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October 18th, 2017

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Musical Massacre Album Review

Beatnuts - Musical Massacre

In 1999 Loud Records looked like the place to beat. They had Pete Rock, Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, Large Professor was rumored to have a production deal, and through a merger with Relativity Records, The Beatnuts were now at a label that could push them to greater success. I hoped that they could finally reap some rewards from almost a decade in the underground, just below the radar. The first attempt "Beatnuts Forever" made some noise as a white label. My hopes were high and the official single "Watch Out Now"/"Turn It Out" appeared to be just the 1-2 punch that could do it. The combo video was blasting all over BET, the flute loop from the A-side was infectious as hell and Greg Nice´s hook and ad-libs on the B-side made it all impossible not to head nod to. When A MUSICAL MASSACRE finally did arrive, it seemed to deliver for the Nuts a cohesive and ambitious display of their versatility as emcees and producers. A solidification of what the fans had known for years The Beatnuts were the illest secret around. Nevertheless, upon repeated listens, the album starting feeling hollow to me perhaps it didn´t help that the promo had been leaked to the net weeks before its release so it held few surprises by the time I popped the CD in my deck. It lacked something and was played less than expected. Years later, my opinion on it has changed and I´d say that it serves as the prime example of just how incredible a set of hitmakers the Beatnuts are. Along with the aforementioned first single, you have "You´re A Clown" with Biz Markie featuring the incredible "Never On Sunday" sample, "Se Acabo (It´s Over)", "Muchachacha", "I Love It" and "Monster For Music" − all songs that would be highlights on anyone else´s album and here they seem almost commonplace. By now Psycho and Juju seem to have almost perfected their style, a mixture of clever samples and amped up lyrics that have universal appeal, equally irresistible for club dwellers and back packers. Plus, they switch it up a couple of times. "Story 2000" is minimal claps and percussion, "Puffin´ On A Cloud" and "Buddah In The Air" are both laid back pot tracks, and "Look Around" features a another rare glimpse into the political side of the Nuts persona, especially Juju´s. Dead Prez´ appearance on the track may have something to do with it but Juju had already been talking about serious dealings as far back as "Peace Akki" on GOD CONNECTIONS. Here it doesn´t seem at all out of place, just another part of The Beatnuts´ steez. Unfortunately, four years later, Psycho and Juju are still criminally underrated and not receiving their just props. Loud dropped them without ever giving them the proper promotion needed. Adding insult to injury, while "Watch Out Now" was something of a hit for the group, Jennifer Lopez and Trackmasters jacked it in 2002 and got a hell of a lot more mileage out of the track, going all the way to #1 all off the talents of a group that they didn´t even credit on the song or invite to be in the video out of common courtesy. Just doesn´t seem right. Maybe one night, Ben Affleck & Jennifer will come out of a restaurant or club and get an unpleasant greeting from two men telling them they better "Find That Shit". Anything less would seem unfair. Regardless of all that, A MUSICAL MASSACRE still highlights The Beatnuts´ growth and range, a refinement of their talents as producers that is still damn impressive, and in just one album contains what would amount to a greatest hits package for most any other artist J-Lo included.
Submited by: Lee Jacobs