on October 10, 2007
About a month ago, I randomly came across this CD while shopping for some birthday presents for myself, and didn't hesitate to pick this up. I never heard of Da Bush Babees whatsoever, and if you weren't deep in to hip hop back in '96, you probably never heard of them either. As mentioned by a few reviewers, a lot of the production stands out on this album. The majority, if not all of it, is head nodding. Lyrically, these guys were great too. Rhyming about life, and religious topics, or just straight emceeing, these guy were on point. The only track I didn't like much was "In Meh Dreams" featuring Muntcho Leo with the whole reggae sound (truthfully, it's not too often I have a taste for that kind of music). But I highly recommend to fans of albums such as Black Star or Resurrection, because Gravity is right along those levels (and it's being sold for a low price). Seriously, this is what hip hop is supposed to sound like.
My top 5 tracks are:
1. Gravity- Something about the background vocals by Nicole "Disco" Johnson over the hook makes that song special. Excellent production on this song. Falls just short of "personal favorite" status.
2. Melting Plastic- I like the rhymes that are kicked here, about making it through life. Again, great production.
3. Wax- I like the hook ("Emcees don't like our style, because they can't do no better..."), with excellent rhymes. A great song with great production.
4. The Love Song featuring Mos Def- A nice song with some softer, more mellow production that I enjoyed.
5. The Ruler- Another excellent song by Lee Majors, produced by Mr. Man.
1. God Complex- Another great song
An overall A+ album that I highly recommend. Also, this album is great if you're going on a long road trip. Peace!!
on June 22, 1999
I had purchased this album back in October of 96 when it was released. I was already a fan of the band after Ambushed came out. This just added for my thirst for the trio's music. Apearances by Q-Tip, Mos Def and even a Beat by Rhazel takes the album to a new level. This is a Hip Hop classic. Which has been slept on. I hope the bush men are still working because it's time for some new conciess rap to the forfront. Remeber these guys are the next generation of the Native tongues. Not to say that De LA is going any where. These guys are definately representing Flatbush Brooklyn to the fullest. Stay True to the GAME J-rassic
on August 14, 2012
It's amazing what a difference a couple of years can make in terms of a group or artist's style, maturity and ability. The Bush Babees debuted in 1994 with their promising first disc "Ambushed", which represented a unique and brilliant fusion of dancehall and hip hop which could only have been spawned in the Flatbush of the 90s. Not that the Bush Babees were the only artists from that era to straddle the line between those two closely related genres or that Flatbush was the only place from which such a hybrid could emerge. Quite the contrary. The late 80s and early-to-mid 90s - often referred to as the "Golden Age of Hip Hop" - was also a golden age for dancehall reggae, and there was a lot of productive cross pollination between those two vibrant and dynamic genres, emanating most especially from areas where Jamaicans and Black Americans lived on the same block, went to school together, and hung out. Within that context, each group or individual mixed the elements of their style in different proportions and came up with their own unique blend that was peculiar to the place and cultural milieu in which they lived: There was no mistaking the fact that Born Jamericans, for example, emerged from DC, that Kardinal Offishal was Canadian, that Latifah was reppin' Jersey, or that KRS was from the Bronx. And the Bush Babees, like Special Ed before them, were pure Brooklyn.
On "Ambushed" the Bush Babees showed tons of promise, but it was obvious that they were still finding their way stylistically and determining which precise blend of dancehall and hip hop worked for them. It was also very easy to trace their influences. Sometimes, the cadence of a particular verse sounded a bit too much like Onyx, Bounty Killer, or Black Moon. But this was not the case on "Gravity". While both albums are excellent in their own right, the mature, soulful, confident and laid-back vibe of "Gravity" is so far removed from the frenetic, energetic, kid-with-something-to-prove vibe of "Ambushed" that it might have been released ten rather than two years later. It truly is remarkable.
On this disc, each of the three Bush Babees is light-years beyond the point at which we left them on "Ambushed", and this is especially true when it comes to Kaos (AKA Lee Majors). Both he and his compatriots Mr. Man (AKA Khaliyl) and Y-Tee (AKA Light) have matured in terms of flow, content, lyrics, and delivery. On "Ambushed" it was very easy to say that any one of the three "sounded like" Fredro Star, Dirstsman, or Chip Fu on a particular verse. This is emphatically no longer the case. On "Gravity", all three MCs have found their own individual voices. None of them "sound like" anyone else anymore. Not even remotely. More importantly, and again, this is especially true in the case of Kaos, all three have grown as MCs, becoming even more cunning wordsmiths and delving ever more deeply into the social issues of their day. The Bush Babees of "Ambushed" were clever and positive kids. The Bush Babees of "Gravity" *have* gravity. They are accomplished and progressive young men.
