The young men of the YMD do have good memories, as any MCs worth their spit should, but there's no nostalgia here, no whiff of formaldehyde coming from the speakers. Instead, the YMD is guilty of doing something new, and now find themselves at the front of a movement they didn't even realize they were starting. Like Run DMC and The Clash before them, they've taken the music of their youth and built on it; it's an extension of youth, a motherfucking fountain of it. This ain't over-priced reunion shows. Like all greats, they stand on the shoulders of giants, on their amplifiers and thick gold chains, and all their wax.
Consider their samples. The songs on this record are built from the music of a diverse bunch, including Bikini Kill, Minor Threat, Shipping News and Cap'n Jazz. The production is raw and guerilla; think "36 Chambers" by (ex)punks, think being in the cipher as an ambulance drives by, sirens blazing. Lyrically, the album amounts to nothing short of a cultural history of the city they call home (in fact, in "New Direction" the boys seem to shout out every single neighborhood in Philadelphia).
The delivery of YMD's Distro and B. Awesome is manic, breathless, and hysterical in both senses of the word. Their live shows shut down clubs, and start the after-parties early. Woe to the suckers forced to play after them, there may be no stage left. This is the sound of dingy punk clubs and parking lot freestyle battles. Of rebellion and radicals. And like any vision of genius, it is natural. Real. Raw. And dope.
"Yah Mos Def have the skills...for a breakthrough" - Philadelphia City Paper
"One of the most entertaining and clever things I have seen in a while" - HeartattaCk
"7.5" - Pitchfork
01 Charles Maggio's Real Last Name Is Ash
02 Bathing My Hamster In Nail Polish Remover
03 New Direction
04 Stockton To Malone
05 The Beat That Makes The Native Nod
06 Jive Like Jehu
07 Dippin' My Dagger In Ink
08 Global Liberation Army
09 Major Taylor Goes AWOL (feat. MC Dinokale)
RELEASED BY MY PAL GOD RECORDS: My Pal God : : PRF Distro : : The Yah Mos Def :