For many of us, Freddie Foxxx is the people’s champion who is still heavily slept on. When I first got through he was midway through an interview and I heard him say “…they’re not experimenting enough, they need to be more diverse…”. I assume he was talking about the current state of emcees, a topic he is always glad to discuss in interviews and on his records.
In the first single "Killa" from the mysteriously shelved 1994 album Crazy Like A Foxxx, we’re transported back in time to a different era of hip-hop. Bumpy Knuckles and 2Pac’s rawness evoke a New York City where gang violence was at an all time high and many of Bumpy's friends were in prison. There’s no mincing words in the track; Bumpy states, "If they wanna rumble with the Foxxx / Then they get shot".
Fourteen years overdue, Freddie Foxxx, aka Bumpy Knuckles, is finally ready to step back into the spotlight with the official release of his 1994 demo tape, Crazy Like A Foxxx, as a two CD set on July 29th via Brooklyn-based record label Fat Beats. The album is a veritable time capsule from the early 1990's, with guest spots from legends such as 2Pac, Chuck D and Kool G Rap.
Freddie Foxxx is an enigma. He keeps redefining himself as others desperately try to pin him down and label him. Ruffian. Hardcore. Gun-Wielding. A bygone legend, limited to cameos and guest appearances. Industry Troublemaker. Foxxx is all of these things and none of them at once. A past marred with distrust and hard-breaks has molded Foxxx into a chameleon and one of the most respected emcees out there.
Anybody who managed to cop Vol.1 & 2 of ‘The Way He Wanted It’ will know how good this series is. Put together by Assassin this has to be the best volume so far, with awesome collaborations. Outstanding production and above all a CD that if Tupac was alive he would be proud of. Real ‘2Pac’ fans should really get up on this album if they haven’t already.
West Coast and Tupac Shakur fans should take note of this new label compilation by The Bay’s Assassin and 2Pac’s brother Mopreme Shakur. Featuring a string of legendary emcees from the West such as Rappin 4Tay, Thuglife, Gonzoe, South Central Cartel, Snoop, Bizzy Bone and Assassin himself, ‘Black & Brown’ really impresses.
This is the third volume in the Gold Digging Series which previously covered Kanye West and Jay Z. This time round the attention is focussed on Tupac and this CD contains the full original tracks of some 20 songs which were sampled as the basis for some of Tupac’s biggest hits.
I have never really rated Tupac, heresy some of you may cry. Well I had thought he was overrated and to be honest I just never gave the guy any time. Admittedly the themes of his songs seemed intelligent and I should have liked that, but I guess it just didn’t touch me for some reason. Anyhow, there are about a billion hardcore Tupac fans out there who are about ready to spill my claret, so I had better move on.
Not being a big fan of the Ruff Ryders click I am not sure whether this is a collection of old material or new unreleased stuff, or indeed a mixture of the two. This compilation, their first in three years, is obviously designed to ride on the back of the big Jin LP which recently dropped.