May The 4orce Be With You
A funny thing about Hip Hop's 'Golden Age', or any genre's golden age for that matter. Whoever you ask always has a slightly differing opinion as to when the supposed age began. But that being said my personal 'Golden Age' began in the early 90's and lasted until well into the mid 90's (1991 - 1996). You remember when Mixtapes actually were Cassettes. Patrick Ewing & Fila Boots were the isht and The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air was... still fresh. The West Coast (via Death Row) had things locked down until Puff Daddy (as he was known back then) Brought Biggie to everyones attention. Throw in the WU, Mobb Deep, Nas, Tribe, De La, Onyx, 2Pac, DMX, Jay-Z, The Def Squad & the rest and you can see why the word Golden is used with such abandon. So any new material that aims to take me back to such a place in time demands my immediate attention. Hence i introduce Tha 4orce. Who with 'Mind The Gap Anthems V2' had me in full Reminisce mode. As soon as the 1st track's (4orce's Anthem) Cello sample & Give Up The Good's drum pattern kicked in my head was moving. But after such a great start my usual anxieties of a big let down materialised. And thankfully once again they were unfounded as each track continued where the last left off while giving me enough of a variation to keep my IPod going all the way through the album. Every drum, sample, scratch and Vocal is geared to be a reminder of Hip Hop's past exploits. Precise Precision had me reaching for my Naughty By Nature. Magnificent brought about immediate comparisons to Pete Rock's more mellow catalogue. That's Right brought Buckwild to the forefront of my thoughts. Damned If I Do is also a banger with it's Soul II Soul vibe. But with all this nostalgia inducing material readily available it may be ironic that one of my highlights of the album is a track that didn't have me casting my mind back at all. Neva Shoulda, is just a damn nice track that would be the highlight of any sunday afternoon chill out mix. But my biggest mention has to go to Drums vs Drums. a superb real time battle featuring Tha 4orce on the wheels & Don Bannister On Live drums. The outcome is arguably the best instrumental track ive heard for many a year. If your not feeling that track your not Hip Hop. It's hard to deduct points for this album but maybe another track or 2 would've been nice. It's nice to see someone going for quality instead of quantity but when it's this good throw some more on there for the good people bruv. The good folks at BBE were kind enough to let me post a taster for y'all. A really well executed album born of a superb idea.
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