Friday, January 8, 2010

444. Criminal Minded- Possibly a new low.


Album: Criminal Minded

Artist: Boogie Minded Productions.

Year: 1987

Genre: Rap.


Tracks.

1 Poetry
2 South Bronx
3 9mm Goes Bang
4 Word From Our Sponsor
5 Elementary
6 Dope Beat
7 Remix For P Is Free
8 The Bridge Is Over
9 Super-Hoe
10 Criminal Minded
11 Scott LaRock Mega-mix

Boogie down productions is a rap/hip hop group made up of two guys: KRS-One who provides the rhyming and Scott La Rock who DJ’s. Normally When it comes to rap groups (about whom I know nothing) I have to look this sort of information up but with Boogie Down productions there was no need because these two names make up about 80% of their lyrics. The only thing KRS-One is capable of rapping about is how spectacularly brilliant he is and how the only human being on earth who could possibly approach him for incandescent perfection is Scott La Rock. While the Fugees name dropped all over their album the members of BDP clearly feel that there is nobody worthy of name dropping on their release except themselves. They clearly view each other as name-droppees rather than droppers. If you love KRS-One as much as he loves himself (and I’m not sure this is possible) then you probably enjoy this sort of stuff but if he gets on your nerves like he does mine, Criminal Minded is an insanely irritating listen.

Criminal Minded features the rapping of KRS-One over the top of a series of “dope beats” supplied by Scott La Rock who has ripped them off actual musicians. Probably the low point on Criminal Minded is Dope Beats which features backing unwittingly supplied by ACDC. The opening riff of Back in Black is constantly looped to provide the backing for KRS-One to get megalomaniac over the top of. It goes without saying that I’m a huge fan of Back in Black. But mindlessly repeating the first half of the riff commits the huge sin of turning something fabulous into something annoying. It's like Boogie down productions are just taunting the audience by including snippets of something way better than them underneath their rapping. It’s a constant reminder of the fact that you could be listening to much far superior music but instead your stuck with this nonsense. Over the top of Angus Young’s restricted riffing KRS-one tells us yet again how fantastic he is. He tells us the he has dope beats without once pointing out that ACDC had them first and used them much better.


KRS-one likes to call himself a poet. The opening track of Criminal Minded is called Poetry and the word "poet" appears in pretty much every song. So just how proficient a wordsmith is he? “The Super Hoe is loose in your section/And he's armed with a powerful erection” is just one of his finest rhymes. "However, I'm really fascinating to the letter/ My all-around performance gets better and better" is an example of his modesty at work and here's a gem from this same song: "After years of rocking parties now I picked up the knack/ Because everything that flows from out my larynx/ Takes years of experience and bottles of Beck's/ I cannot seem to recollect the time I didn't have sex." You can unpack that last line for ages and still have more fun with it. Presumably he's implying that while the rest of us have more innocent childhood memories (playing with a favourite toy, watching a loved one injure themselves in a comical way, eating chalk) the first memory that KRS-One has is of the day he became a man, thanks presumably to the easiest girl in the kindergarten. Unless of course he just has an especially bad memory or his first sexual experience was so mind-altering that it completely erased his life up to that point and he emerged sweaty, spent and incapable of recalling his childhood. Either way it's a truly magnificent boast and I take my hat off to him. Some rappers suggest that they get a lot of sex but KRS one has taken it a further step and deserves all our admiration.

But just for a minute Imagine if you had someone in your workplace who behaved like KRS-One does. Pretend your staid and boring place of employment had a rampaging egomaniac with no capacity for restraint on the payroll. Some guy who spent their time telling everyone they were the best accountant that ever lived and all other accountants were beneath them. And not only did they declare themselves the best number-cruncher who ever lived but also the inventor of accountancy and incapable of remembering a time when they weren't accounting. Not only did they boast this but they wrote it down on top of spreadsheets prepared by better accountants who went before them. It would drive you nuts. You'd be gathering together in the photocopy room and organizing a contract hit on the guy. So why the hell is it okay if it does it on a CD? Why is behavior acceptable in music when it's not in real life? The only answer I can come up with is that it isn't unless your 15 and the sort of people you idolize are the sort of people who brag incessantly about their sex life and how good they are in a gunfight. The rest of us can leave this sort of thing well alone.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "You know,in 1986 I thought diss records went out with UTFO and SHANTE. Then I heard "South Bronx" an anthem to where hip-hop really started also an unexpected answer to MC SHAN's classic hit "The Bridge". I felt "The Bridge","South Bronx" didn't move me at first,it sounded like a demo,didn't seem real to me. Then SHAN answered back with "Kill That Noise",it didn't hit me at first whom he was feuding with. Next,"The Bridge Is Over" hits the airwaves like crazy. I had no choice but to give it a listen and damn,KRS-ONE's dissing the whole JUICE CREW (SHAN,MARLEY MARL,MR. MAGIC and SHANTE)except BIZ MARKIE & BIG DADDY KANE,kinda put SHAN in his place on the dissing part. Still it didn't get me into them. But it gave me a buzz. I had to hear what's next by BDP."


-I honestly haven't a clue what on earth that person is talking about.

Influenced by: Grandmaster Flash.
Which is my standard response to every Rap album's influence.
Influenced: Oh... generations of great MC's probably.

Highlight: God I wish there was one.
Lowlight: Start at track 1 and work forward, it's all pretty low to be honest.

So do you Boogie Down or is the whole thing just an incredibly annoying collection of poorly written egomania? Let me know below.

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