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Boogie Down Productions

Live Hardcore Worldwide  Hear it Now

RS: 4of 5 Stars Average User Rating: Not Rated

1991

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All rise for the massive BDP crew. Boogie Down Productions' fifth album, Live Hardcore Worldwide, is far from a mere tour curio. It's a chance to hear BDP's leader, rapper KRS-One, a.k.a. Kris Parker, strike a balance between the obvious physical appeal of hip-hop and its more literary purpose of imparting ideas and information.

Nonstop booty shakin' is one option as BDP runs through twenty-one tracks in around fifty minutes, but it pays to listen to the words. Parker has taken rap lyrics to a whole 'nother level of complexity. Tales of street violence that merely gush blood in other rappers' hands take on a sort of ironic, even tragicomic, inevitability in his. "Jack of Spades" rides a lean, sturdy groove, an insistent, staccato guitar sample that serves as a foreboding undercurrent to Parker's rap about the "only guy that had some heart ... one guy hasn't been paid/He's the jack of spades."

Parker is definitely on the positive-street-philosopher tip, and when BDP launches into "Stop the Violence," the merger of teacher and entertainer is complete. Against a skeletal drums-and-bass backing track, Parker and the audience urge each other on, jumping from didactic, sociopolitical statements to light house-party chants. When the music stops and Parker and the crowd yell, "Stop the violence," there's no doubt that, along with dropping social science, there's a party going on. (RS 607)


STEVEN VOLK





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