Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The B.U.M.S. - Lyfe 'N' Tyme 2xLP + 7"


90s Tapes (2023, 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.

Lyfe 'N' Tyme originally came out in 1995, and if you are even a somewhat casual reader of my Wednesday nonsense, you know that year is the cut off for following hip hop.  1994 and earlier, I was paying very close attention to what was happening.  1995 and beyond was a total mystery to me for decades because there wasn't anything catching my interest.  As a result, I ended up missing out on quite a few really good records.  I still contend that very few albums from after '95 can hand with anything from what I consider the Golden Era of 1988-1994.  But again, there are some that have popped up as I've been digging around the last few years.

The B.U.M.S. are one of those groups that ended up on my radar looking for something new that I hadn't heard before.  I checked out their only album Lyfe 'N' Tyme and while I liked it, it wasn't one of those albums that made me think I must pay collector prices and get this record in my collection immediately.  Not rushing into that paid off in the long run as my favorite hip hop reissue label, 90s Tapes, stepped up and rereleased a great version of this album.  Double LP with a bonus 7", you really couldn't ask for a more definitive version.

As far as the music goes, I still contend that it's a good record, though it never really crosses that line to be considered top tier.  The beats are mostly laid back and rely on some jazzy samples, but they don't really have the energy of something like Tribe or Gang Starr.  There's laid back and then there's slow, Lyfe 'N' Tyme is really riding that line between the two.  Lyrically is where the album really shines, with dynamic flows and rhymes.  Being from the Bay Area, you could draw a dotted line to the Hieroglyphics folks, but The B.U.M.S. are a bit more straightforward and don't experiment quite as much.

It really is a solid record and had it come out when I was in the thick of my teenage hip hop obsession, I probably would have been playing this in my car fairly often.  Today, it's a solid record and a nice change of pace when I'm looking to listen to something I'm less familiar with.

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