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Who Got The Props?

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Back again with another Complex Top 25, this time for the Boot Camp catalog. I was a little hesitant to take this assignment because, unlike with the VH1 Southern Producers lists, my knowledge of the BCC catalog leans superficial. Which is to say I owned Enta Da Stage, Dah Shinin in high school and know a handful of the bigger singles from the same era, but not much beyond that. But one of the nice things about my job is that I sometimes still get paid to learn and learn I did. It turns out that BCC didn’t really fall off after 1997, they just turned inconsistent.

But in retrospect I’m not entirely sure if their catalog necessarily demands the 2500 words of intellectualizing/contextualizing that I gave it over there. There wasn’t a grand narrative to Boot Camp Clik, with few exceptions (“Therapy”) they didn’t/don’t make idea driven or conceptual music, Da Beatminerz perfected their sound early on and didn’t do much to expand or evolve it. They lack the built in folklore of Wu-Tang or the eccentricity of the Native Tongues. Their records aren’t unfairly slept on, their members haven’t suffered from dramatic personal crisis or made miraculous comebacks. In putting this list together there points where I felt like the entire song could be concisely summed up by just two words: MADD BLUNTED. Or maybe three: MADD BLUNTED, SON. Their music did exactly what it was supposed to and nothing more. This isn’t a knock at all, quite the opposite. These are classic and very important underground hip hop records and maybe they aren’t as frequently brought into the discussion precisely because they didn’t come with those conversation points attached. Which is shame. But you don’t need to read or write or argue about them. You just roll up a blunt, nod your head and stfu.

After the jump are a few more Boot Camp youtubes, just random joints that were either cut from the list for space or that I just stumbled upon in the process of compiling it:


Boot Camp Clik – “Niggaz Ain’t Ready” (Original)


Smif-N-Wessun – “Gun Rap”


Heltah Skeltah f/ Method Man – “Gunz N Onez”


Smif-N-Wessun – “Sound Bwoy Buriell (Remix)”


Sean Price – “Onion Head”


Flipmode Squad f/ Buckshot – “We Got U Open Pt. 2″

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48 Responses to “Who Got The Props?”

  1. brad Says:

    Nah, 2500 words was more than appropriate. For having a “superficial” knowledge, you did a great job of putting the appeal of these records into words. If anything, I might overrate Boot Camp because these records (along with Wu-Tang, Native Tongues , Gang Starr) meant so much to me when they were new. I might have shuffled the order a bit and leaned more heavily on ‘Enta Da Stage’ and ‘Dah Shinin’ album cuts, but your choices were on point, too. Props for including ‘Headz Ain’t Readee.’ And, yeah, Sean Price is totally Boot Camp’s Ghostface.

  2. DR. NO Says:

    Excellent list. Extra points for pointing out the OC interlude as the first use of that bassline that ‘Stay Real’ and ‘PSA’ used.

    And it’s a tough call but I agree with Gotcha Opin rmx as the #1. I wish they had stayed in that Buck em down rmx / Gotcha Opin rmx/ Diggin in the vaults style for longer…

    I might have included ‘Hellucination’ though. That exemplifies heavily filtered beatminerz grime / early morning smoke sessions.

  3. MF Says:

    I’m not gonna complain because you’ve got a great mix of classics, albums cuts, unreleased gems, outside appearances, and newer shit (The Art Of Disrespekinazation is one of my favourite cuts from the past couple of years) on there, and Figure Four was on-point as the 2nd Sean P choice, but the other really should’ve been something off Monkey Barz like Onion Head, Boom Bye Yeah or Brokest Rapper You Know as that cd really established him as a breakout star and contains all his best songs.

  4. Rhek Says:

    NOZ – YOU DID GOOD.

  5. noz Says:

    Yeah I wanted “Onion Head,” but I deferred to my editors who are bigger Price fans than I. It basically came down to space.

  6. MF Says:

    Damn those editors.

    I’m not a huge BCC fan, but I like Sean P’s best solo tracks as much as the obvious old Black Moon and Smif ‘N’ Wessun songs.

    Don’t Say Shit To Ruck and 60 Bar Dash were 2 great 12″ only tracks.

    Fuck Dat Rapper by Rock ft. Sean is a great internet/mixtape era lost cut which really should’ve been on that last Heltah Skeltah album.

