Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Souls of Mischief - No Man's Land 2xLP


Jive (1995)

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.

Well, I'm out of Casual singles from the Fear Itself era, and while I don't have all of the Souls of Mischief singles from that time period, I figured now would be a good week to tackle the second Souls of Mischief full length, No Man's Land.  This was the follow up to 93 'Til Infinity, which was one of my all time favorite hip hop records when it came at and continues to be to this day.  

Now in 1995, I had really moved away from hip hop and was listening to much more punk and indie rock.  I was really disillusioned with the direction hip hop was moving, but in 1995 I was still game for a new release from anyone that was part of the Hieroglyphics crew.  I bought this CD right away and was extremely disappointed.  It just didn't connect with me at all and I pretty much filed it away after a few listens and moved on with my life.

It wasn't until many years later that I gave it another chance.  I liked it much better when I was a bit older.  While I still contend that the beats are not at the level of 93 'Til, they are way better than I gave them credit for in 1995.  Lyrically, the Souls are on fire and while their tone and delivery is more aggressive than on their debut, they still run circles around most multi-MC groups and pass the microphone back and forth with ease, never losing the flow of the song.

If I'm in the mood to listen to Souls of Mischief, I'm going to reach for 93 'Til Infinity nine times out of ten.  It's just one of those records that is embedded into my consciousness at this point.  But every so often I will pick up one of their other albums and I am never disappointed these days when No Man's Land is playing.  It's the true definition of an album that's a grower.  And I had to have the vinyl in my collection.

Souls of Mischief - No Man's Land:

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