Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Styles of Beyond - 2000 Fold 2xLP


Ideal / Mammoth / Bilawn (1999) 

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.

As I dig through all of these incredible old school hip hop albums, two things are happening.  The first is I am listening to a lot more hip hop and have rekindled a deep passion for it that I haven't felt since I was a teenager.  That directly leads to the second thing.  I am actively digging around for groups I missed the first time around and am trying to find more records that fit into the late 80s early 90s mold of hip hop that I'm most passionate about.

This record by Styles of Beyond is from 1999, way outside the time frame that I typically associate with the sort of hip hop I love.  Yes, there are outliers like Mr. Lif, Jurassic 5 and Edan, but in general if if came out after 1994, it's usually not something I'm interested in.  Styles of Beyond are another group you can add to that outlier list.  This is a record full of beats and rhymes steeped in the early 90s that I love so very much.  They're not as much of an obvious throwback as Jurassic 5.  If anything, they sound more like a group that got stuck in 1993 and just so happened to take six years for the record to get released.

Even though they are from the west coast and have obvious influences from that scene, they do remind me a little bit of Black Moon, though with somewhat cleaner production and beats.  I had never heard of these guys until I came across some sort of 'most overlooked hip hop records of the 90s' type list.  In digging around since getting this record, I've found out that they might be more known than I though, having released some additional records and appearing on a Transformers movie soundtrack?  I need to look into some of their other records, but I can wholeheartedly recommend 2000 Fold if you're into the sort of hip hop I typically write about on Wednesdays.

Styles of Beyond - 2000 Fold (YouTube Music full album playlist):

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