Bo Jackson's Shoe Box - James Brown Complex

WANTED: The evolution of hip-hop in cassette and cassingle format, accompanying Bo Jackson Cross-Trainer shoe box the housed them, and the cigarette carton proportioned mini-boombox Lamar sold me for a dollar. Will pay $1,000 US dollars, OBO.

Son of Bazerk - Bazerk Bazerk Bazerk
1991 (Soul/MCA)

Besides the beat, the DJ, the MC, the graffiti, and the breakdancing, can you think of another element as important to the identification of hip-hop than the James Brown sample?

The Godfather of Soul had such an impact on the genre's "golden age" that it was inevitable that a group would morph his presence/power/poise into a full-fledged, all-encompassing, vehicle from which to create and broadcast. Enter Son of Bazerk featuring No Self Control and the Band. Their debut, Bazerk Bazerk Bazerk, was not a classic by any means, but was worth the adventurous and cartoonish trip it provided; the manic energy and variety alone maintains the album as one of the 90's true anomalies.

The album's recipe is the most puzzling piece, as it was produced by the Bomb Squad (who seem to throw everything into the pot here) and helmed by Terminator X. Son of Bazerk was, at least for one record, hip-hop's living, breathing, James Brown-aping, Godzilla; crossing Tim Dogg with an undefeated middle-weight boxer. There's a fine-line between his idiosyncratic rhyme-style and his constant spitting of misogynistic (but alway amusing) come-ons or gruff, street-wise "superbadisms."

The LP is best known for "Change the Style," a single that single-handedly tackles dub, doo-wop, thrash punk, and of course JB soul modes (a theme that remains on each subsequent track). Keeping him grounded is his crew, highlighted by MC Halfpint, who hasn't been heard of since, but here injects plenty of innovative and light-hearted verses to balance the "Funky Drummer" complex that defines Bazerk Bazerk Bazerk. Really, this is just strange, lost, and intriguing stuff, deserving my praise and someone's re-issue dollars, even if it is one giant James Brown sample magnified to infinity.


Funky D said...

Three things:

1. Good writing, sir.

2. I'm confused: Son of Bazerk is more than one person? I never realized that.

3. Your link to "Can't Stop the Bleeding" seems to have two HTTP's in it, so when I click it, the computer thinks for a while and then takes me to a wikipedia definition of HTTP. Just thought you should know.

Kevin J. Elliott said...

Son of Bazerk, is one man, but the album features No Self Control and the Band.

CSTB link fixed.

Thanks for reading.

AaronM said...

Kevin, Oh Word reviewed this and MC Halfpint (easily one of the best parts of a very dope album) commented on the post!
Here's a link if you're interested:

?uestlove said...

this is one the most misunderstood masterpieces hip hop has ever produced. No one will love this album more than me.

Emele said...

Good post.