Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Kaotic Style - A Diamond in the Ruff LP


Dope Folks (2018)

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.

Kaotic Style seemed to have mostly been active in the 1990-1996 era and only really had a few underground singles to their name.  They aren't a group I ever heard about back then as my only exposure to hip hop where I lived was Yo! MTV Raps and The Source.  I'm not going to say it was out of the question that they may have gotten one of their EPs written up in The Source at some point, but I certainly do not remember it.

Dope Folks is one of those great labels that are digging deep to find the forgotten gems of early 90s hip hop.  They've put out some really interesting releases, though I have to say that this Kaotic Style record may be my favorite of the bunch.  The production is really strong with interesting samples, some familiar, some not, but all used in a really cool way.

Lyrically, the two main MCs (Big Grand and Scram) can hang with all but the elite of golden era lyricists.  They're not out of this world wordsmiths, but they are both steady, creative and more than hold their own over the excellent beats they are working with.  

The only thing about this LP that I think is odd is that the song "Intro" is at the beginning of the second side instead of starting off the album.  I assume that's to maintain the integrity of the track order of the EP version of this that originally came out in '94, but it strikes me as being kind of weird from a flow standpoint.  That minor critique aside, this is definitely a record worth checking out if you're looking for new-to-you golden era tunes.

Kaotic Style - A Diamond in the Ruff (This is just the 5 songs from the EP that came out in 94, this LP has 10 songs in total):

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