Wednesday, June 10, 2020

KMD - Mr. Hood 2xLP


Traffic/Elektra (2004, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

The first time I had heard of KMD was when Zev Love X made a guest appearance on the 3rd Bass song Gas Face.  I can't say that the first KMD full length, Mr. Hood, was on may radar as soon as it came out, but in the intervening years, I've become a really huge fan of this album.  Zev Love X made a far bigger splash in the hip hop community when he disappeared and reemerged as MF Doom, but for me, the KMD albums records are the cream of his crop.

The thing that I like best about Mr. Hood is the storytelling aspect as the songs are strung together with dialogue between KMD and the fictional Mr. Hood, which is primarily strung together using samples from some woefully out of date children's storytelling records and some English language instructional records.  While skits on hop hop records are not always my favorite, these serve a greater narrative purpose than the randomly tossed in comedy skit.

The beats on this record are bouncy and upbeat, a perfect slice of golden era hip hop production.  Combine that in with stellar rhymes and the aforementioned narrative and you've got yourself a real classic.  It is criminally under appreciated despite the relative success and notoriety that MF Doom has achieved.  KMD had one other album called Black Bastards that was pulled by Elektra prior to release.  It floated around bootleg circles for years until finally getting a proper reissue.  That one is still on my list of vinyl to pick up once finances allow for the purchase of more records.

KMD - Mr. Hood (Youtube full album playlist):

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