This here OSM was originally on tap for a few weeks ago, but the passing of the legendary Heavster meant the last two weeks were dedicated to him. The inspiration for this one is, somewhat tangentially, my viewing of the ATCQ doc Beats, Rhymes & Life.
First off, if you’re at all interested in Golden Age hip hop, that movie is a must-watch X infinity. Sure Michael Rappaport is a kind of a goof, but he’s done something good here – I enjoyed every minute of it. After that viewing a few weekends ago, I was on the hunt for some Native Tongue-content to post in the upcoming OSM, but I really have posted multiple times on the main players in that conscious clique. So I took to the wiki, and my curiosity was peaked by the inclusion of Da Bush Babees. To be quite honest, I’d never looked into this Brooklyn trio, mainly, I think, because that album cover to the left and their name always threw me off. I’m pretty sure I assumed they were some kind of Rap/Dancehall Kriss Kross knock-off, but a listen to their ’94 debut Ambushed, reveals that assumption to be way off.
Boasting production from the like of Jermaine Dupri, Salaam Remi & Ali Shaheed Muhammad, amongst others, Ambushed reveals a definite dancehall influence, but it’s more the scream-y, hardcore-style hip hop made popular in the early 90’s by folks like Onyx that likely influenced these Babees. The fact that it is so scream-y has kind of prevented it a lot of the songs from aging gracefully, but I still enjoyed the listen. The production has that jazzy thump that was a hallmark of the early 90’s in NY, and when they dial down their delivery as they do on the singles We Run Things and Remember We, it sounds like classic stuff. Plus there’s plenty of dancehall stuff mixed in, and those of us who were addicted to hip hop in the early 90’s listened to plenty of dancehall and it’s a nice change hearing it again.
So there you go, Da Bush Babees, one of the more obscure Native Tongue members, for your Monday. Enjoy.
VIDEO:: Da Bush Babees – We Run Things (It’s Like Dat)
VIDEO:: Da Bush Babees- Remember We