Wednesday, October 4, 2017

3 THE HARD WAY-Old Skool Prankstas (1994)


This next throwback share not only continues the streak of fulfilled music wishes—something that I'd wanted for myself for seemingly half a lifetime!—but serves as a reminder that "The Music Spectrum" is indeed the place in cyberspace to experience the full spectrum of music! The New Zealand hip-hop troupe that called itself 3 THE HARD WAY had came to my attention about three or four years ago while I was in the midst of conducting an extensive study on boybands and r&b music over in Australia and and in surrounding areas of The Land Down Under. Previously, I had the chance to check out this trio on their post-New Millennium album entitled "Eyes On The Prize" album, but tonight, I was finally able to go all the way back to the beginning of their time on their 1994 debut. Once again, it's albums like these that cause me to sorely miss the old-school hip-hop days of the early and mid-90's—clean yet colorful and intelligent lyrics put to some amazing beats, music where you can just take it and go! My favorite two tracks are the ones where the boys throw down with the funky, make-me-wanna-get-up-and-dance arrangements: "All Around" and "Comin' At Ya". The former is your classic hip-hop party filled with shout-outs to peoples in every part of the globe; the latter gets me nostalgic about the 80's all over again with the distinctively-familiar sinister laugh that I recognized was being sampled from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" while the suspenseful chords provide some cool ear candy all throughout. Speaking of sampling, I'm almost positive that I heard bits of KOOL & THE GANG's "Open Sesame"—snippets of the 'get down' part of the chorus—embedded in places on Track #14; besides that, it's another one where the beats are absolutely fabulous! The bombastic beats, however, had already been flowing on the groovy opener, "Rock Tha Nation", then afterwards on crisp cuts like "Bass Freak" and the very Freestyle-sounding "DJ's Nightmare". Though the pair of tracks that best highlights the trio's rap skills are "Hip Hop Holiday" and "What I Gotta Do". The former is a really fun song, thanks to the spurts of sunny, reggae bounce and the seamless rhymes laid out where the lead rapper talks about hip-hop being like chicken and 'finger-lickin' good and says that he will 'hit ya like a sniper' (just a couple of memorable lines on this one). Meanwhile, the other is a warming, mellowed-down story where they reminisce about how they came to be. Their words are put to full effect above the jazzy, hazy ambiance of the, 'Zane Lowe Remix', which is one of the three bonus cuts I included that follows this album's proper concluding piece, "Gotta Do (Shout Outs)", where the guys show their gratitude by mentioning the names of the personnel who made this album possible:

1. Intro: Here It Is
2. Rock Tha Nation
3. Many Rivers
4. Bass Freak
5. Cheech Interlude
6. All Around
7. Dialog Interlude 1
8. DJ's Nightmare
9. Hip Hop Holiday
10. What I Gotta Do
11. Comin' At Ya (Remix)
12. Dialog Interlude 2
13. Everyday
14. Get Down
15. Gotta Do (Shout Outs)

*****BONUS TRACKS*****

16. Hip Hop Holiday (Radio Mix)
17. What I Gotta Do (Zane Lowe Remix)
18. What I Gotta Do (Zane Lowe Remix Instrumental)

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