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Sex and Violence

Boogie Down Productions

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Album Review

The final album released under the Boogie Down Productions name, Sex and Violence is a partial return to form after the overly preachy ego trip of Edutainment. Specifically, it's a return to the aggressive beats of KRS-One's earlier work, except with a more contemporary sound — this is the first BDP album to rely on multiple outside producers, which supplies a much-needed sonic update. As a result, some BDP fans feel that Sex and Violence is an underrated effort — it packs more of a punch, and KRS-One is refocusing on the art of MCing, not to mention his dancehall reggae influence. That said, it isn't a complete success, since his usual consistency of vision isn't quite there. There are a number of good moments: the single "Duck Down," "Like a Throttle" (which fears that Islamic spirituality has become nothing but a hip-hop fad), and "Poisonous Products." But elsewhere, some of his observations are more provocative than immediately insightful. He urges the "Drug Dealer" to invest his profits in the black community, and on "Build and Destroy" he brands high-ranking black officials like Clarence Thomas and Colin Powell nothing short of devils for their assimilation. Plus, "13 and Good" and "Say Gal" both have a discomforting undercurrent of misogyny unbecoming a teacher. There's enough vitality on Sex and Violence to make it worthwhile for fans, but overall it doesn't rank with the best of KRS-One's work.

Biography

Formed: 1986 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Boogie Down Productions was one of the most important and influential hip-hop groups of the latter half of the '80s. Led by the often brilliant and incendiary MC KRS-One, BDP were pioneers of both hardcore and political (or "conscious") rap — and if that seems contradictory, it also illustrates the scope of KRS-One's talent for chronicling and even shaping his culture. Musically, BDP usually employed spare, minimal backdrops that accentuated KRS-One's booming delivery, and they were also among...
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