Does this ever happen to you? You listen to your old-ass tapes you recorded from the radio when you were still young and handsome, and you hear a track that you haven’t heard in a good while. “It’s gettin hectic, it’s gettin craay-zy, it’s gettin hectic, it’s gettin wiiild…” Pictures of hanging out with your buddies fly though your head, sitting in your mate’s bedroom, listening to your favourite radio shows, one finger constantly on the record button… You bob your head and rap along with the chorus and you know you’ll be mumbling those same words for the rest of the day…

What I’m saying is that there are some tracks that kind of work like the soundtrack to feel-good times. Music that makes you wanna lose yourself in fond memories and nostalgia à la “I remember way back when…” One such album is definitely The Brand New Heavies’ The Heavy Rhyme Experience Vol. I. The band out of Ealing, West London, together with N’Dea Davenport as their singer then, got together with some of the coolest cats of the time (and now), such as Guru, an obvious choice when it came to jazz-influenced rap, but also Masta Ace, The Pharcyde, Edo G, Grand Puba, Black Sheep, Main Source and more cats came through and kicked it over the funkiest rhythms you could squeeze out of any instrument. This is one of the finest moments of the jazz-rap era. A record that makes you wonder about the “Vol. I” bit in the title… I mean, where’s a sequel when you really need one? Enjoy.

01 – Bonafied Funk (Feat Main Source)
02 – It’s Gettin Hectic (Feat Gang Starr)
03 – Who Makes The Loot (Feat Grand Puba)
04 – Wake Me When I’m Dead (Feat Masta Ace)
05 – Jump N’ Move (Feat Jamalski)
06 – Death Threat (Feat Kool G. Rap)
07 – State Of Yo (Feat Black Sheep)
08 – Do What I Gotta Do (Feat Ed O.G.)
09 – Whatabouthat (Feat Tiger)
10 – Soul Flower (Feat The Pharcyde)

I just found out they’re about to drop a new album after getting back together with N’Dea Davenport and the thing’s called “Get used to it.” It’s supposed to come out in June 06. Check their myspace page for a sneak prelistening.

Peace, 9@home