Remember these cats from the early 1990′s? Yet another victim of record label and corporate cutting, their scheduled sophomore release back then timed unfortunately into being shelved. Basically, Yaggfu Front were dropped from their label, Mercury. But now, under an independent Mends, The Secret Tapes puts together some of their nostalgic productions and rhymes from 1992 to 1995, then also adds in the North Carolina crew’s hip hop persistence in attacking the studio with tracks created from 1999 to 2001.
Eleven cuts bless this album, and kicking off the mid-90′s vibe is “Roll Wit The Yaggfu”, a groove with that signature double-bass toned sample, blues-sounding piano riffs and lyrical flows from emcees that seem to be trying to pass a test in clear pronunciation! The call-and-response shout-outs throughout the chorus-hook really take you back to the early 90′s, and even though that wasn’t that long ago, remember styles and trends in the hip hop world move at warp speed. The heartfelt effort in this song, and in others like “Jump On It” and “Walk Around Town AKA Thinking Cap”, both produced in the mid-90′s, leaves your head spinning with memories. The rare samples and raw energy pushed hip hop into an elite group of sophisticated listeners, sometimes reciting word for word even when lyrics flew at 100 bpm’s. Definitely filled with more hyper antics and youthful vibrations, earlier tracks like “Plastic Fantastic” created in 1992, even aimed to prevent one from falling into the traps of credit card debt. What, hip hop with a conscious message? This must really be some old school shit!
For their more current creations, Yaggfu Front haven’t lost their jubilant wilder side, and on the oriental touch of class of “Listen” featuring Esau, the driving bass and Far East combo makes this one a song worth a replay, extra spin or heavy rotation on any hip hop dial’s program. A typical East coast feel permeates through this LP, and maybe no one even anticipated a release from Yaggfu but those within their immediate circles, which is probably why it’s been a secret to us after all this time.
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