Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Mysterme & DJ 20/20 – Let Me Explain LP


Taha / JTLM (2020, 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.

I have spent a lot of time the last couple of years really trying to dig back into golden era hip hop from the late 80s and early 90s.  In addition to rediscovering records that I hadn't heard in quite some time, I've also unearthed a bunch or really great records that I hadn't heard before.  Among those new discoveries, I don't think any have been quite as great as Mysterme & DJ 20/20.

I literally have never even heard of these guys prior to seeing their name on a list of 'overlooked hip hop records of 1993' or some article with a title similar to that.  I did some digging, listened to a few of the songs and immediately went looking for a copy on vinyl.  Luckily, some people way smarter than me were ahead of the curve and had rereleased this album in 2020.  While I did have to pay for it to be imported from Europe, at least I didn't have to pay collector prices for it.

That brings me to finally say something about the actual record.  The beats on this thing are unbelievably great.  This is 90s East coast boom bap, but with the sort of rumbling bass and upbeat samples that I'm more accustomed to hearing on Hieroglyphics records from this era.  You aren't going to find beats much better than this.  Lyrically, while I couldn't put Mysteryme in the upper echelon of MCs from the era, he absolutely holds his own and handles the beats well.  He has a pretty straightforward flow, but that is in no way a criticism as he weaves well crafted stories through the excellent production.  Did I mention how great the beats are on this thing?  Anyway, this is absolutely something worth digging into if you're looking for top tier golden era hip hop.

Mysterme & DJ 20/20 – Let Me Explain:

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