Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Burger Bounce

Who knew Milwaukee had such a vibrant hip-hop scene back in the 80's, with such a deep well of smashing records to continuously draw from?  It turns out Jamille Records is the answer. They know, and they're back with another impressive repress of another funky dope group you've probably never heard of: the 20/20 Boys.

"Burger Bounce" was originally released on VU Records, the same label A-Tak debuted on. And indeed, their entire record was produced by Speech (in fact, I think he either owned or co-owned that label).  But these guys are nowhere near the Arrested Development lane; they have much more in common with groups like The Showboys or Worse 'Em. They're a four-man crew consisting of Jimmy "C," "D" Griff, Will Kill and D.J. Mad Dog, and they pack a lot of energy into pair of short songs.

Interestingly, Jamille has decided to make the original 12"s B-side their A-side.  Probably because it's the best song.  "My Position" is hard, LL-inspired, yelling over big echoey drums, rhythm scratches and catchy keyboard riffs. It's a lot of fun; one of them even starts singing "Why Have I Lost You" on the break. It has more of a low budget sound than its more professionally mastered Def Jam contemporaries, but in some ways that works in its favor, feeling even rawer and edgier. This is the kind of songs heads who spend big money on "random rap" are hoping to find.

Then we come to the eponymous dance theme, the "Burger Bounce." It's lighter, sloppily cuts up a healthy dose of "Atomic Dog" and features much more relaxed, bemused flows from the MCs explaining the graphic nature of their three-person dance. It's enjoyable, and it's easy to imagine this was the song that they would've gotten all the attention for on the local scene back in 1987.  It's still a good time if you're an aficionado of rap music's bygone eras; but "My Position" is the track that holds up (despite sounding equally, or even more, old school) and will impress heads to this day.

This is Jamille's tenth record, and the ninth in their series of colorful Milwaukee old school 7"s, making some practically impossible to find material available to own on wax. This one's pressed on white (white) vinyl and limited to 100 hand-numbered copies (mine's #36). And it doesn't intrude on the original VU 12"s collectability, since that features a third song, not included here, titled "Killer Will." Jamille is like the underdog in this limited game. Everything they put out is more than worth your time, so don't sleep. And unlike many limited labels, their releases are quite reasonably priced  If you think you don't care about Milwaukee rap, you probably just don't know what you're missing.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely nailed it Werner, Jamille are so dope.I've only missed a couple of releases but considering the quality thus far i've missed out.