Saturday, December 17, 2005

Review: Tuff Crew - Danger Zone

Artist: Tuff Crew
Album: Danger Zone
Year: 1988
Label: Warlock Records

I'm guessing back in the '80's Philadephia were pretty happy with there hip hop talent and the future of the Philly scene with the original gangster Schoolly D, 3 X Dope, the Hilltop Hustlers, DMC champ DJ Cash Money & Marvelous, Chart topping DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince and of course these guys, the Tuff Crew. The Tuff Crew have got to be one of the most under rated groups ever, other than the "mad individual" cut being scratched in the "I S.P.I.T." track on Kid Sensation's "Rollin' Wit' Number One" and his partner Mix-A-Lot mentioning them in "My Hooptie" I can't really remember too many references to this pioneering group from the north side of Philly.

The group consists of "The Overlord - Ice Dog", "The Teacher - Tone Love", "Monty G - The Mountain", "L.A. Kid (Lyrical Auditor)" and of course "DJ Too Tuff - The Ace Deuce Detonator". They originally came out in '85 with the "Get Smart" 12" and then in '87 with the "Philly Style" 12" and the "Phanjam" album that also appeared "Soo def" label mates Krown Rulers from Camden New Jersey. In 1988 they released Danger Zone and was the best work they had released thus far and came out in the golden era of east coast hip hop. Without going into every track the entire album is dope, some better than others like "My Part Of Town" with Too Tuff scratching up a "so, damn, tuff" sample and "It's Mad" that starts off with rapping from the get go and a constant drum beat throughout the track with Too Tuff transforming a "aahh'' cut for the hook. It also has a Detonator solo set on "Deuce, Ace, Housin''. "North Side" is the dedication to the neighbourhood they hail from and it is sick. The album consists of only 10 tracks and goes for under 40 minutes but it's under 40 minutes of quality.

Overall the only slight flaw with Danger Zone is the shortness of it every thing else is flawless. It has that old school quality of a real DJ using real records to cut up and their wasn't too many you would rather have than "The Detonator" all the vocals are just as crazy with increibly original voices especially "The Overlord's" which helped make the Tuff Crew one of the greatest groups of all time. The only thing I was a bit surprised in was the picture on the back that had the entire proud Philadelphian click pimped out in L.A. Raiders gear?? (maybe there's an explanation I ain't getting?)

After this Tuff Crew released "Back To Wreck Shop" in '89 that starts off with the Rocky music for the intro and "Still Dangerous" in '91. The Overlord went solo after that and that was the last I heard of them. Although "The Goats" came out in the early '90's and Rasheed went down south and recorded a few albums most of the decade was quiet for Philly hip hop and only in the past years have groups like "Jedi Mind Tricks" and "High & Mighty" put Philly on the map again.

Tuff Crew - My Part Of Town

Rating: 4 and 1/2 Daytons out of 5

^ Click Images To Enlarge ^
(From "The Souce" Magazine May 1991)


Josh Tane said...

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