Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Blahzay Blahzay - Blah Blah Blah 2xLP - Brown Vinyl (/300)


Tuff Kong (2022, 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've said it many times, but aside from a few things here and there, I completely checked out of hip hop in about 1994 after about a five year run of it being my whole world, musically speaking.  It just felt that the fun and innovation had been driven out of rap and my never ending desire to hear something new and different was instead embraced by punk and indie rock.  Over the years I've heard a few albums that I missed out on that came out in 93 or 94, maybe even the occasional 1995 release that I didn't know about.  But Blahzay Blahzay came out in 1996.  That might as well be a different century compared to the type of hip hop I usually listened to.

Regardless of it's original year of release, Blahzay Blahzay's debut album Blah Blah Blah could have stood alongside of just about anything that was released during the timeline that I consider the golden era.  The beats are full on New York boom bap.  It's a rough edged sound that owes influence in equal parts to Gang Starr, EPMD and Tribe Called Quest.  Lyrically, the rhymes are straightforward and powerful, weaving stories, calling out inferior MCs and handling the mic with a deep flow, steeped in gravitas.

I never heard Blahzay Blahzau when the record originally came out.  I don't know if it would have been possible for me to, in all honesty.  I was on a completely different wavelength by then and even if I wasn't, I can't imagine this sort of sound is something that would have been pushed or promoted properly considering what was 'hot' at the time.  But I am really glad I eventually stumbled across this.  Along with Mysterme & DJ 20/20 and The Future Sound, Blahzay Blahzay are one of the best discoveries I've made while digging back into the sounds of 90s hip hop.

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