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''Return of the Boom Bap means just that. It means a return of the real hard beats and real rap.'' KRS-One
This is KRS-One's explanation of ''Boom Bap'' in the liner notes of the record. While it is a return to an older style of vocal delivery, it is also a step forward in many ways. Eric B and Rakim
had released paid in full, which brought on a more considered spoken rapping style, a long way from KRS-One's angry political raspy spits.
This was KRS-One's first record since the demise of Boogie Down Productions
which ended tragically with the murder of DJ Scott La Rock. The liner notes state ''Overseen by Scott La Rock despite what others might think!'' this is printed on all of KRS-One's records, as there was strong companionship between him and Scott La Rock.
''We will be here forever, do you understand? FOR EVER, For ever and ever. FOR EVER''
The record begins with ''KRS-One Attacks'' which is a mix mash of samples from boogie down productions recordings, this brings listeners up to date with KRS-One's previous work, and although Scott La Rock was lost during the recording of ''By all means necessary'' this is the first KRS-One record without any of his work.
''Outta Here'' opens with a heavy simplistic bass line with a sparse snare heavy beat, sonically very distant from the Boogie Down Production styles. KRS-One also sounds more angry than ever. This song is auto-biographical KRS-One spent his teenage years in a youth housing project, where he met Scott La Rock the social worker. Talking about his life alongside Hip Hop, BDP's rise to fame and their anger at their media representation.
''In the middle of doing 'My Philosophy' Scott La Rock died, and that *** got to me...''
This is not a melancholy record about the loss of a close friend a la ''Gangsta'a Paradise'' by Puff Daddy
AKA P Diddy
, more an affirmation of who KRS-One is, what he set out to do, and how determined he is to succeed.
wrote a dedication to KRS-One, about the political message and other knowledge they have learned from KRS-One. The third track ''Black Cop'' is the first overtly political track on the record. Its bouncy reggae beat along the sing along chorus and lyrics about the irony of black men becoming cops and working for a system that doesn’t work for them. KRS-One is not a fan of the police, as is clear both on this record and ‘Criminal Minded’ by BDP.
''Mortal Thought'' follows the common theme of political rap, that is black identity. This is also done in a way which crosses over with the old school hip hop which is sucker MCs. KRS-One takes aim towards false politicised rappers, and general weak rappers. Also casting critique upon himself, saying that if his style slips, he ''must drop the mic''
''What I want you to do, is count to ten...''
With its explosive shouted chorus, along with its heavy yet danceable bass line, and light hearted lyrics, this is definitely the most danceable track on the record. ''I Can't Wake Up'' deserved to have been a massive club smash and runaway hit single, but unfortunately, you wont get far with a song which is explicitly about marijuana. The song is about a dream KRS-One has in which he is a blunt being passed around by all his favourite rappers, as well as American president Bill Clinton.
introduces ''Slap Them Up'' which has a quieter more melodic beat produced by Kid Capri, which makes a good Yin to DJ Premiers explosive Yang. This does however take the edge off of the track, but one long noisy rant of a record would get hard to take by this point, so it is a welcome break.
''Woop Woop thats the sound of tha police!''
You may be mistaken that this raucous chorus came from Newport's Goldie Lookin' Chain
. You must learn(sic) that this did not start as a big joke. This is a serious Boom Bap Rap rhetoric of KRS-One's distaste of the police. Not only a great source of knowledge, this is also a fantastic bombastic party song, which has a dense varied soundtrack similar to the bomb squad's work with Public Enemy.
After the angriest most bombastic track on the record, it chills out a bit again. Although the music is more chilled out, KRS-One is still very excitable from the last track, almost as if he was performing the entire record in one go. This one is also produced by Kid Capri.
The next track ''Uh Oh'' has a slower pace, backed by a human beat box. The track tells the tale of a wannabe gangsta who accidentally murders a friend while showing off his weapons. The tale of a school bully who gets arrested and finds out he killed a little boy. The tale of an ignorant racist who is murdered by a black man him and his friends attack. KRS-One delivers these stories in a slow controlled rap, he has very little sympathy for the characters, which adds more anger to this morality message.
The best example of what ''Boom Bap'' actually is, is on the track ''Return Of The Boom Bap'' which not only is a great example of hardcore rap, it is an explanation of Boom Bap with samples of other hardcore acts such as NWA
. KRS-One wanted to bring back the anger in hip hop music, although he supports cheerful and calm hip hop acts such as De La Soul
he wants the hardcore styles to evolve and stop being ignored. This record did very well for an independent Hip Hop record, and certainly went a long way in helping hardcore rap to grow.