Tame-One is back from the dead! (Well, maybe not from the dead.) The Artifacts were always one of my favorite hip-hop groups. I also had a special love for them since they were from and represented New Jersey. After two dope LPs, they broke up and no one heard from either MC L or Tame-One except for some singles and/or minor collaborations. As solo artists, they did not get as much publicity as they did when they were a team. Personally, I always thought Tame-One was the better emcee of the group. He stood out due to his voice, image, delivery and style. It was great to hear Tame-One on Redman's "Close Ya Doorz" from "Doc's Da Name" and on the beautiful "A Tree Never Grown" from the 'Hip-Hop For Respect EP' on Rawkus. Well, Tame-One is back and he brought Boom Skwad along with him on his new EP. This extremely short EP is incredible! It includes everything I always loved about Artifacts. The rowdiness, the love for graffiti and hip-hop, the dope beats and the dope lyricism.
"Crazee" (produced by Xing & Fox) is a thick, slow/mid-tempo pounding track that has a severe electronic juggernaut power. At first listen, the beat sounds like a slow, drugged out/stoned out Timbaland beat. Tame goes off on the mic with his wild lyrics and delivery: "…I'm probably high now, infa-red dot your eyebrow / Blackie Chan kick ya ass like 'Kay-Yo! Pai-ow!' / Lyrically taking' the liberty / Dissin' my enemies with obscenities / Suppin' my entity, taking' amphetamines / With energy like it was ten of me / Mentally sick, quick to spit / Sh*t on anything that you publish in private or public. / Call me Mr. F*ck-it…" Tame's is an extremely talented emcee. The listener will want to analyze every. Each one is clever, funny and aggressive. In the crazy spirit of Redman, he sings the hook with a strong humor. It's a great song and wonderful new direction for the NJ emcee.
"Doin' Me" (produced by DJ Porno) is another cool track. The upbeat rhythm glides along with a cool guitar-like melody. This is a pure Tame-One track that could have been on any of the Artifacts albums. It's a strong anthem about self-preservation and self-fulfillment. His verses are also extremely cool due to his clever lyrics and wild, smoked out flow.
"Boom Skwad On Attack" (produced by Rhino Cmz) features Rhino Cmz, Mellow Max, Jay Burnz, Jaya & DJ Porno on the mic too. An extremely wild posse cut in the spirit of "Attack Of New Jeruzalem". Jay Burnz (who was on "Attack…") rocks the mic on this song too. The beat pounds hard with a mid-90's hip-hop feeling. The call-response hook led by Tame adds to the intense energy.
For an EP, it is extremely short. Another problem is that it was officially released on CD but it may be hard to find. You only can get it on vinyl or on a CD-R. If this is any indication of what we can expect from Tame-One's upcoming solo album "When Rappers Attack," Tame-One is about to make a modern hip-hop classic. Production-wise, everything is tight. Except for "Crazee," all of the songs have the same vibe or feel of the songs on the last two albums by The Artifacts. The electronic pounding beat of "Crazee" did catch me off guard at first but Tame's performances truly made the song very enjoyable. Unlike the 2 Artifacts albums, this EP does not have much scratching and sliced up vocal samples. I loved that about the Artifacts. It's a shame they didn't use more scratching. It would have made the EP perfect. This is a very enjoyable release filled with New Jeruzalem anthems for the ones who love to smoke weed, spray-paint graffiti and rock microphones.