Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Das EFX - Hold It Down 2xLP


Music On Vinyl (2019, 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.

When Dead Serious, the first Das EFX, album came out in 1991, I was pretty obsessed.  Great beats, cool vibe and wild lyrics that made more than a couple of pop culture references that really landed with me.  When it came out, I felt like I was one of the few people that liked their second album, Straight Up Sewaside just as much as Dead Serious when it was released in 1993.  I even remember reviewing it in my high school newspaper and proclaiming it better than the first.  I don't really feel that way anymore, as nostalgia is a real beast sometimes and the first album just evokes a different strain of memories.

I'll be honest, when Hold It Down originally came out in 1995, I never listened to it.  I had pretty much moved on from hip hop at that point and I think that year's Souls of Mischief record might have been the only hip hop record I bought.  I'm not sure if hearing this album then would have really changed my mind about anything, but after going back to it and spending some time, I can claim this is one of a very small amount of 90s post -994 hip hop albums that is actually worth a damn.

The beats are really strong for 1995, when I felt there was so much trash polluting hip hop.  They're still grimy with a strong snare crack and deep, grooving bass lines.  Lyrically Hold It Down sits inbetween the constant 'diggety' of the first record and the 'no diggety at all' of the second.  They break out their signature flow here and there, but they don't beat it into the grouond.  My only real complaint about it is how long it is.  Seventy four minutes is way too long for any album, it's nearly double the length of Dead Serious and it's certainly not twice as good.

But there's way more good than bad on here and it's definitely worth giving a listen if you missed it first time around.

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