Saturday, June 19, 2010

Request...Declassified


Afterlife: After You And Your Wife

Moosetrack Said:
Hey Anonymous; here's "Declassified" ripped from the official Afterlife CDR. Support these dudes.
All props go to Moosetrack for upping this request. I've said before that this album deserves top ranking in the Goodlife/Blowed canon, and I'm here to say it again. From start to finish, this album is heat. Along with the original Project Blowed comp, Beneath the Surface, Cater to the Dj, Illasophic, and a handful of others, this album epitomized what "the Project Blowed sound" was to me at that time. I wish I could describe my initial impressions on hearing these records; hearing those far-out songs by a handful of amazingly talented emcees, with beats by incredibly resourceful and creative producers, all done completely on their own. Not only was the music on the next level, but the idea of making a record without outside help and still getting respect hit home with me.
Although all the albums just mentioned were incredible, Declassified stood apart for a couple reasons. One, although all the above featured Afterlife artists, on Declassified, It was all Afterlife. All Afterlife artists, doing shit their way, on their home turf, and in their element. Two, the production on most of those records mentioned featured a more laid-back, jazzy, and experimental vibe; courtesy of cats like OD, Nobody, Fat Jack, Elusive, and Slant. But here the beats were almost exclusively from CVE, and therefore they were coming from an entirely different world. You know what I'm talking about, those home-made beats on old, out-dated equipment, employing a decidedly more urban feel than Nobody's trippy space-music or OD's stoned atmospherics.
In the microcosm that was the late-90's P-Blowed scene, the Afterlifers seemed hungrier, more driven, and more dangerous than their cohorts. Their songs were violent, gritty, and closer to Ice-T than to De La or Ed OG. This was true not only content-wise, but style-wise as well: Afterlife was home to the ultra-fast chop-chop styles affiliated with Hip Hop Kclan, the Badstads, and CVE; and used by many of the predominant gangsta acts of the time.
Declassified is the perfect summation of the darker and grittier side of Project Blowed. It's a CVE record, so of course you'll find resident party animal/stylistic genius NgaFsh, urban mystic Riddlore, and, um, Wreccless; and "honorary CV member" Chu is omnipresent as well. But the album features crew cut after crew cut, with Pterra, Otherwize, and Rifleman from Hip Hop Kclan, Self Jupiter on a rare appearance, Cali Ragz from the Badstads, Khynky Rhead, Trensetta, Chali 2Na, Zagu Brown, and an especially annoying Busdriver. All told, this album represents 90's Project Blowed every bit as much as Beneath the Surface, but from an entirely different and darker angle - an angle that I feel is sadly missing today. But what can I say? Things change.
So without further rambling on my part, please listen to this cornerstone in the LA underground.

Declassified

6 comments:

  1. "...and an especially annoying Busdriver"

    hahaha that line gaved me a great laugh!
    It's amazing how your fingers flow over the keys producing intelligent and funny texts like these...

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  2. Haha, thanks Meee! I'm glad you like reading! I enjoy your reviews a lot, too.

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  3. Ngafsh is such a genius/fool on "wet feet".

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  4. That review really hit home. It's always great to hear other people who can appreciate that whole CVE and Afterlife sound for what it was/is despite the rough quality. It make that sound even more raw.

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  5. Thanks for reading! I agree, the Kclas'Sick Afterlife sound is something special, and not everyone gets it.

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  6. Jack - thank you for putting me in touch with so many amazing music & the artists. Your writing is informative & inspires me to want to check these things out further. Outside of Living Legends crew & Shapeshifters - your site has shown me how little I knew about LA hip hop! 2 crucial compilations that you have often referred to are this (Declassified... any chance you can re-up as the link here is to the defunct Megaupload) & also 'Cater to The DJ' - do you know if this is available anywhere?

    Anyway - thanks again for doing what you do!
    Best wishes... Tony

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