of Cocoa Brovaz (& produced by Jeff Duval Brown) uses an excellent vocal sample for the hook. Tek rocks a cool verse but it is short and all the way at the end of the track. "Stand Or Fall" (produced by Cuzin Bob who also produced "I Ain't Havin That" by Heltah Skeltah) uses a very cool vocal sample in the beat along with a deep bass line. Another cool track is the new generation BCC posse cut "Lessons 2 Learn" produced by Steele's production company Bucktown USA.
With only one real poor track, the other weaker tracks can be considered filler. "Gee's Ride" (produced by Supreme) is by far the worst song on the album. Lyrically and melody-wise, it has a strong West Coast feel that has a strong Tupac influence but comes across very weak and trite. "…Only the real g's ride with me! The rest of y'all are fake to me!..." The beat is also very boring with a lame keyboard melody. Other tracks with weak keyboard melodies and somewhat mundane themes and styles are "Jewels", "Why Yall Wanna Start" and "Do The Math". These are pure filler tracks. "Spaz Out" (produced by Supreme) is the LP's first complete song. It has a strong energy but the hook is somewhat uninspired. "God Degree" would be a much better choice to start off the LP. "Spaz Out" is not a bad song but it is not as good as the stronger cuts.
The problems with the album are the filler, unimaginative beats and the main emcees. The Repz are to BCC what Group Home is to Gangstarr Foundation. Supreme has some decent production skills and decent lyrics but his high-pitched voice gets annoying. Lidu Rock's voice is much better and has a hunger to it but his lyrics and flow are not strong as Supreme's lyrics and flow. Sometimes, the 2 emcees balance each other out while other times, they do not. Supreme's delivery on "Represent Baby" does display his potential. Without a doubt, the best tracks on this album are the ones with the guest appearances. Besides only a couple of tracks, most of the songs are decent while some are cool. 8 out of the 15 tracks are produced by Supreme and his production is somewhat generic and cannot compare with other BCC producers like Da Beatminerz. The drum tracks work well but the keyboard melodies give it a very cheap feel in spots. The vocal samples work perfectly in songs like "The Rich" and "Stand Or Fall". The scratching in songs like "You've Been Waiting" and "Representativz" also work well. The scratching and the vocal samples raise this album's quality level along with the tight guest spots. Unfortunately, it's the generic parts of the album which help create the filler. Supreme's generic beats are made a little more dull due to very over-used themes of thug life, gangsta life, and the played out phrase "represent" that is repeated throughout the LP. None of the themes in the songs are extremely clever with the exception of "News Flash". The other BCC artists use these overdone themes too but their personality and charisma separates them from the others and make them unique while maintaining a universal appeal. One problem with this LP is that it is overshadowed by incredible LPS in the BCC family. The Repz are cool but they do not have the charisma, the personality, the lyrics or the beats of Heltah Skeltah, Black Moon, Cocoa B'z or OGC. This album is really for die-hard BCC/Duckdown fans. I consider it an appetizer for the incredible meal of future BCC releases in the future. Boot Camp Clik & Duckdown Records are an innovative, creative and very cool force in hip-hop. This reviewer will always continue to respect and support them. While I would always rather listen to Black Moon, Heltah Skeltah or OGC, The Repz do have a hunger and integrity. I have a respect for the Repz for many reasons. The released an independent LP without the help of a major distributor. (Priority's deal with the BCC ended right before this LP). They also did not rely on trendy R&B hooks and they did not make any radio friendly tracks. This is a hardcore hip-hop album. It has some very cool songs but unfortunately, the filler tracks and the generic themes make it drag in spots.