Apani B-Fly Emcee, Natural Elements, Reign of Terror, Tash, Walkmen ::
The Singles File Volume 004

as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Every month, there comes that day when it is our duty to bust your head open and let you know what the NEXT shit is gonna be - and that day is now. Welcome to Volume 4 of The Singles File; and without further adieu here is the very latest in fat hip-hop shit for YOUR perusal.

Artist: Walkmen
Title:  Fortruss
Label:  Atomik Recordings

Star Wars and Hip-Hop split their DNA in a cloning lab; and after 79 aborted fetuses, "Fortruss" was the result. Blast this shit in your ride on your way to Episode I, but don't forget the fat b-side "Countdown Theory" and the hype remix. Equal parts aural ecstasy and lyrical bravado; the song is best summarized by the lyric "leaving glowing footprints in the underground" as their radioactive hip-hop Timberland boots make MASSIVE imprints. Sleep on this crew and their producer Celph Titled if you like, but consider yourself warned - they are indie hip-hop's next big thing. Available on vinyl, CD, and cassette - be armed with your choice of ammo before the final "Countdown" occurs. Get yours at www.truehiphop.com/atak.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10

Artist: Apani B-Fly Emcee
Title:  Estragen
Label:  Q-Boro

If you follow hip-hop's underground you probably know most of these women already, like What? What? from Natural Resource and Blaze MC Battle champion Pri Da Honey Dark. Together, they form a female Voltron that quenches your thirst far better than Sprite over what is undeniably DJ Spinna's most slamming beat to date. When they say that "the word MC don't know no fucking gender" you best to HEED THE MESSAGE. Any man who listens to this and still wants to diss female rappers ought to have his testicles handed to him on a platter. Combine this with the fat bonus cuts, and you have one of the most perfect twelve inches it has ever been my pleasure to shell out five dollars for.

Music Vibes: 10 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 10 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 10 of 10

Artist: Tash
Title:  Bermuda Triangle
Label:  Loud/RCA

Consider your ears Likwidated. Even though CaTashTrophe says "I went from snowball to avalanche" this song is not likely to melt in the summer's heat - in fact it will probably blaze soundsystems from Coast II Coast; after all, there's a reason Tash is chilling in the Carribean's most notorious geographical anomaly. Slide, slide, slippedy slide your way into the groove. If you are an Alkaholiks fan, if you like fat beats, or you just want to hear one of hip-hop's best MC's kick some witty humerous lyrical skills, this joint is for you.

Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10

Artist: Natural Elements
Title:  2 Tons b/w Live it Up
Label:  Tommy Boy (Black)

This group already had massive respects from the New York underground; but flipping an old Boogie Down Productions beat this dopely will probably gain them even more converts. Of the wordplay, it would be a lie to call it the greatest shit ever - you lost money on the Knicks, so what? The "2 Tons" worth of beats on the A-Side make them inconsequential anyway; so the fact that they aren't wack is sufficient in itself. The irony is they'd have to rhyme over a beat half as fat for their lyrics to stand out.

Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Artist: Reign of Terror
Title:  I Write Rhymes b/w Soul Force
Label:  ROTc Records

Hardcore madness manifested on wax describes this crew best. Their frontman and producer of these two songs goes by the handle "Legendary" and it's not unmerited - his voice has a dark ominous quality that could even make Sticky Fingaz act like a shook one. The clever LL Cool J sample on "Soul Force" will give a smile to old school heads, and the heavy groove of the track will make new jacks nod THEIR heads. This is a good start for Reign of Terror in '99; so here's hoping they follow-up with a full length later this year.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Originally posted: April 11, 1999
source: www.OHHLA.com