Boogie Down Productions was one of the most important hip-hop crews of the 1980s and ’90s, and are rightfully revered by both fans and scholars. First exploding out of the South Bronx in 1986, the group created an amazing mix of raw power and hyper-intelligence, and gave the world multiple classics throughout the late ’80s, under the BPD moniker, even after losing DJ and chief producer Scott LaRock to gun violence in 1987.
For reasons unknown, the group’s early 1990s output â€“ which also includes Live Hardcore Worldwide and Edutainment â€“ lost some luster in the eyes and ears of fans. But this wasn’t KRS-One’s fault. The legendary MC never faltered in bringing true intelligence and a forward-thinking stance to the rap world, even as derivative gangsta rap took over the music scene on the whole, in the wake of N.W.A..
1992’s Sex & Violence, the last album made under the Boogie Down Productions name, is a perfect example of an underrated classic, and fans will appreciate it getting new shine here, to correct its lukewarm reception upon its initial release. Produced by KRS-One and Pal Joey, the album explores the darkest sides of the American urban landscape and psyche, with KRS as narrator, detailing all sides of the matrix.
While singles like the granite hard “Duck Down” and the funky-as-hell “We In There” got most of the attention in ’92, the deeper sequence reveals plenty of additional gems: the history lesson of the dark and dusty “Drug Dealer”; “Ruff Ruff,” with scowling MC favorite Freddie Foxxx; the grooving “Questions and Answers”; and the frantic “How Not To Get Jerked.”
Back on vinyl and ready for another (or, for some, first) listen, fans of old-school-done-right classics have no excuse this time around.