September 28, 2007

Black Moon - Enta Da Stage (October 19, 1993)


When I started up Hip Hop Isn't Dead, one of the first albums I reviewed was Originoo Gunn Clappaz's Da Storm. (If you don't remember that review, you're not alone; it's the one review that nobody left any comments for.) In that post, I mentioned that the members of O.G.C. were part of a larger collective known as the Boot Camp Clik; here now I present to you the rap group that started the supergroup: Black Moon.

Black Moon is made up of rapper Buckshot, producer DJ Evil Dee (of Da Beatminerz), and 5 Ft., who was the secondary rhyme slinger in the crew, but relinquished the mic to Buckshot the majority of the time. In 1993, they secured a deal with Nervous Records and released their debut, Enta Da Stage, which has sold almost four hundred copies worldwide to date. (I kid; I'm sure it's sold more than that.) Enta Da Stage is chock full of goodness; that is, if you consider hard-hitting drums, grim street tales, and boasts of sexual prowess and the possibility of violent acts a part of your nutritious breakfast. (Which I do.)

However, I fear the main thing Black Moon is known for today, other than being founding members of the Boot Camp Clik (whose other main members include Smif-N-Wessun, Heltah Skeltah, and the aforementioned O.G.C., among others), is for being the group whose record contract was so fucked up, they lost the rights to their own fucking name, and are now only able to use it if they pay a fee to Nervous Records, whom they severed ties with many years ago. One one hand, I have to ask, how fucked up do you have to be to sign away your own name? However, the problem here lies within the record industry itself, who has exploited young artist sfor literally gazillions of years, and will continue to do so in the future.

Enta Da Stage is considered to be a hip hop classic, and I'm about to find out if that title is justified. I haven't heard this album in a while, so this will be interesting.

1. POWAFUL IMPAK!
There's just something about the harsh drums and the Busta Rhymes vocal sample that is woven throughout that takes you back to a time when hip hop music actually sounded good. The "Get on my skateboard and do a motherfucking drive-by" line is the funniest thing I've heard all day.

2. N---Z TALK SHIT
The Blogger spellchecker is going to have a fucking field day with Enta Da Stage.

3. WHO GOT DA PROPS?
If your knowledge of the Boot Camp Clik is comprised of tidbits you picked up while reading other blogs, then you will probably be shocked as to how clean and polished Enta Da Stage sounds. True, the beats are grimy, and the drums are dirty, but it's obvious that this is the way they intended for it to sound. Which is to say, great.

4. ACK LIKE U WANT IT
Buckshot and 5 Ft. essentially rhyme over a simple drumbeat with very little melody to speak of. I'm not impressed.

5. BUCK EM DOWN
Uses the same sample that 2Pac utilized on his "Definition Of A Thug N---a", from the Poetic Justice soundtrack. But none of that matters, because this song still rocks today.

6. BLACK SMIF-N-WESSUN (FEAT TEK & STEELE)
Not a bad way to introduce the duo who would become Smif-N-Wessun, but as a song by itself, it's not great.

7. SON GET WREC
5 Ft.'s solo effort. I'm thankful that Buckshot is the primary rapper in Black Moon, and not 5 Ft., but this song isn't terrible.

8. MAKE MUNNE
From the Nicolas Cage movie of the same name.

9. SLAVE
A dark, sparse track, where Buckshot shines lyrically. Apparently this song was left off of the vinyl release, probably due to spatial reasons, but those who only have Enta Da Stage on vinyl should hunt this down.

10. I GOT CHA OPIN
Even if you've never heard any hip hop from the early nineties, when you hear this song, you will be taken back to 1993. Even if you weren't even born in 1993, the time machine that is "I Got Cha Opin" will open your eyes in ways you only thought possible by a DeLorean.

11. SHIT IZ REAL
Thankfully, shit iz real, which is a real load off of my mind, you know? I had been going through life believing that shit iz fake, and that line of thinking doesn't do much for your psyche. Thanks, Dr. Buckshot, PhD!

12. ENTA DA STAGE
The drums on this song (and on the majority of the CD, if you think about it) fucking bang. Listen to this in the ride with the volume and bass turned to the maximum; you will blow your windows out. Somewhere in that last sentence is a recommendation.

