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by
1 April, 2003@12:00 am
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When The Artifacts separated, little did we all know, but the community of hip-hop, then seemingly segregated in its own right (via media drummed coastal wars), was on the precipice of its own departure. Few have shown strength in longevity throughout the years, sadly disappearing from their fans grasps before truly coming of age.  As things move so clearly in circles we are introduced with a whole new branch of genre, forgotten artists that come back to the fold. The true test of time, will their original fans venture back into stores to revisit an old friend (most unfortunately do not) or will the new wave of consuming heads fully appreciate the influence and importance of an artist that had some amazing songs 10 years ago? If its banging, does it matter? Yaggfu Front, Jungle Brothers, Special Ed, Masta Ace, Craig G, the list goes on, the originators sometimes (forlornly) return to an empty room.

While the upwardly mobile half of the two, El Da Sensei penetrated a burgeoning independent industry soon after the split with a stout selection of records (on more different labels than you can find at Lower East Side fruit stand), his nottyheaded equivalent didn’t surge out so well. Granted, occasional appearances (Ambush, Redman, Miilkbone) shed a little light on the growingly elusive emcee, not to mention a couple 12′s over the past few years. Yet still the guttural delivery, the harsh spit-back, the elements that a yet-to-be-labeled backpack generation adored so much in this emcee, we close to lost forever.

In a whimsical effort, Tame One finds a home. Interestingly enough and thankfully on the well kept Eastern Conference  imprint, supplied with a competent production roster to boot (DJ Mighty Mi, RJD2, J-Zone, Reef, Camu Tao) and delivered is the redemption of Mr. Tame One. Still guttural like a muthafucka!!!

Tame takes, When Rappers Attack, as his state of the union, and while topically rapping about how wack the industry is and how wack everyone is, has definitely been covered before, its a concept  we hip-hoppers can truly relate to and even gravitate towards. Closing his album the way he commences it, “Homage To The Bomberz” and “When Rappers Attack” present a focused drive within the dusted parameters of Tame One’s brain.  Where El Da Sensai’s previous full length at times carried the weight of too many musical directions (and perhaps tracks), When Rappers Attack, feels slightly more focalized. Slightly.

“Moment I Feared” marking an honestly appropriate ode to one of Slick Rick?s many masterpieces, is simply irresistible while “Up To No Good Again” bounces back and forth a la the Showbiz remix to “The Ultimate” (remember how they bounced?). Yet Artifact comparisons aside, Tame is no doubt the same as he ever once was. Dusted, disgusted with hands littered with paint stains. While Tame has gone on record and stated that When Rappers Attack is in some way his very own litmus test, to see whether or not the heads of today are still checking for him, he’s a veteran to most of the critically acclaimed of today, and with an above average full length to boot, all should pay Tame his respects.  This should definitely Tame’s name out there, even if they’ve already buffed it off the walls.

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