Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Brothers Uv Da Blakmarket – Ruff Life LP


Select (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.

Brothers Uv Da Blakmarket are another one of those groups that I discovered recently just digging around to see what hip hop records were released in the early 90s.  Ruff Life is the groups only album and came out in 1992 on Select records.  They're from Paterson, NJ and have a vague alliance with Naughty By Nature and The Flavor Unit.  They aren't a group I remember hearing about back in 1992.  I don't recall ever seeing them on Yo! MTV Raps and based on the fact that I lived in rural Sussex County, the fact that this group was from New Jersey didn't help elevate their visibility to me.  I only really ever had access to The Source and Yo.

I am glad that I discovered them finally.  Ruff Life is a really strong record.  The production is great, classic early 90s Hip Hop.  It's fit in nicely right next to anything of the era, particularly if you enjoy the sort of production techniques that defined the Flavor Unit.  You can definitely hear Naughty By Nature influence on the beats, though maybe not as much lyrically.

Cool Money Cee may not be as lyrically as intense as Treach, and might not have the most complicated or rapid fire flow, but he holds his own just fine.  He's primarily a storyteller at heart and while he might not be playing off of crazy internal rhyme schemes, he works narratives better than many from that era. 

All in all, it's just a fun, solid record.  Is it going to be your new favorite album?  Probably not, but if you like golden era hip hop, I just cannot fathom anyone not liking this.

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