13. HOW MANY MCS...
Good, but not great. Will grow on you, if you give it a shot.

14. U DA MAN (FEAT TEK, STEELE, DRU HA, & HAVOC OF MOBB DEEP)
Don't get excited: this is the Havoc from the Juvenile Hell era, which means he was probably about twelve years old, outside running the streets with Black Moon when he probably should have been doing his homework, or at least, including poor Prodigy in his endeavors. Anyway, this song rocks.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Enta Da Stage is an album that would not sell very well in today's musical climate, since nobody checks for hard-hitting drums or melodies anymore. (This would be due to the South's dominance in the game, but that's not what I want to discuss today.) As such, listening to this album has been a very nostalgic experience, and kind of like when you watch an old but great film from the 1970's or 1960's, you appreciate it on a different level. Enta Da Stage may not play well in the top markets in 2007, but that doesn't mean it's bad. On the contrary, it sounds fucking great, for the most part. There are some missteps, but honestly, when was the last time you heard a perfect album?

BUY OR BURN? I would recommend a purchase, and as an added bonus, you'll probably find it for five dollars or less. Some stores offer a set of promotional steak knives as well, so you'd do well to grab it as soon as humanly possible.

BEST TRACKS: "Powaful Impak!"; "Who Got The Props"; "I Got Cha Opin"; "Buck Em Down"

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Originoo Gunn Clappaz - Da Storm

17 comments:

  1. This disc owned me for a good 5 or 6 months. Which is weird because nothing any of them ever did after held my attention nearly as much. But those remixes of "Buck Em Down" and "I Gotcha Open!?" Shooo wee. Those tracks are hotter than flint fucking a matchstick. I'm not sure what that means but I was just finishing my part. And...scene.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i LOVE this album, its def. one of the rawest albums ive ever heard, it sucks BCC never blew up like they shouldve, on the other hand, since you just reviewed Enta Da Stage, are you gonna review Dah Shinin' soon?, and didn't you say a while ago that you were gonna review The Chronic, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, and some other albums? cmon Max ive been waitin.

    your self-proclaimed third reader,
    Rafael

    ReplyDelete
  3. man, give me some of what you are smoking if "How Many MCs" is just "good".

    I have found memories of playing this for the first time while getting some action. Good stuff

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ TRav: where were they hidden?

    ReplyDelete
  5. that is a bit outrageous saying How Many Emcees is 'good'. Its a fucking classic. Just like this whole album. From start to finish.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This album is fucking AMAZING.

    Anyone who doesn't think this is one of the most classic albums ever is lost.

    Don't front, you know it gets you open . . .

    ReplyDelete
  7. yeah I find that "How Many Emcees" comment to be a direct disrespect to my existence.

    That track is stupid classic. Get with the program, Max.

    and in terms of this album, I only remember it for "How Many Emcees", "Who Got The Props", "Black Smif-N-Wessun" and of course the MONUMENTAL remixes to "Buck Em Down" and "I Gotcha Opin"

    SirBiatch

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this album. Classic. I Got Cha Opin has to be one of the most relaxing songs ever.

    ReplyDelete
  9. AnonymousJune 16, 2009

    this is a classic all way around. one of the few few albums hip-hop should be proud of. nuff said.

    kormega

    ReplyDelete
  10. i like the original version of "i gotcha opin" but the remix (that was a single and appeared on "diggin' in dah vaults" album is much better.. that track is just awesome (you can hear buckshot flow as he never did before)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love!!! "I gotcha opin" immediatley hearing that song you're taken back to 93' although i was only 3 around that time, i feel a significant essence behind that song being with the time (renaissance of hip-hop) and it's encoded in my dna i would say because i know my uncles were bumpin' it around that time and it subliminally captured me.. in a positive light.. that's a deep way of puting it but it's the only way i can put it.. simply a great song tho in hip-hop and buckshots flow is mvp status especially the remix.. i need to hear the album!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. How about a review of the goddawful "For the People"? One of the biggest heartbreaks of my young life...



    Protons Electrons Always Cause Explosions.

    ReplyDelete
  13. you really didn't give this album enough credit.. such a refreshing listen. i mean you gave it some praise but it is a fucking undisputable classic

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nice review but I believe you were a bit harsh on How many MCs and Black Smif n Wessun.. I really like those tracks

    Your final conclusion almost made me cry.. Bring that beat back!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Son Get Wrec' is definitely a favourite of mine, 5ft did damage. Overall this album is a 4.5/5 for me, I still listen to it in 2014.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 2015 and still that fresh as 22 years ago, why is it even better in wintertime?

    k/

    ReplyDelete