22 November, 2011@7:55 pm
After releasing one of the most critically acclaimed hip-hop albums of 2010 (Nineteen Ninety Now), Celph Titled and Buckwild return, at the end of 2011, with Nineteen Ninety More; a companion piece to the album from last year. Anyone who spent any time on hip-hop websites and message boards, around the time of the release of Nineteen Ninety Now, will remember the plethora of posts the album spawned. Whether praiseworthy or critical, Celph and Buck generated one of the most talked about underground albums in years. With Buckwild unearthing unreleased beats from the mid 90’s, Celph Titled bringing his unique form of emceeing and concepts, Mista Sinista creating classic cuts, and a plethora of great guests, Nineteen Ninety Now stood out amongst the glut of microwave popcorn rap albums.
With Nineteen Ninety More, listeners are treated to eight cuts that didn’t appear on the original album. Four of the songs: “While You Slept (feat. Laws)”, “Good Hell Hunting (feat. Outerspace)”, “Rapid Fire (feat. Cella Dwellas)”, and “Get Stupid (feat. Lord Digga & Kwest)” were unreleased; three: “The Celph Titled Show”, “Nothin’ To Say (feat. Rise)” and “There Will Be Blood [Remix] (feat. DITC and Brand Nubian)”, appeared on a vinyl only EP, and “Buck’s Four Course Meal” served as a promotional track. In addition, the two disc package also includes all of the new instrumental tracks, and a second disc with all of the instrumentals off of Nineteen Ninety Now plus four bonus beats. It is definitely a package worthy of the asking price.
Any of the tracks on this companion piece could have easily been inserted into the original album, and it would have been as cohesive and strong as it already was, so one must wonder why some of the original songs got the go ahead while others did not. “Rapid Fire”, with one of the first appearances of the Cella Dwellas on a release in years, could have easily replaced songs like “Tingin’” or “Wack Juice” and made Now an even stronger release. It is a rarity to hear Lord Digga and Kwest these days, and being notable 90’s underground heroes, they would have been a perfect addition to last year’s album. Luckily, we get them all here spitting over vintage Buckwild production.
The true highlight of this album is being able to listen to more beats Buckwild made around the era of Big L’s Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Kool G Rap’s 4, 5, 6, O.C.’s Word… Life, and many more classics. It’s a shame that the standard for hip-hop beats and digging have deteriorated over the years, to the point that his leftover beats tend to be better than the best beats that most producers make nowadays.
Overall, Nineteen Ninety More is the perfect complement to Nineteen Ninety Now. You get a modern emcee working with an excellent producer’s unearthed masterpieces. Although some may have questioned Celph’s work in the past, he truly stepped his game up with the songs on this album. More is an album that will keep heads bobbing and smiles on listeners’ faces that miss 90’s hip-hop but aren’t stuck in the past.
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