  7. MF POON Says:

    the best music speaks for itself
    REALLY DOPE LIST! im a huge fan of bcc, and you caught me off guard with alot of songs ive never heard
    you should release a mix of all these songs, they flow well together

  8. Breakz Says:

    I hear ya regarding the fact that there are no stories or myths associated with BCC to keep talking about them.

    Only stories were the law suits and legal battles I suppose (Smith and Wesson, Nintendo..)

  9. noz Says:

    “Damn those editors.”

    Not really, it’s always a push and pull with these things. A list of this nature would be damn near impossible to compile without outside input.

  10. faux_rillz Says:

    I had an Afu Ra white label from around 1999 that included a Beatminerz-produced side featuring Smif & Wessun that I really liked. Can’t remember the name of it, though.

  11. faux_rillz Says:

    Also: worst album cover ever: http://www.amazon.com/BDI-Thug-Buckshot/dp/B00002JV3G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1279822186&sr=1-1

  12. ogc Says:

    no disrespect intended, i’d take the gig if someone payed me too, but this list is clearly not compiled by a real bcc fan.

    nothing from ogc at all? da storm is off the meters sir. it seems like u just picked some random shit, which again, i can’t blame you for.

    shit, it’s still great music i suppose.

  13. ri067953 Says:

    ^^^^No, you should question why somebody would compile a list of the greatest 25 songs by a group they have little knowledge of. I mean, shit, I could complile a list as well since I owned “Enta Da Stage” and remember all of the singles from BCC. It seems like this guy just did a youtube search and threw together the list.

  14. faux_rillz Says:

    OGC = straight trash

    Originoo weed carriers

    I remember feeling as if I had gotten seriously got when I bought that CD

  15. mark p. Says:

    SERIOUS props for mentioning “The Art of Disrespekinzation”. That last Heltah Skeltah LP was so slept on, even by people who should know better. Late-era BCC is inconsistent, but that one is a serious modern classic.

  16. mark p. Says:

    Serious question though: Did the complex people bully you into into including the clean re-edit of “Sound Bwoy Burreill” because they didn’t want all that batty bwoy stuff on their website? This is the first time I’ve heard someone say the clean version is better. I mean that version doesn’t even have the dope ass “find his family to ID him in the morgue” line…

  17. mark p. Says:

    “bully” in this case meaning “politely ask”, of course.

  18. brad Says:

    “nothing from ogc at all? da storm is off the meters sir.”

    You must have skipped past ‘No Fear’ at #15. And, technically, ‘Headz Ain’t Readee’ (all of BCC) and ‘Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka’ (Fab 5 = Heltah Skeltah + OGC) count as OGC records, too. They both made the top 10.

  19. noz Says:

    I’m about to waste entirely too many words responding to the only harsh criticism of an article that’s gotten an overwhelmingly positive response otherwise (including a few very nice emails from the Duck Down offices) but here goes:

    I write about the entire scope of hip hop. Probably eight times out of ten that work is the product of a nearly unhealthy lifelong obsession with the artists in question. The ninth and tenth times I might only have a moderate or casual interest in the subject’s catalog. I’d venture to say this is still a higher ratio than most anybody writing about music anywhere today and I work very hard to compensate for my occasionally lacking knowledge with research. This is the nature of the business. Nobody knows everything. Good critics frequently have to fill in the blanks. Then, often, they’ll go to great measures to pretend that they didn’t. I pulled back the veil a little with this post and that might have been a mistake.

    Maybe you didn’t mean any disrespect, REAL FAN, but it is disrespectful as fuck to suggest that I’m unable to do my job because I don’t have a Starang Wondah cutout pasted to my trapper keeper.

  20. Rome Brown Says:

    I’ll take a look at the list when I have the time, because I need to get up on more BCC material, but what did the folks from Duck Down say about it noz?

  21. bezelup Says:

    I kinda wish that you would have known more BCC material..

    But nonetheless t’was good.

  22. ogc Says:

    lmao. settle down nos. you did a decent job overall. it is just clear you are not a big bcc fan. no need to get worked up.

  23. hardköre Says:

    I don’t know too much of the BCC catalog either. Heltah Skeltah is nice though, and Smiff n Wesson as well. The rest of them seem a bit annoying/wack. So the ones you posted here , I agree with at least. Nocturnal is the best album of what I’ve heard though.

