If it weren't for the mid-to-late 80s, most loyal fans would agree that the golden age of hip-hop was in the 90s. Think about it. Dusty loops, hard snares and kicks, and cleverly crafted rhymes all made by a plethora of some of the best groups you've never heard of. We called them the underground. Yes, the underground. While Diddy (then known as Puff Daddy, for those who don't remember) was wearing shiny suits in his videos, the underground was the complete opposite: raw, filthy, and hardcore hip-hop. Unfortunately after this phase of hip-hop, many acts disappeared and dropped off the face of the earth. However, this can't be said about all groups. In 2002, we were all excited to see that the Juggaknots would re-release their 1996 gem, Blue Skies. Since then, we've been wondering if we'd ever hear Breezly Brewin and Herawin's blunted voices over B-Slim's spaced out soundscapes. Well my friends, the wait is over. In 2006, they return with Use Your Confusion.
First off, The Juggaknots haven't missed a step. Brewin's and Herawin's clever wordplay and commanding deliveries still strikes nerves throughout the album. The first song of the album 'Hey 'has both, Breezly and Herawin, trading verses back and forth like they were both born with mics in their hands. The spacy, hypnotic beat takes you all the way back to the mid-90s, where the Juggaknot name was just making rounds in the underground. Speaking of their past, Brewin steps up on 'Namesake 'where he goes into the history of the group and what they've been up to since then (note: peep what he says about Bobbitto). Also, don't sleep on Herawin. She flexes her lyrical/story-telling skills on 'Daddy's Little Girl.'
Guest appearances are quite abundant compared to their last release. Wordsworth (where has this dude BEEN?) returns on the banger, 'Liar Liar', Slick Rick on 'Vows ', and Sadat X on '30 Something '(check the piano loop). None of these emcees sound out-of-place at all. As a matter of fact, these songs were some of the best of the album. We also get to witness a posse cut that closes the album as well featuring a few artists that we haven't heard from in years.
Although, the album does have it's solid cuts there are definitely a few missteps. A few of the songs on the album are definitely filler cuts. The title track, 'Use Your Confusion'can definitely throw a few fans off-guard. The beat becomes quite annoying and it seems as if Herawin has a bit of a problem trying to catch the beat. The sequencing seems a bit off to me as well. It seems as if a banger (or two) is always followed by a completely bland track that takes away a bit of what we were all expecting from them.
Use Your Confusion is quite the solid album and it surely doesn't disappoint. Brewin, Herawin, and B-Slim are in top form when they are focused despite the few missteps. All I can say now is, guys please drop albums faster! Glad to see you back!