Friday, March 18, 2011

90's Hit Parade #79



Jungle Brothers - Troopin on the Down Low

I wish there were more adventurous, challenging hip hop out there. In my dreams, there are dozens of rap records that sound like this. Not a profitable venture, exactly. When the Jungle Bros. turned in their album Crazy Wisdom Masters to their label, the suits said "needs improvement," which basically meant "needs some normalin' up." "Troopin on the DL" was reworked into the more traditional "40 Below Trooper," a pretty great rap track itself, but not terribly different from what everyone else was turning out in '93. Or maybe both versions had already existed. Information on Crazy Wisdom Masters, or for that matter on Jay Beez Wit tha Remedy, as the final album was called, seems pretty scant, although you can find a good write up here and here. Even in its tamed down form, it's one of my favorite albums of that era.

"Troopin" shifts constantly through different beats and tempos, with overlapping raps in varied styles, possibly culled from different outtakes throughout the recording session, some of which might be parodies of other rappers of the time (there's definitely a B Real-style verse near the end). There's nothing else like it. Unfortunately.

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