  24. DANJ! Says:

    LOL… you can’t make everybody happy, eff it…

    For the record, OGC were always the weak links. Always. They weren’t terribly offensive, but matched against Buck, S-n-W, and Heltah? Definitely not the frontliners. The majority of the tracks were from BCC’s peak years, and what most hip-hop heads (AND “real BCC fans”) would consider their best records. Would the criticism go away if there was some random track from The ‘M-Pire Shrikez Back’ that realistically can’t fuck with any other song on the list, but was thrown in for the sake of inclusion? I don’t think there’s much question about the ones that ARE on the list and whether or not those stand as some of the greatest records from their catalog. When BCC performs, you will likely hear at least half of those 25 songs- and why? Because they’re the definitive BCC tracks that have always gotten the most acclaim. I don’t even think that’s up for debate.

    If anything, fukk OGC, I’d have liked to see Black Moon’s “Reality (Killin Every Nigga)”- a great B-side from “…Opin” single.

    -D!

  25. pto Says:

    tame one hollow in the cut in the flick, no joke. classic

  26. spitler Says:

    good list, but i do tend to agree that this list was written by someone who wasn’t a big fan of bcc, but effit, you gave that caveat from the get-go. having said that, the thing that mystifies me is how people can prefer sean price to ruck? ruck was killing it, then he disappeared, came back as sean p, dumbed his shit down about 10000%, and now everyone rides his dick? BRING BACK RUCK.

    “… i control the masses with metaphors that’s massive don’t ask if that nigga ruck’ll bash shit like cassius…” > anything sean price has ever spit.

  27. qbd1 Says:

    Yo, on the real, being a teenager, buying records, not even smoking back then. It was insane to buy “Leflaur Leflaur Eskoshka” on 12″, or “No Fear”. I think their appeal to me was just putting on the record and knowing for fact it would be good, enticing, head-nodding, bass-heavy madness. There’s something to be said about the bass.

    there’s also something to be said about their rudeboy knucklehead, strangler, d-cep, brooklyn gang, past.

  28. qbd1 Says:

    Oh there’s some brooklyn stories no doubt, nothing mythical, just real talk all around. Come thru one day and we’ll show you around.

  29. sanko Says:

    Man, I was going through my VHSes the other day. Got “Leflaur Leflaur Eskoshka” and Black Moon “Got U Open” videos on there.

    I remember appreciating Heltah Skeltah for being a little unconventional in their videos. White Background and sort of skipping to some simple choreography…

    just some random ramblings.

  30. ogc Says:

    i may be one of the few, but i thought that cocoa b’s album banged too, top to bottom.

  31. des Says:

    Hey check out the new Skee TV video on Teruo Artistry… it’s dope!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRX9HLLHxxE

  32. turk Says:

    noz, you do a great time – always.

    p.s. – is this your girlfriend? –> http://www.heightfiveseven.blogspot.com

  33. crackjoints Says:

    how do you navigate through this website again?

  34. day Says:

    yo i like this group.

    Here is a slamin underground Hip hop show of mine.
    this is the direct mp3 download of my latest.
    Stan Lee presents, the origin of DaeCapc.
    The file is a little over 26 minutes.

    http://exclusiveradioshow.podomatic.com/enclosure/2010-07-26T14_04_17-07_00.mp3

    send tracks and info to
    ExclusiveRadioShow@hotmail.com

  35. LuckyP Says:

    Virginia’s own, A. Driver over Kanye Wests “Power” beat entitled “The Return of the King”.

    http://www.zshare.net/audio/784635734464d842/

    Stadium Music (video shot by Illusive Media) – http://videos.onsmash.com/v/EUs3J3sC1PbG6NBG

  36. smk Says:

    wu tang has nothing on bcc

    you faggots ride off eachothers dicks thinkin u know shit but yall busterss ..

