KMD Black Bastards

Originally slated as the 1994 follow up to Mr. Hood, KMD's Black Bastards never got past the record company. The artwork was considered too controversial, and KMD was determined to have their artistic control. Six years later Black Bastards is finally being released by Ready Rock Records after life as a classic underground bootleg tape. Much of that is owing to the success of Metal Face Doom, the new alias of KMD's Zev Love X. Listening to both aliases, it's hard to believe that there is even any relation between them. While MF Doom has a dark, ominous, minimal sound, KMD is on that happy party vibe that dominated the mid-'90s. Throughout the album, there's the odes to weed ("Smokin' That Shit" and "Contact Blitt"), alcohol ("Sweet Premium Wine") and themselves ("What A Nigga Know?" and "Black Bastards"). Sure, Black Bastards sounds dated, but it's dated in a quality, underground, slept-on kind of way. Like you can still groove to De La Soul Is Dead or Divine Styler's Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light. It's just too bad that many people will still miss out on hearing this album because of their distaste for anything older than a few months. But if you are in any way interested in classic hip-hop, no matter its release date, KMD's Black Bastards must be in your collection. (Ready Rock)