1 January, 2000@12:00 am
Foreign Legion is all that is traditional “independent” Hip-Hop, musically and lyrically Prozac and Marc Stretch stick to the conventions previously paved and run with it. Which ultimately, depending on the tastes of the listener, will make or break this Bay Area crew’s debut. Fun loving braggadocio, endearing raps about Hip-Hop culture, with an occasional ‘secret agent’ tale brought together through uncompromising easily accessible beats is generally what Kidnapper Van is.
Like the lead single said, these cats are “Full Time B-Boys” so when looking for a suitable Foreign Legion fix, their straightforward Hip-Hop records seem to please the best. “That’s Bond” and “People Round Town” are simple, to the point and effective for their purpose. When the duo get ambitious is when they tend to where thin, “Nowhere To Run” is cute at first, as they divulge into bevy of conspiracy theories and paranoid rants, but when they start shouting out places like “the grassy knoll” and people like Art Bell, it’s time to get “Nature Of The Threat” and enjoy a seriously distrustful song. “Secret Agent” and “You’ll Never Be Number One” play themselves out in similar ways, how many Bond-scenario songs can a culture sustain? “You’ll Be Number One” rings with a dope vibraphone and a great Too $hort intro, but again we know Hip-Hop is your life but addressing it so incessantly gets a little saturated at times.
Foreign Legion undoubtedly have the ability to make an album but developing a character all their own should be something to work on. While fans of Dilated Peoples, Swollen Members, and Lootpack will surely flock to the Kidnapper Van, the goal is to keep them coming back and at this point the Legion might not have the charisma that their trailblazers do.
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