Black Moon / Boot Camp Click / Duck Down founder, Buckshot, seems to be in a strange transitional phase between cellar dwelling beats of his past, and a composite of outrageous thugisms of today. Sadly, he has yet to find a thug style that he can call his own, except for the original Brooklyn stick up kid he introduced us to on Black Moon’s Enta Da Stage. Styles of thugs past and present are emulated on this album, leaving little originality in the end. “My Bitches & My Niggaz (Rock With Me)” features Buck playing the role of (another) 2Pac, with his stretched out vocal inflections. (“My niggas thug for meee/ bust another slug for meee/ One time for the luuv for meee”). “Take It To The Streets” features Buck and a pack of junior thugs over a wanna-be Swizz Beat, and even worse is “Feel It” which pretty much samples a bit of “Jigga My Nigga”, and makes it less appealing. “Heavy Weighters” is another collabo with less appealing emcees (save F.T.), with Buck going completely over the edge with ridiculously dramatic “Victory”/”Hate Me Now” style production. Then there is the jiggy joint, “Take Your Time”, a disgustingly groovy track rivaling the foolishness of Diamond D’s “Can’t Keep My Grants To Myself”. “Final Words” is also questionable, as Buck breaks it down as to why he underwent this transformation. He rants about the flack he receives for deeming himself a thug, and then refreshes our memories by mentioning some equally thugged out material from the early 90′s, such as “Murder MC’s” and “Killin’ Every Nigga In Sight”.
But here is where the biggest problem lies. Buckshot knows that he is compromising his sound for today’s standards, and that’s why he had to make this track. Naturally, he would try and give us the “been there, done that” routine, trying to convince us that ain’t a damn thing changed. But longtime fans will see right through this. If he really felt that he is making the same thug music he was in 1993, would he even have to address this subject?
Psychological arguments aside, the album has a few redeemable tracks. “Trapped”, a previously unreleased gem which dates back to almost five years old, is still timeless, showing a hungry Buckshot in his element of dark basement, Brooklyn beats. Same goes for “Follow With Pride” and “Ladies N Gentlemen”, and while his core fans will appreciate these kinds of beats, the sad thing is that today’s generation may not, which is causing this vicious cycle of the Boot Camp Click’s recent style switch ups.
Cut and dry, core fans will hate this album, and Buckshot knows this. The real question is, will Funkmaster Flex, The Source, Stretch Armstrong, and all of the other influential voices out of NYC, like this album? If so, success may follow his lead, but if not, this may be the straw that breaks the BCC’s back.
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