Black Moon - Warzone      
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written by Philip Oliver    
Groups who maintain that essence of real hip hop and shun the limelight to continue bringing us the ill shit are hard to come by, Black Moon were one of these groups but they split. When I heard Black Moon were back together again over a year ago I didn’t believe it cos as you know the rumor mill especially on the Internet can get outta hand. Then the adverts started appearing and we were all blessed with ‘Warzone’ our first taster of what was to come. Now that was 9 months ago, one of the first tracks we exclusively brought to you and I was fortunate to review on this site. Things stayed quiet then we were hit with ‘The onslaught’ at the beginning of this year and shit just snowballed all the way until the album finally came and that label shit is dead, so I ain’t gotta catch my breath every time I have to say ‘Buckshot 5ft and evil dee’.

Now for all of you who loved that ‘Enta da stage’ album way back in 1993, you know that nothings really recaptured the magic made on those 14 tracks of pure hip hop. That album marked the beginning of hardcore east coast hip hop breaking through again and even paved the way for Biggies ‘Ready to die’ the following year. The BCC, OGC, Fab 5 Coco B’s and Heltah Skeltah etc have all released decent material but its been pale in comparison to what formed the foundation of Duck Down. You all know the situation that’s gone down about why they been away so long, if not go check our profiles section.

My expectations are high but I’m not getting my hopes up here because so many albums come thru with false promises but this album is solid enough to follow up a great LP. It seems like nothings changed in the 6 year wait, still tight as ever with the backing of the Beatminerz, Buckshot & the noticeably more vocal 5ft have created an album that surpasses every expectation I had. Lyrically don’t go expecting intelligence to the height of a Ras Kass rhyme just expect it in the form of h.e.r. (hip hop in its essence and real), this is street mentality showing agressiveness and understanding of this music. ‘The onslaught’ leads things off, I was getting a bit tired of this by the time the album dropped but its given a new breath of life when it appears with the rest of the tracks, Busta goes crazy, I’m sure there’s an unreleased verse from him out there somewhere. ‘Warzone’ is different on here cos Rock is missing from the hook, instead we get some radio effects but for some reason the original hook appears as an outro, confused? I am. ‘This is what it sounds like’ is one of the first unheard gems, this shows that although they stick to the same formula the group has matured and grown to add a different side to their music. 5ft has obviously been working hard as he goes on wax without Buckshot which has never happened in the past, the first track Heather B helps out on the hook on ‘For all ya’ll’. ‘Annihilation’ is also a track that he gets help out on with MOP and Teflon, you ain’t heard this yet? Your in for a treat. Overall though 5ft is strong enough to bring more to this album along with Buckshots vocals that if we’re gonna be honest, could flow over any beat.

Q tip does the hook for ‘Showdown’ which you may have heard on Funkmaster Flex' last CD but here the BDP sample is changed for some reason and we get a different set of horns that tries to recapture the original but it isn’t as strong so try and cop the original 12" if you can. The BCC is represented by OGC’s Louieville Sluggah on ‘Come get some’ and Smif N wessun, sorry Coco Brovaz on ‘Frame’ which is based on simple beats that enhance the mood of the lyrics, a nice combination as I wasn’t really feeling that last album from Tek and Steele. Even the radio friendly track ‘2 turntables and a mic’ is hardcore, sampling ‘heartbeat’ Buckshot just flows so well over the familiar beats, didn’t like this at first but it’s a grower. ‘Duress’ is probably one of the albums best cuts, where Buckshot hauntingly chants ‘Why the devil keep fucking with me’ before he enters the dark beat dropping lyrics that are stress related. Before we hit the outro the unimaginatively titled ‘throw ya hand in the air’ round off things with yet another great track, what’s great is the beat is left open at the end, its ill and confirms as the albums last tracks that the Beatminerz are one of the greatest production teams to ever grace our headphones.

The album isn’t perfect, it suffers monotony on a track or 2 and like I said lyrical content isn’t greatly varied but considering the quality of all the tracks they more than make up for it, maybe it's because it's so well rounded that one or 2 tracks sound average. I can’t emphasize how good this is so if you want some REAL beats & REAL lyrics pick up ‘Warzone’ because you can’t go wrong.

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