Album Review

Group Home – “Livin’ Proof” – [Payday]

Thurston Hunger   10/15/2013   12-inch, Hip Hop

Originally out in 1995, so this tickled my Spider senses, and
I remember KFJC’s Spiderman playing Tha Realness from the 12″
single, and Ken always extolled the virtues of DJ Premier who
is on most of the cuts here. For Premier fans, one of the three
records in this a set of “instrumentals” (which for DJ’s please
note may still have some vocals scratched in on the chorus
sections). Group Home on the mic are two guys from Gang Starr
Lil Dap (with lip twisting slight lisp quipping synapse
slipping grammar damage) and Melachi the Nutcracker (with
the well-enunciated thin-but-not-emaciated more logic locked
and glock cocked cliche clicking in the pocket). On “Sacrifice”
Melachi starts things out with a Morris-Minor sped up intro
that makes him sound like an angry infant, but then that beat
has some killer junkyard guitar and sax punctuation. Isaac
Hayes? “4 Give My Sins” has cool dramatic tension in the
beats, and horns hiding around the corners. I think the stuff
that has a dark, sort-of-spacey vibe (electric piano samples
turn into stars) and shimmering cymbals is Premier work…and
while much deserved love goes out to the production here, I
have to say that MC’s, I do think add to the flavor of the
pieces more than the flack they get nearly 20 years after the
release of this. Cliches may have been on the way back in the
day, but I think this is how Brooklyn felt and sounded back
then, and here’s Livin’ Proof…

-Thurston Hunger

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