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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

(the) Boogie Boys - Survival of the Freshest

Name: The Boogie Boys
Album: Survival of the Freshest
Year: 1986
Style: Rap/Hip-Hop
Similar Bands: Run DMC, Sugarhill Gang, Biz Markie, Bobby Brown, Milli Vanilli, Dj Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
"One-Word" Review: Middle-School-Hip-Hop (not old school, not new school)
Based Out Of: NYC, Harlem
Label: Capitol, EMI
Survival Of The Freshest - Cover & Record
Survival Of The Freshest - Back & Record
Survival Of The Freshest (1986)
  1. Dealin' With Life 5:02
  2. Girl Talk 4:37
  3. Starvin' Marvin 3:58
  4. Share My World 5:13/
  5. Run It 4:12
  6. Friend or Foe 5:14
  7. Love List 4:55
  8. Colorblind World 5:18
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
William D "Boogie Knight" Stroman - Vox
Joe "Romeo J.D." Malloy - Vox (Sweet Sensation)
Rudy "Lil Raheim" Sheriff - Vox
Ted Currier - Producer
Cherrie Shepherd - Executive Producer
David Sanchez - Asst. Producer, Backing Vox
Steve Peck - Engineer
John Harris - Engineer
Barbara "Babe" Milne - Asst. Engineer
Brian McIntyre - Asst. Engineer
"The Fabulous" Robby Kilgore - Key Arrangements
Gary "King" Henry - Final Sweetening
Daryl Mull - Key Overdubs
Jeff Neiblum - Programming
Wild Will - Programming
Garry Shider - Backing Vox & Arrangement
Audrey Wheeler - Backing Vox
Cindy Mizelle - Backing Vox
Tony Terry - Backing Vox
Mallia Franklin - Backing Vox
Nate Shider - Backing Vox
Tim Shider - Backing Vox
Kevin Shider - Backing Vox
Bruce Shider - Backing Vox
Craig Stanton - Backing Vox
Nowell Haskins - Backing Vox
Michael Murray - Backing Vox
Ron Ford - Backing Vox
Roy Kohara - Art Direction
Pete Shea - Design
Brian Hagiwara - Photography

Unknown-ness:
I had never heard of the Boogie Boys. I was not into Rap/Hip-hop too much growing up, and if I was, it was the more radio-friendly, popular side of it in the early 90's. I've gotten into mid-early 80's rap a bit more, and this album looked like a perfect fit. It resembles the look, style, and imagery that the TV show "In Living Color" carried along its life. From the artwork, I expect it to be simple rap beats and fun lyrical word play. Anyway, Ruvane, this is for you, and I'm sure you could give me more insight about these guys.

Album Review:
The first track, “Dealin' With Life” begins with a little classical, piano intro. It sparks the reaction, “what the…Did I buy the wrong album? Did they label the record wrong?” But :10 second later, we are treated to the drum kit, and synthesizer style of 80’s urban polite rap. I’m more familiar with mainstream acts like Biz Markie and Bobby Brown, so that is what it sounds like to me. It feels like it should be from a movie with an urban atmosphere, like Ghostbusters or 48 Hrs. Next, “Girl Talk” features a more simplified bass drum beat and less synthesized elements. During the vocals, the drum is the only backing instrument. The settings for the songs seem to be High School, which is where probably where the songs were crafted, and definitely the target audience. “Starvin' Marvin” is a soulful dis-rap, putting down a guy that just leeches food from any situation. It is very silly, approaching “Weird-Al” silly. The backing vocal music is a drum loop and a comical record scratching effect. The synthesized music breaks/interludes are very catchy. “Share My World” ends side 1 with a “Parent’s Just Don’t Understand Beat” but the synthesized music takes over, and it sounds an awful lot like the melody to John Mellencamp’s “Jack & Diane.” It is a love ballad, with a sweet and smooth chorus about looking for the right girl. This is the first use of the word ‘Perpetrate’ on the album. This sounds like it belongs on a Milli-Vanilli album.

“Run It” starts side two with a more scratching and slower drum beat rap. The first verse name drops TV shows, and how life imitates their plots. As in most of the songs, the three members take their turns with each verse. The chorus repeats between verses with the words “Run It” over and over again, in skipping fashion. Next, “Friend or Foe” features a quick drum beat with a cymbal beat, and an eerie keyboard fill hook, which makes this my favorite and stand out track. It feels a little like Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.” This is the second use of the word “Perpetrate.” There are a lot of little changes and elements that make the song unique between the verses. “Love List” follows it up with a more modern hip hop sounding intro. At least it does at the start, with the beat. Then it evolves into the same rap style on the rest of the album. There are a variety of vocal effects and pitches that keep the song fresh and interesting. One of the effects that says “Yo Baby, Put Me Onnnn…” even reminds me of Mike Patton. Finally, the society commentary on “Colorblind World” urges everyone to accept each other. The doo-wop melody of the chours “I want to live in a color blind world” is a great hook, and very catchy.

This is the kind of rap – hip-hop that I enjoy, you can pick out the dance beat, and the lyrics are interesting, catchy and fun to follow along with. My gripe with current rap/hip hop is that it has none of that. The beat is buried, or hard to really dance too, and all the shouting seems without reason. Not quite as enjoyable to listen to as this record is.

Stand Out Track:
"Friend or Foe"

Links:

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