Friday, January 25, 2013

Melonistic Theory: Not As Stupid As It Sounds

I remember seeing this album when it first came out, back when I was in high school and checking out pretty much everything. I was curious, but never actually bought this one because... it looked so damn stupid. I'm talking about Watch Ya Seeds Pop Out by Bustin' Melonz on Nuff Nuff Music/ Continuum from 1994. The use of the corniest slang ("busting melons" meaning blowing minds), with the cheesy watermelon colors, the giant pink sticker across the cover... I was certain this was some goofy fake hip-hop junk directed at kids. If somebody had told me this was some raw Flatbush shit with an uncredited appearance by Special Ed (the Buskwackass turn up, too), I would've bought it in a heartbeat. But it took the internet to clue me in to that years later.
Had I noted the record label at the time, things would've made a little more sense. Nuff Nuff is the same label that put out Raw Breed just before this. Remember, when their album was called Lune Tunez, and they had all those wacky cartoon images and samples on the album? Clearly, the same guy who marketed that was behind this. And also like Raw Breed, it's got that mix of crazy and the authentic. Just about about all the pros and cons from that album apply here.

Lyrically, they're okay, but nothing compelling. Their deliveries are nice, though, flipping a variety of lively yet grounded styles, at times very Leaders Of the New School-inspired. Freestyle rhymes that are meant to sound good, but not make you think (though "Unchain My Mind" tackles some serious subject matter). The hooks are kinda boring, but the production (mostly credited to random first names, like Karl & Will or Darren & Becky) is both gritty and funky, a few tracks in particular will especially have your head nodding. If you're big on 90's nostalgia, this is the perfect album for you.

There's only two guys on the cover, but the crew seems to consist of five members: MCs Squeechie Automatic, Freddy Dee and Tiquan,with DJs Kaze and AD. The guests are uncredited, I guess, because they needed all the room for their crazy liner notes. Besides a bunch of crew photos and thanks, there's a fold-out section that explains their "melonistic theory," which essentially boils down to the importance of "holdin' your melon." There's also a glossary (or "melonary") of slang terms, which I don't think they even really use on the album.

Still, fortunately, most of the silliness is confined to the liner notes and artwork. The songs can maybe be a bit silly in moments, but essentially, it's just some fresh, occasionally even jazzy, hip-hop. Overall, I like this better than Raw Breed's first album. The album has a couple of annoying skits, but others are actually some nice freestyles with fully produced instrumentals. They're essentially full songs except that they're short and fade out before they're finished. That manages to be a little irritating, but only because they were dope enough in the first place that I didn't want them to end so early.

There was one single off this album ("Flippin' Off the Tip"), but I never saw a video for it. I think there were the standard half-page Source ads, but that's about it. Like I said, I basically just saw it in the stores with no idea what kind of hip-hop it really was. And that's too bad, because I think some exposure would've helped these guys. I mean, I doubt Bustin' Melonz would've gotten a second album no matter what; but listening to it now, I'm surprised one or two of the members didn't at least go on to other groups or projects. They were clearly adept creators of hip-hop music.

1 comment:

  1. Nice one Werner. Great album, never understood why people slept on it.