There's honestly not a bad song on the album, but standout tracks include:
"Gravity" - the dreamy, Ummah-produced title track with a catchy hook sung by Disco Johnson
The bouncy, Mr. Man produced battle-track "Wax" (Talk about maturing and taking control of one's own destiny - big props to Mr. Man for producing no less than 7 tracks on this disc, and bangin' with any of the guest producers on the album!)
The catchy "Rock Boots" roots reggae instrumental interlude, which reprises Bob Marley's "Waiting in Vain" and transitions nicely into the dancehall fire of Y-Tee and his sparring partner Muntcho Leo's gyal tune "In Meh Dreams"
The Posdnous produced "Love Song" on which Mos Def (who also appears on the album intro and a track called "S.O.S.") features prominently, singing off-key and clowning around, lapsing near the end of the track into a persona similar to his Eddie Bunker character from "Sixteen Blocks"
The jazzy, Quest-esque "Melting Plastic", on which Lee Majors spits the anti-materialistic dagger, "Donna Karen ain't carin' what your baby's wearin'..."
And the Ummah produced "3 MCs" (featuring a guest spot by Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest) on which Lee Majors, who on "Ambushed" boldly proclaimed to "represent the real hip hop" now follows that boast to its logical conclusion lamenting, "With all of these pimps, players, mafiosos, and Gs/Make me wonder 'Is there any room for just a MC?/same sh**, different beat; can't take it no more/you and your man bought the same rhyme from the same store.." As the Guiness guys would say, "Brilliant!"
There's a ton of that sentiment on the album, as the Bush Babees railed against and endeavored to resist the growing commercialization and dumbing down of hip hop as it was consumed by the mainstream. They fought the tide in an era of shiny suit, bling-obsessed, vapid, materialistic playboys. As Lee Majors also observed, "It's hard to be a prophet/and still make a profit..." and because of this incorruptibility, the Bush Babees may have lost the commercial battle, disappearing after this disc, but they ultimately won the war by keeping their integrity and continuing, forever, to "represent the real hip hop".
on February 18, 2005
After "ambushed" in'94 i was dying to hear how they'd be able to replicate it, the answer was simple....they DIDNT!!! They created a completely different, more mature, relaxed+jazzy orientated sound. This time with MR.MAN handling most of the production himself, you get the impression that THEY got the sound that THEY wanted. The same ingredients are here, with MR.MAN bringing the intellectual flows, LEE MAJORS (KAOS) bringing the no-nonsense battle rhymes and Y-TEE bringing the reggae element, this time with added gusto. With tracks like the beautiful "gravity", "melting plastic" and "maybe" (MR.MAN solo joint) and hard hitting anthems such as "wax" (my favourite), "s.o.s.", "3 mc's", "the ruler" (LEE MAJORS solo joint), "god complex" and the brilliant "love song" (produced by POS from de-la-soul) you're baring witness to an awesome album. The ONLY unfortunate part about this album is that there's only 7 group tracks and i wasnt feeling YTEE's solo joint "in meh dreams" plus there's 5 interludes where i would've prefered MORE tracks. Ive searched everywhere trying to find any material by these cats and only found their 2 albums. Both of which are in my personal top ten. Such a shame they're no longer releasing albums cuz god knows hiphop could seriously do with DA BUSH BABEES!!!
on November 2, 1998
This album expresses the true meaning of hip-hop. Rapping for the love of it not the money. It seems that these days the rap section of your music shop is flooded with all this "playa rap" which is focused on the commercialism surronding hip-hop. This album takes it to a whole other level. This album is for true hip-hop headz, people who follow hip-hop as a culture and not just another fad.
I actually popped this album into the deck just out of curiousity. This joint has been sitting on the rack for years with practically zero rotation after '97. I was reading some of CTRX's reviews and saw how he was singing the praises of the underrated producer, Shawn J. Period. So I went browsing my collection for joints that had SJP beats on them when I stumbled onto this album which I had totally forgotten about. Anyway, the album is dope. It came out during a time when the jiggy rap was beginning to dominate, so it didn't get much love from the mainstream. Then you had those that didn't feel it because it didn't go in the same direction as their debut, so that didn't help in terms of popularity either. Truth be be told, the production jumps right out at you. Not only does Shawn J. Period provide dope, dope production, but Da Bush Babees also get help outs from The Ummah (Q Tip, Ali Shaheed, J Dilla, etc), Rahzel (you know, the beat box genius), Pos (from De La Soul), Charles & Chris Harrison, and group member Mr Man handles the rest by himself (7 joints). Guest shots come from Mos Def (on thre tracks), Q Tip, and Muntcho Leo and they all hold down their spots. The standout track, in my mind, has to be "The Love Song." You simply cannot miss with that Kool & The Gang sample. Every song I've ever heard it on (from Lost Boyz to Fresh Prince to Naughty By Nature and countless others) has been tight.
