While The Beatnuts might not be innovators, they’re most definitely originators. Since their 1993 debut EP, this Queens duo thrived on a formula combining snippets of neck snapping breaks with hefty chunks of B-Boy bravado and tales of raucous sexcapades. Thought provoking and touchy feely they ain’t–but heads have been hooked since 1992′s reckless thumper “Reign of the Tec” and modern day hip-hop classics like the hypnotically cartoonish “Off The Books”.
The Originators doesn’t veer off their well-tested beat path and folks who want “The Nuts” get ‘em throughout 14 cuts. Their best work hits early on and the crew doesn’t waste much time shooting their wad, busting a classic nut in the third track (“Yae Yo”). Flute filled soundscapes flutter like a butterfly over assertive flows from invited guests Ill Bill and Problemz, but this hot track could even make Fred Durst’s mic sound nice. The rhythmic flute loop chopped up here recalls similarly energetic notes utilized in their 1999 banger “Watch Out Now”.
The Nuts move from flute to accordion on “Buying Out The Bar”, where an instrument prominent in polka music gets top billing. The corny hook makes it only a mild success, but you can’t help but crack a wry smile when Juju accurately describes their rep: “Classical shit/Gotta have it in the party/The battery pack that start movin’ everybody.”
Their knack for superb crate mining is well known. At their best, you’ll be hard pressed to find the vinyl homes to their samples, like the plucked bass line on “Routine”. Juju’s even willing to throw a challenge to beat diggers and song publishers alike with this money saving boast: “Producers try to bite but they don’t come near it/Loops so obscure you don’t even gotta clear
“Bionic” reunites the original Beatnuts trio, with Al Tariq (formerly Fashion) guesting on a robotic styled cut that’s likely the most futuristic they’ve ever created. There are a few underachievers though, including the raunchy offering “Work That Pole” with Tony Touch that reaches out to radio too blatantly and “Originate”, which underutilizes Large Professor’s skillful storytelling with a stale, dark track.
Don’t fret though, there’s still plenty of slammin’ tracks to go around. With a predictable, but intoxicating set, more of the same means these Nuts are still at the top of their game.
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