Yaggfu Front The Secret Tapes

Yaggfu Front disappeared shortly after 1994 when their debut album, Action Packed Adventure, received little promotion and poor sales, prompting the trio of Spin, Deranged and Damage, and Jingle to ask for a release from Polygram. The Front resurfaces in this current indie-friendly climate by taking advantage of old school sentiments with a compilation of unreleased tracks. Included on The Secret Tapes are four tracks from 1992 that didn't quite make the cut for their debut. "Plastic Fantastic" and "Fling-A-Ling Style" are dated but enjoyable, while the two interludes - "The Love Scene" and "Mr Buck" - were correctly excluded from their debut and are unnecessary here. They have also included four tracks recorded in 1994/'95 for their aborted sophomore album. "All Slow" is the only real song on The Secret Tapes that might have been best left buried, but "Roll Wit the Yaggfu" is a catchy opener and "Walk Around Town aka Thinking Caps" more than holds its own wedged between the aforementioned marathon-length interludes. From more recent years, "Hard Headed Niggaz" is a funny braggadocia bumper, while Esau the Anti Emcee "babble[s] incoherently about anything like my name was U-God" over a fantastic Asian-style beat on "Listen," a track that is certainly poorly placed in the order. And although album closer "Future Shock," featuring the Tek Specialiasts, doesn't build enthusiasm for a proper new Yaggfu album like the other two do, it will still have most people nodding their heads, maybe not to the beat, but in agreement instead. But this is definitely worth a listen for Yaggfu Front fans and those looking for some "new" old school. (Mends)