Sometimes, by the time you realize you like a record, you already have it listed on ebay. I don’t remember ever giving this album any serious amount of burn at the time of purchase, I think I got it in a BMG or Columbia House batch and quickly filed away under poor man’s Pharcyde. It’s from that sort of playful mid 90s period of the underground where rappers were past the whole african pride thing but hadn’t quite hit that screwfaced backpacker consciousness that plagued the later part of the decade. To call it bragaddocio would be a discredit to everyone from melle mel to jay-z. These dudes (not these dudes) weren’t bragging about anything particular, they were just stringing words together until something dope came out. And with names like Vex & Mondo McCann could you really expect any less? I always think of that Mr. Show sketch where Bob Odenkirk is a monk and challenges the fat kids camp to a rap battle and he kicks this verse that just goes “Rap Rap Rap Rappity Rap” (and consequently wins the battle). The BMs might as well be saying the same thing, for the most part. In this day and time they would be infinitely stuck in some bad dorm room cypher. And crammed in the middle of all this gibberish is, well, more gibberish. The unlistenable follow up record “God Sound” revealed the BMs (could there be a worst abbreviation for a group?) as secretly being a bunch of weirdo religious fanatics and “Mark Of The Beast” is their earliest excursion into that world, with this whole apocalyptic biblical imagery thing going on. All this over a stripped down beat with “spooky” overtones – you can almost picture them being dropped into one of those coolio/lv/michelle pfieffer spinning pans ala the “gangstas paradise” video.
Religious lunacy and general backpackeredness aside, I kinda like this shit now. The beats bang. And if nothing else, you absolutely can’t fuck with the Tjader inspired artwork.