Thursday, April 06, 2006

Review: AMW - Criminals

Artist: AMW (Americas Most Wanted)
Album: Criminals
Year: 1990
Label: Triad

America's Most Wanted (AMW) are from Oakland California and have three members, Mellow-D, Chucksta and the backbone of the trio Boss Man who are the three guys on the cover with the white shirts, as for the fourth dude with the lacey singlet and that 'I want some choom choom' look in his eyes, I got no idea who that is? . "Criminals" (also released on pictured cover vinyl) came out on Triad records, the same label that released Spice One's debut , 'Let It Be Known'. Pretty much the same time these guys were working on this album there was a couple of guys in Tacoma (MC Deff and DJ E) who had the same name and half way through recording the album heard about these guys from the bay and changed there name to Criminal Nation and dropped the Nastymix classic 'Release The Pressure'. Back when I heard that Criminal Nation were called AMW I started hunting for any early material under that name and accidentally stumbled across these guys.

The album starts off with the title track and gets straight into some rapping from the get go, It uses the beat from 'The Message' with an extra drum beat through it. First up is Chucksta followed by Mellow-D and Boss Man and the track has some nice original samples scratched up between them. 'Addicted To The Dope Game' is next and has a nice fast paced beat with fast aggitated type rapping the only down fall to the track is some of Chucksta's lyrics are a little simple but the Boss Man comes in with the third verse and burns the entire track with bar after bar of furious well timed rapping. One of my favourites is next in 'Soldier Story', it has a crazy slow funky beat with a sick hook that comes into the track just before each addictive hook. 'Street Life' has an original sounding beat that kind of reminds me of an old 70's exploitation pimp movie theme, the track has fast paced raps with extra sound bites of gun shots, screeching tyres and voice over before each verse that makes the track.

'License To Kill' starts off with Mellow-D ripping a faced paced verse over the beat as does the Boss Man who can deliver fast tight rhymes with every word being clear as day, dope. Next is 'Crazy Mothafucka' that has hell samples throughout including a Flavor Flav one, another fast track with another dope beat. Next up is 'Gangsta shit' that starts off mad with a verse each by Mellow-D, Boss Man and Chucksta but the last minute has got them shouting out other gangsta groups, it goes for too long and will find itself getting skipped every time. 'Deep End' has a nice original sounding beat, it has a Chuck D 'how low can you go' sample that fits nicley into it but the rapping isn't quite as good as you get used to and probably doesn't do the beat justice.

'Armed And Dangerous' is a good track but nothing special and the next track 'Can You Step To This' is by far the wackest track on the album. It's about dancing which I fuckin' hate unless it's a breakin' dance track, it does have a couple of good verses but the rest of it is shit. 'Prophylactic' has a completely different style to the rest of the album from the guitar riffs in the background to the stlye of rapping, the style isn't as good as the other tracks but it's good to see there versatility. The last track on the album is 'I Gives A Fuck About A Bitch' that starts off with a minute of girls talking shit (could have been sumed up in about 8 seconds) but turns out to be a pretty sick track and has a mad hook using one of Too Short's 'bitch' samples, by the title of the track you can judge the topic to this one.

Over all the album is crazy, 12 well produced tracks by Tyrell 'Boss Man' Brewer and Eric Warren with some co-production be Chucksta and Mellow-D. Considering that this got released in 1990 their style was ahead of their time although their second album 'This Is The Mobb' that got released in '95 on D Shot records was a huge disappointment to me, it's a good album but not shit on there debut. I'm not sure what happened to them since '95 and if anyone knows please let me know. Boss Man featured on one of the dopest albums ever, C.I.N.'s '94 Mobstas' and I know of an album called Boss Man & Blackjak but i'm not sure if it's the same Boss Man.

AMW - Soldier Story
AMW - License To Kill
AMW - Crazy Mutha Fucka

Rating: 4 Daytons out of 5


Anonymous said...

Good post.

I like that song "Crazy Mutha Fucka."

BULLANT said...

It's a pretty crazy track. I don't think AMW have ever got the respect they deserve.

Tyrell Brewer said...

We never got the recognition we deserved, but we always demanded and earned respect. .Moblife! !

Mike Krauss said...

I just found this page looking for AMW albums I may have missed as I only have this one. This group was equal to any major rap group in early 90s. Me and my friends loved over song. The bass in those subwoofers blew away all other rappers. We played every day when we graduated high!!