As far as flaws, well, I can't really think of any. There are maybe one or two joints that I would call "mood music." So if you're not in the mood, it probably won't get played. But none of those songs are worth mentioning because every track is good and most of them are great. Lyrically, "The Ninth Presentation" is dope, but the production didn't really jump out at me and I wasn't very fond of "In Meh Dreams", but if that's the lowest point of the CD, then you gotta know that the album as a whole is tight.
This album is another one of the gems of '96 that has managed to fall through the cracks over the years. The production grabs from track one and doesn't let go until the disc is done spinning. Da Bush Babees hold it down lyrically and all three members turn in memorable performances on their last collective effort. You can go ahead and left click on the "buy" link because you won't be disappointed at all by what you'll end up with. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone saying anything bad about this album (especially in today's rap climate). I recommend adding this one to your music library.
Standout Tracks: The Love Song feat. Mos Def (My Favorite), Melting Plastic, Maybe, Gravity, Intro feat. Mos Def, God Complex, 3 MCs feat. Q Tip, S.O.S. feat. Mos Def, and Outro
on May 24, 2005
I've only heard some stuff from the first album, but man, from this second album, they should never have quit. I mean, this was pure hip hop. That was during the time when there were too many beefs going on, Bad Boy (east coast) vs Death Row (west coast.) The Bad Boy clan, minus Craig Mack and Biggie, also seemed content on Bling Bling and shinny suits. Well, Da Bush Babees came out and spread their positive message real well in 96. My favorite songs are S.O.S, Love Song, which both has the Mighty Mos Def in it, Beat Down (great beatboxing by the one and only Rahzel) 3 MC's which has a hungry Q-Tip before he fell off, and Wax. I mean all of them are great, except for In Meh Dreams, but hey, it's still a classic album. The beats were sensational, so full of soul. Lyrics were just tight, especially Mr. Man. Mr. Man, to me, is the most underrated MC ever. He not only could battle, but his word play is one of the best I've ever heard in the game. Man, after Fortified Live, he's been nowhere and it's a shame. This is a classic. Even some girls I know who's into alternative music and doesn't like underground hip hop that much loves this cd. One of them tells me to turn off all my hip hop when were together. If she likes it, it shows you just how good this group is. Has a young Mos Def on some tracks, Rahzel's on here, POS from De La is producing, has a positive message, and it has one of the most underrated mc to ever step into hip hop in the group. Oh yeah, can't forget, Q-Tip is on this cd. Get it. One of the greatest trio's in the game, no doubt.
on November 27, 2003
The Bush Babees restored my faith in hip hop at a time when i felt like it had started to slip. I did not hear this album until 97, but it's an excellent album. The Love Song and SOS are out of this world. And how did these fellas ever conceive some of those other beats?????? Full marks to the babees for hot beats and even hotter lyrics. Other emcees need to take a page from these cats to understand just how it's really done.
I'm fiending for the day when rap returns to tight lyrics and contagious beats (Babees, DeLa, Quest, KRS, Kane, Puba, Gangstarr, Biggie,..........)
on August 14, 2008
Funny story for me around this album. Back in the late '90's I came across this CD for $5.00 in a bargain bin. I'd never listened to Da Bush Babees, but I distinctly remember seeing the ads for their first album ("Ambushed") in The Source back in '94. I assumed they'd be terrible, since their print ads were really corny. But I read the track listing for Gravity, and since it had some guests like Mos Def I figured it couldn't be all bad. And it was only $5.00, right? Little did I know how utterly amazing this album would be.
For its time period, this album is right up there with stuff like Stakes Is High (De La Soul) and Resurrection (Common) in terms of front-to-back quality. No gangster posturing, no overly reactionary commentary on how hip-hop is lost to gangsterism - just a bunch of guys having fun on the mic and keeping things mildly topical. The only songs I could live without here are "Rock Roots" (throwaway instrumental) and "In Meh Dreams" (a borderline-annoying ragga track). The other 13 tracks (including the Intro and Outro) are absolutely stellar. Great production ranging from thoughtful (Gravity and its beautiful piano riffs) to playful (Wax, with its classic Beastie Boys sample).
If you like De La, Common, Mos Def, and that line of rappers, stop reading this review and buy this album right now.
"Gravity is all around
Gravity get up and gravity get down
Some heads want to escape, but don't try
You can 'tempt to get fly, but you can't defy GRAVITY"
on July 15, 2001
YO man, this is good hip hop,with good regga mix, if u love hip hop and dancehall regae you will enjoy ths cd very much