Monday, November 24, 2008

Old School Mondays:: Naughty By Nature & The Beatnuts

You are no doubt wondering what these unlikely OSM bedfellows have in common, but it`s quite simple: Naughty By Nature played in Halifax last week, and the Beatnuts play the Marquee here in Halifax this Friday night. Certainly a couple of classic acts to add to the impressive list of hip hop luminaries that have played Halifax over the last year or so, and two fitting acts for OSM.

Of the two, I was on the Beatnuts bandwagon for much longer, but you cannot front on Naughty. They were incredibly popular with white people much wankier than myself, and the assistant coach of our High School hoops squad, one Jeff "OPP" Paris. That tended to mean that zealots like myself stopped checking for them a little bit. That being said, they were really solid, and I have at least their first 2 albums on cassette. Even though they did anthems, those anthems were still kind of done the "right way", with no reliance on cheap R&B; hooks and that kind of thing.

Plus Treach possessed one of the all time best combinations of killer speed flow and (at times) nonsensically awesome lyrics. Oh, and he wore a big chain. Literally a big steel chain, so he was rugged. Add in Kay Gee's super catchy production, and Vinny being the New Jersey version of Phife. Added up, you've got a solid squad. I bet you thought you'd be getting some OPP-age right? Nay, we're far too contrary for that over here, so you get the other big single from their album, and the one I prefer: Everything's Gonna Be Alright, as well as the awesome Uptown Anthem from the Juice Soundtrack, which might be my favorite Naughty song.

As for the Beatnuts, they are just that kind of old classic, thumping NY hip hop that warms my heart, even on a Monday like this where we have two feet of snow on the ground. Originally appearing on the scene as producers, the Nuts were originally a three piece, with JuJu, Fashion, and Psycho Les all rocking the mic and the boards (I think, although JuJu and Psycho Les might've handled the production chores). But going back and listening to the Nuts production from their first couple albums, it still sounds great. Thick drums with jazzy elements layered all over it, really hard not to like that. Plus the lyrics were geared towards the funnest kind of party & bullshat, equal measure comedic one-liners and threats of violence and other the types of harm that made old hip hop so enjoyable.

Well, enjoyable for some I guess. When I think of the Beatnuts, I'm always reminded of one particular morning during university I was giving Herohill-originator Shawn Lapaix a drive, and his wacky neighbour came with us. I happened to be bumping the Beatnuts in my Cutlass, and this guy happened to be Jewish. Unfortunately I forgot there was a line on one of the songs on Street Level along the lines of "Hitler putting jews in ovens", which is really not cool at all. If that guy heard it, he didn't say anything, but I was a little mortified by the whole thing. Anyway, some Beatnuts tunes for you! We've got Reign of the Tec from the Intoxicated Demons EP, and well as Props Over Here and Hit Me With That from Street Level. Enjoy, and go see the Beatnuts on Friday if you're in Halifax.


The Beatnuts - Reign Of The Tec

The Beatnuts - Props Over Here

The Beatnuts - Hit Me With That

Naughty By Nature - Everything's Gonna Be Allright

Naughty By Nature - Uptown Anthem

Posted at 9:27 AM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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