Thursday, 3 May 2018

Celph Titled & Buckwild "Nineteen Ninety Now" (2010)

I first heard about this collaborative record eight years ago when it was first released. That was right in the prime of my interest in 90s Hip Hop, which this album its unsurprisingly all about given the record's name. I was reminded of it recently having dived into Kool G Rap's 4,5,6 album which Buckwild handles a few beats on. Finally getting around to it has been fun but given how much more open minded to music I am now, I can't help but feel I would of enjoyed it far more back when the 90s was all I would listen to. So who are this duo? Buckwild is producer who's worked with the likes of Brand Nubian, Big L, AZ, Puffy Daddy, Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G. Celph I know less about, however I learned through this records lyrics he was part of the group Equilibrium, who's debut 7" record I've enjoyed for years.

As a conceptual record Nineteen Ninety Now worships a glorious part of Hip Hops history by fully embodying the era's aesthetic and attitude. Buckwild pulls out a full set of prime instrumental beats that could mistake anyone of the decade. A keen ear can hear an increased clarity but the atmosphere, the vibes are spot on, as if they've been plucked from Lord Finesse, see Tingin', and Big L, see Wack Juice, records to name a few. These beats seriously parallel the whole approach and style that will have you hearing nods and tributes on every track. Swashbuckling runs through a few beats with heated baseline akin to House Of Pain. The previous track "Fuckmaster Sex" takes a page from the classic Doggystyle, a cut you could easily slip into that record, Celph even does the high pitch rhyme affirmations just like Snoop did. I could go on, its as if Buckwild has made a whole bunch of templates from the era's slickest beats and its all fantastic.

Lyrically I have to be critical, Celph's flow and rhyming ability is undeniable, he has really mastered his swift and well enunciated style but the amount of self affirmation and braggadocio gets tiring as his lyrics reveal a rather bitter and out of touch streak in his personality. Lots of the lyrics get drowned in homophobia and excessive gun worship between criticizing newer generations from a close minded, elitist perspective and hating on many different groups of people. It may be lyrical fun but hes lashing out at a fair few stereotypes that seems overtly judgemental and unprovoked. It could of been an annoyance but unfortunately these topics dominate the narrative. The opening tracks stirs up some fun as the two introduce themselves and praise the era but it doesn't take long for the hate train to start. Its a bittersweet record, the beats are sublime, some fantastic features too but Celph's attitude spoils the message which should of been love not hate.

Favorite Beats: Eraserheads, Mad Ammo, Tingin', There Will Be Blood, Miss Those Days, Styles Ain't Raw
Rating: 7/10

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