Sunday, January 21, 2007

Range Rover Both Of Your Legs

The Beatnuts - Watch Out Now
The Beatnuts - Confused Rappers (ft. Rahzel)

A friend of mine who is a huge hip hop fan has been trying to educate me in his favourite style of music for a couple of years now. I like the obvious classics, and a couple of compilations he’s done for me went down well, but one group on these tapes and minidiscs has constantly stood out. Subsequently, I can declare with pride that The Beatnuts are my favourite hip hop act. Yet for reasons I cannot fathom, the superstardom so often bequeathed to so many undeserving so-and-sos has eluded them. The Beatnuts check all the boxes for me; great beats, humorous (at times hilariously violent and misogynistic) lyrics, and controversy, the whole hip-hop shebang. Check this from ‘Watch Out Now’ -

"I’m a storm your pa-rade (pa-rade) blow your legs off,
with a gre-nade, now you flappin, like a mermaid.”

However, later on in the song is my ultimate favourite Beatnuts line:

"Now the beef has, gotten over your head.
Its over. You dead, Range Rover, both of your legs."

For some reason the idea of “Range Rovering” someone’s legs just makes me laugh, yet paints a very precise mental picture. There are a million other examples throughout the ‘nuts back catalogue that I could hold up that make me laugh out loud. Yet this group are no joke.

A big attraction to The Beatnuts for me is their samples. So many brilliant little funky hooks here, and smouldering bass lines there. There is a distinct Latin and South American influence noticeable on many of the tunes, adding a little more colour, character and originality to proceedings. This is unsurprising as member Ju-Ju is of Dominican decent, while Psycho Les apparently has a Columbian heritage.

The catchy Beatnuts samples have attracted many more people than me to their music. Jennifer Lopez infamously used a sample from ‘Watch Out Now’ on ‘Jenny From The Block’, a source of some bitterness from the ‘nuts. Psycho Les told in 2002, that he had nothing to do with J-Lo’s song. “I didn’t even know till I heard it on the radio. But whatever, they gonna see us. Come with some paper, if not we gonna settle that shit on the streets." Obviously not enough “paper” was forthcoming, as on the funky track, 'Confused Rappers' from 2004’s Milk Me LP, Ju-Ju raps:

“What would pose you use my records like I’m here for you to abuse? Made a bad decision, your heart wadn’t in it.
Girl, you know you haven't been to the block for a minute getting all the little Latin girls to buy it when you really can't sing and you're no Salma Hayek.
I don’t hate you I just want you to know that your producer bit the whole idea off my shoulder.
But sweet cheeks, Watch Out Now, I’m gifted, plus I’m feeling like a hot shot now... I’m the one that helped you get that Grammy, the real man that Mommy always thought you’d marry."

I have never much cared if any hip hop artist is actually as hard as they claim to be, or if they have capped as many people as their records say they have, but the Beatnuts talk the talk with a unique flair and style, and back it up with some killer tunes. The Beatnuts are certainly not all talk, but there should be more talk about them, for sure.

The Beatnuts website
Buy The Beatnuts from Amazon
The Beatnuts discography