WANTED: The evolution of hip-hop in cassette and cassingle format, accompanying Bo Jackson Cross-Trainer shoe box that housed them, and the cigarette carton proportioned mini-boombox Lamar sold me for a dollar. Will pay $1,000 US dollars, OBO.
The Goats - Tricks of the Shade
If Public Enemy were a revolutionary version of punctual mass media; "The Black CNN." The Goats, a trio from Philly (Oatie, Madd, and Swayzack) and their underrated Tricks of the Shade, was like an unassuming issue of the UTNE Reader. It's full of multi-racial (Native American, Latino, Asian, African American) cyphers against Christopher Columbus ("Columbus killed more Indians than Hitler did Jews/But on his birthday you get sales on shoes") and freeing Leonard Peltier, plus half a record worth of skits covering Roe vs. Wade or Bush the First's hatred for the ghetto. Though at times their content is past expiration, much of it, like Public Enemy's rage, should still be addressed in hip-hop dialogue today.
The production is similar to the native tongue , particularly De La Soul is Dead, with odd samples spliced with smooth jazz lines and Stetsasonic beats. For their sophomore effort, they chose to go with complete live instrumentation, and there's a inkling of that here. Tricks best tracks thrive on it, like the horn-driven "Hip-Hopola," one of few that strays from a message, or the mission-statement bassline of "Typical American." Click to hear the latter and a few more.
It's high concept for sure, but trimming the lesson (over-produced skits)that become awkward stopgaps and Tricks would be amazingly tighter.