Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Hard Knocks - School of Hard Knocks LP


Wild Pitch (1992)

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.

One thing I haver to say, Wild Pitch had a hell of a roster in the early 90s.  In addition to the groups I knew about at the time, I've discovered gem after gem with their logo pasted on the sleeve.  Hard Knocks is another feather in their cap.

I don't remember ever hearing about these guys when this record came out in 1992, but man, is this record great.  Hard Knocks consists of MC Hardhead and DJ Stoneface and while coming up with names isn't the group's strong suit, politically conscious lyrics over hard hitting beats definitely is.  The production runs the gamut of laid back tracks with smooth funk samples to upbeat anthems powered by basslines lifted from the great American soul playbook.  While I prefer the faster paced tracks, I can't say there's a bad one in the bunch.

Lyrically, MC hardhead doesn't have a fiery delivery.  He sits more in that monotone delivery not too dissimilar from Guru, but not quite as smooth.  But his flow allows him the space to deliver intelligent stories that tackle poverty, racism and many other issues that unfortunately haven't changed much since 1992.  The content sounds just as fresh and relevant in 2022 as it did thirty years ago. 

I found this copy on Discogs, and while there is a big old hole punch through the sleeve, it was still sealed after all of these years.  I'll take a slightly damaged cover to get a pristine slab of vinyl every single time.

No comments:

Post a Comment