    og loc “GROVE STREET” !! BUSTER-PHREE

  37. Blap Says:

    A good list. And props for selecting the OG version of Military Mindz. But I must also say with regards to Mr. Tupac Shakur that that you mischaracterized the nature of his One Nation project. The point of One Nation was to show the world that artists from both coasts could come together and make great music in harmony, and that in reality there was not an all-encompassing “East vs. West Coast” war (like the media loved/loves to portray) but simply a problem between the Death Row and Bad Boy camps. So you have misrepresented Tupac’s motivation and then, based on this misrepresentation, called the “purity of his motive” into question. Yes, Pac + family were still beefing with Bad Boy, even dissing them some of the tracks slated to be on One Nation. But this fact is not out of alignment with the nature or purpose of the One Nation project. The idea was to shatter the very misconception that you espouse here in your review. Oh well. R.I.P. Makaveli. Peace

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  39. verge Says:

    Good shit. That og “Niggaz Aint Ready” is crazy. Most heads aren’t up on that shit. I had it off a bobbito tape back in the day, lost it, and could never find that joint again. So much better than the other versions. I gotta give a shout to my boy Thomasv at the TROY blog for putting me up on that record, then I was able to cop it for a decent price.

  40. Jonathan Toth from Hoth Says:

    I first snatched Enta Da Stage in spring ’94, while I was working at Blockbuster Music (!) I was 19 and fiending for some underground. From that album I got hip to Dah Shinin and of course Heltah Skeltah in ’96 (best summer of hip hop in years-DeLaSoul, Roots, Nas) and OGC the year after. The BCC was like a different version of Wu-Tang, but they never seemed to get as much attention. When FunkMaster Flex put them all on his second mixtape, I was so psyched.

    Thanks for putting up a rad piece of history for us,

    Toth

  41. Slight Gooden Says:

    Flipped through the list specifically looking for Hurricane Starang…yet couldn’t find it. Buckshot’s Follow Me is a must as well. Otherwise, good work, Noz.

  42. Tray Says:

    The only OGC song I really, really like is Suspect Niggaz. Which is actually on the second album. Awesome Havoc beat, crazy cello sample.

  43. Jack Foley Says:

    OGC was never a weak link. I could see someone singling out Top Dogg, but OGC was integral to the crew. I find it hard to believe any real BCC fan would say something like that.

    Da Storm is a great album, and the singles on there are excellent. The second album isn’t -as- good, but it was still a pretty tight album. Some of ya’all are making it sound like this is a group of U-Gods or something.

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  46. Sendar Says:

    “BCC didn’t really fall off after 1997, they just turned inconsistent.” The ‘For The People’ album plays a crucial role in this. After impressive debut albums by Black Moon, Smif-N-Wessun and Heltah Skeltah, and a fairly decent one by OGC, this BCC group album should’ve been their ’36 Chambers’. It should’ve been Buckshot, Tek & Steele, Ruck & Rock and the OGC’s rhymin over the dustiest, most blunted Beatminerz production, but instead we got a poorly executed clusterfuck of an album full of uninspiring sample-free beats by no-name producers and guest appearances by every rappin’ kid they ever went to school with.

    For the record: For The People went to #15 on the Billboard 200. That’s the highest chart ranking any BCC album has ever made, purely on the strength of the name they had built for themselves. At the time of it’s release, they were at the height of their succes. It definitely ruined a lot of what they had accomplished in the previous 5 years. For me, For The People was the most dissapointing hiphop album I ever bought. I just couldn’t believe it. After that Rude Awakening, Magnum Force, M-Pire and BDI Thug were a similar mess. The only group that kept it together was Black Moon (1999′s War Zone is a good album). From 2002 on the BCC slowly recovered and released a string of dope albums (Chosen Few, Total Eclipse, Monkey Barz, Reloaded, Last Stand, Jesus Price, DIRT), but the dark ages of 97-02 left a hole in their legacy.

    As far as the list goes: as a BCC stan I prefer a handful of songs over the ones listed here. Let’s Git It On/Stand Strong > Nothing Move But The Money, Follow Me > No Joke, Blah > Leflah, Gunz N Onez > I Ain’t Havin That, Sound Bwoy original > the re-edit. Both Sean Price songs seem pretty random (I’d say Brokest Rapper You Know is his artist-defining track), and it’s strange that not a single BCC album cut is included here (And So…?). But all in all, especially considering your superficial knowledge of their catalog, you did a pretty good job in compiling this list.

    Bonus cut: Rock ft Nate Dogg – Walk Like A G.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9Iif_YjLiI

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