Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Young Black Teenagers – Dead Enz Kidz Doin' Lifetime Bidz LP


SOUL (1993)

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 Age' 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.

This one brings back a lot of memories, but mostly ones of annoyance.  In 1993, when this Young Black Teenagers album came out, Yo! MTV Raps played the single off it constantly.  I felt like every episode I was forced to watch the video for "Tap The Bottle."  I grew to hate that song and never really thought about the group once that single finally faded from the airwaves.  That is until recently.

Once again, I was digging around for older hip hop albums that I hadn't listened to in the early 90s and I stumbled across "Tap The Bottle" again.  When I listened to it, for whatever reason, I wasn't nearly as annoyed by it as I was as a teenager.  In fact I kind of liked it? Bizarre.  So, I decided to listen to the whole album.  To my surprise, it's actually quite good.

Sure there's the whole dumb thing of a bunch of white kids calling themselves Young Black Teenagers, though I think that stupidity was mostly litigated during the release of their first album.  What really makes this album stand out is how great the production is.  The rapping is totally fine, it's not elite level, but it gets the job done.  The production, however, is elite.  Top notch beats, loops and samples.  I was really surprised by how strong it was until I looked into it a bit more.  The production was handled by The Bomb Squad, architects of Public Enemy's signature albums.  And while this doesn't sound like PE at all, it does sound outstanding.  Top tier golden age beats.

Basically, I'm shocked by how much I like this, but I have no problem saying it's a pretty great as a total package.  Again, if you are expecting something special lyrically, you might be a little let down, but if you're looking for something that simply sounds good and fits in with your early 90s hip hop collection, you could do a lot worse than this album.

Young Black Teenagers – Dead Enz Kidz Doin' Lifetime Bidz:

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