Bl_Ck B**T***S Original recording remastered
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Like the Jungle Brothers' J Beez Wit The Remedy, KMD (Kausin Much Damage)'s second album, Black Bastards is legendary among die-hard hip-hop fans. Held back by their record label due to its inflammatory content/cover and the early death of Zevlove X (MF Doom)'s brother/fellow rapper, Black Bastards spent eight years in bootleg heaven before being released on independent label Sub-verse. When KMD released their whimsical debut, Mr Hood they were allied to hip-hop's New School (De la Soul, A Tribe Called Quest etc) but the righteous agenda of Black Bastards totally flipped the script. With tracks such as the title track, "Constipated Monkey" and "What Nigga Know", KMD militantly deconstruct "race in the media", much like Spike Lee's controversial film, Bamboozled. However with tick-tock beats, crunching pianos, elastic basslines and all manner of upbeat jams, KMD generate enough energy to leave most hip-hop albums, past and present (2001) trailing in their wake. Of course, it's not all concept--there are the obligatory weed songs ("Contact Blitz", "Smokin' That Shit"), a wicked party joint ("Sweet Premium Wine") and Sub-roc's fantastic solo track, "It Sounded Like A Roc". Ultimately though, Black Bastards is all about Zevlove X (MF Doom) and Sub Roc, their insistence on pushing thought-provoking rather than "thug life" content to the fore and a refusal to hide behind the usual barrage of vogueish clichés. --Reuben Dessay
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
One thing I have to commend is the great movie samples that are on this CD. Starting with the intro "Garbage Day #3" which is made up of them. "Sweet Prenium Wine" is a song about knocking back a few drinks while the samples play as the hook. Most of the songs here on this CD are about smoking, as heard on the song "Smoking That S**t" which features vocals from Earthquake, Lord Sear, and Kurious. "Contact Blitt" (could be titled "Contact Blitz" or "Contact Blunt") is a song about Zev ride a bus to Los Angles with an arrogant bus driver, while smoking. "F Wit Ya Head" featuring vocals from H20 and CMOB and the song "Suspended Animation" are more songs dedicated to weed, all more to offend the higher-ups of Electra Records. One great track is "What A Niggy Know" (could be titled "What A Nigga Know") is Zev and Subroc comming correct with a serious attitude that will make your head nod. The 12 inch single was the only item released by Electra Records, but since the album was shelved, the single was pulled also. MF Grimm would drop in to help Zev do the remix. Subroc would get in a few solos also. He shows he had the lyrics on the song "Gimmie" (could be titled "Give It Here") as he says "Give me a choo choo train for my badass tracks..." He would also do his thing on the song "It Sounded Like A Roc."
One thing I have to knock is what many people have been saying in other reviews, the sound quality. Some songs sound like they have been worn out over the years so it sounds like a bootleg of a bootleg, making the vocals sound like they're held back by a sound barrier. A great example is the Zev Love X anger expressed song "Get-U-Now" and "Smoking That Sh**". Also I'm sure some of this album was recorded off a record. How did I come to this conclusion? The song "Plumskinzz" is exactly what I'm saying. The song has a nice piano sound and is going good as Zev spits his verse. As soon as it gets halfway through the hook, it sounds like the vocals were taken away and the beat freezes up. Then all of a sudden you hear MF Dooms [recent] voice come in and say "Loose Hoe God&Cupid" or as many listeners have interpeted "You're so GODDAMN stupid!" I don't EVER want to hear that again! Obviously he used a 12" single and someone hit the needle causing it to skip loudly to the instramental. The song would resume later on in the CD when a woman would come in and say "Oh Now I Don't Believe It!" as Subroc would continue his verse. Whats ironic about this whole song is that this song was recorded in 1991, and a former KMD member named Onyx the Birthstone Kid (many people who are familiar with late MF Doom albums know him as Rodan) had a verse on that song between Zev's and Subroc's (and believe it or not, Onyx had the best verse out of the three). So there is no actual musical vibe because those interludes causes a big chunk of the song to be missing. (How about recording the song correctly Mr. Dumille?) If you want to hear the uncut clear version of it, just find a "Nitty Gritty" 12 inch single because its the flipside of that, or you can locate a 1994 bootleg of the album.
Overall I'm happy that this album was finally released, since it was one of the biggest albums in 1994 that was shelved. But the way that this album was put together soundwise, that title could have been easily taken away. I recommed this album to those who want to hear more examples of Doom's early 90's production, the way MF Doom sounded in 1993/1994, or just curious of the lost album. Otherwise, you're better off buying "The Best Of KMD Album" which is a combination of this and the Mr. Hood album, or wait until Mr. Dumille decides to remaster the album and reissue it.
Rest In Peace Subroc
Musical Vibes: C+
Standout tracks: What A Niggy Know, Sweet Prenium Wine, Contact Blitt, What A Niggy Know (remix), Smoking That Sh** (Plumskinzz would have been a standout if it were a full song)
If it makes anyone feel better, the excessive dropping of artists and lack of record sales would have cause Electra to go out of business and be bought out by Atlantic Records.
kmd was poised to take over the reins. their original label, elektra, thought the cover artwork was too controversial and refused to put this out.. BIG MISKTAKE.... aside from denying us amazing works of smart material over jazzy loops, this was a gold selling record if it had come out.
grab a piece of history - - this is mf doom's old group when he was known as zev luv x. there have been some bootlegs of this - be sure to cop this sub verse release, its digitally remastered and has mf grimm remixes.
But on to the content of the album. The beats are generally very good, with a little jazz flavor, and have a cluttered sound that lends to the album's energy although it also obscures some of the vocal work. Someone else wrote that some of these beats may have been looted by others, since they probably thought it would never see the light of day, and that sounds right to me.
The rapping is good, although not quite as worthy of imitation. Zev love X, the spunky kid version of Doom, raps loudly and entirely according to the conventions of this period, but his style is really immature and shallow compared to where he is now. This stuff sounds a little like some of the other native tongues stuff; it would have fit right in, although I don't think their glorification of alcohol and marijuana helped the clarity of the native tonges style message, which is much easier to understand with De La Soul and Quest's music. However, this is a very strong sophomore album (i haven't heard Mr. Hood yet though) and it definitely deserves to be heard. Maybe it should have been remastered or something instead of seeing a sloppy and tardy release like this.
Years later some of the rough cuts of the LP emerged on the Fondel Em' label as the "Black Bastard's: Roughs & Rares EP" giving a small hint to what greatness the album could have been. A few years later under Doom's own Metal Face Records "Black Bastards" finally saw the light of day.
The album is bittersweet; because you can't help but wonder what would have happened if it would have been released in 94. But given Doom's current fever pitch, it's no matter.
The only problem with the LP is the sound quality. It apears as if Doom had the masters on tape and wore them out, due to the distortions in several tracks.
DON'T LET THAT DISTRACT YOU. This album is amazing and worth every penny, but it is rare and tharefore hard to find. If you can't afford it, then I'd suggest "The best of KMD," it's the best 1/2's of both "Mr. Hood" & "Black Bastards."