Saturday, November 13, 2010

No Sleeping On Buckwild

You wanna know a good new album? Check out Celph Titled and Buckwild's collaborative CD, Nineteen Ninety Now on No Sleep Records. where Celph breaks open Buckwild's vaults to rhyme over some of his best, unused beats from the 90's. But you wanna know what's even better than that? Buckwild's brand new, limited edition LP* Buckwild Presents on the same label.

This release is really split into two, distinct parts.

Part 1, or side A, is essentially a killer 12" single from Nineteen Ninety Now. It starts off with what's probably the most exciting track off the album, his massive posse cut called "There Will Be Blood" featuring Sadat X, Grand Puba, AG, OC and Diamond D. Considering Nineteen s a CD-only release (sigh), it's great to have the killer posse cut presented here. And it is killer. If you were worried that anybody here was too far past their prime to come off, I can assure you you'll be pleasantly surprised. Puba and Sadat especially add a lot of great energy to the track. And the music? It's live; I love it! Like pretty much everything on Nineteen and Presents, it's baffling that material this great went unused for so long.

But, hey. We fans have got high expectations here (especially with No Sleep's track record). Maybe just presenting a CD-only song on vinyl isn't enough. Well, next up we have an exclusive remix of "There Will Be Blood" (also by Buckwild, naturally). It's completely different but just as compelling. It really flips it, giving a smooth, jazzy vibe. It kind of reminds me of The 45 King's remix of "Flavor Unit Assassination Squad," in that it totally changes the feeling of the track, but makes it work just as well. You can't really pick a favorite - they both work for completely different reasons.

Next up, we've got two additional tracks by Celph over unused Buckwild vaulted beats that didn't appear on the album - they're exclusive to this track. "Nothin' To Say" features Rise, another MC from Celph's old Demigodz crew. The beat is really cool and the concept is fun - rhyming with nothing to say. Rise comes off really nice on this one, and the scratching, provided by Mista Sinista is subtle but slick and impressive in that way only Sinista can bring.

And then this side rides out with "The Celph Titled Show." The track's another low-key banger, and the hook is fun in a retro way. Everything here sounds like the 90's, 'cause of course the music IS all from the 90's, but this one feels especially dated... in a fun way. Left to rhyme on his own, Celph is left a little exposed as being secondary to all the other, better MCs on Presents; but on this song he actually kicks some of his best verses, so he kinda saves the day.

Still, though. It's time for some non-Celph Titled tracks, and that's where side B comes in. Side B is a collection of remixes Buckwild recorded for various artists throughout the 90's that their labels never wound up including on their projects, for one reason or another. ...But I think really all of those reasons could be boiled down to bad taste, because you'd have to be a fool to be sent these mixes and think "nah, we'll pass."

First up is perhaps the best of them, a remix of Kool G Rap & Nas's "Fast Life." Now, there have been a couple of "Fast Life" remixes already released... There's the killer "Norfside Remix" by Salaam Remi (sometimes wrongly credited to Buckwild), which was on Epic's promo 12". And there's also The Vinyl Reanimators' remix from their remix sampler 12". Both of those trumped the LP version, but this one tops them all. This one's smoother and grittier than any of the other mixes... this one feels like it should be the original, the definitive version of the song.

Then you've got four more exclusive remixes of tracks by different 90's artists. You've got a remix for The Bush Babees' "We Run This," which actually uses a beat later recycled for another song by somebody else[I can't remember who at the moment, though - anybody whose memory is functioning better than mine, please remind me in the comments! Verge got it in the comments. I was thinking of Shabazz the Disciple's "Consciousness of Sin,"], but hearing The Babees over it actually gives me a new-found appreciation for them as MCs. You've got a remix for Tha Alkaholiks' "The Next Level" (also featuring Diamond D), which, again, it's just baffling how the label didn't use this at the time. There's a remix of Rampage The Last Boyscout's "Beware Of the Rampsack" which is probably better than Rampage deserves. And finally you've got a remix of Grand Daddy IU's "Represent," which I'll reserve commentary for until my next blog post. ;)

So yeah, I recommend Nineteen Ninety Now; but I recommend Presents like ten times more. But the bad news is that, by the time you're reading this, it's already sold out. It's limited to 200 copies and was only available direct from No Sleep. So if you're after this now, you're gonna have to look out for a copy second-hand. But if you did pre-order it (and I did announce it on my twitter page at the time), and you're just waiting for your copy to arrive, then I think you'll find your expectations will be more than met. This is another first-class release from No Sleep, who promise us more goodness (including a follow-up to their recent OC EP) in 2011.

*They label this as an EP; but at 9 full-length songs, I'm upgrading them.


  1. Good record here, no doubt.

    The Bush Babees remix I believe has the same sample as a "Conscious of Sin" off of one of Shabazz's singles, Crime Saga 12". And Buck uses the same bass line as "Son Get Wreck" by Black Moon for it.
    And I also think maybe Sunz Of Man, even though Shabazz was one of them, also used that sample from "Conscious Of Sin" on one of those bootleg pre-first album records, but I may be wrong. Probably wrong about the last one, lol. But I'm pretty sure it was used again besides what I mentioned.

    I still think the Vinyl Reanimator's Remix of Fast Life is the greatest by far, but that's just a matter of opinion. Maybe I just played out the og Cymande sample too much to appreciate this mix so much now. :)

    Great review, man. Peace.

  2. It's also used on 'its on' by scientifik from 'the most blunted' album

  3. @Matt E: Word, good catch. And that also has the same bassline as "Son Get Wrec" again, so must obviously be the same old song sampled for all. Can't believe I didn't know what it was when its sittin right in my crates and I heard it a bamillion times, lol:

    Also, I'm gonna wanna recant my last sort of belittling of the Buckwild remix of Fast Life. After a couple more real thorough listens, yeah, that shit is tight.

    Of course, I'll always say the VR remix is the apex of Fast Life remixes buuut this Buckwild remix is definitely giving them all a run for their money.

  4. Verge - Yeah, that's it! The Shabazz track is definitely the one I was thinking of. =)

    The thing about the VR's remix, to me, is that the vocals don't quite feel like they mix entirely with the beat. Not that it's off-beat or anything blatantly wrong like that... but it has a bit of that "amateur DJ mash-up" feel to it.