423. Jungle Brothers – “VIP”

Way back before Al Gore invented the internet and digital music, I owned two fantastic albums from the Jungle Brothers on a medium known as the cassette (a.k.a. tape).

These were the first full-lengthers in the JBs’ long career – ‘Straight Out the Jungle’ and ‘Done By the Forces of Nature’. Both were an innovative mix of hip-hop and house music, coupled with a ‘black and proud’ Africanistic thing. They were a distinctive companion pieces to the works of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest.

This here CD was released more than a decade later, and hits none of the cassettes’ heights.  The JBs’ earlier experiments with the house and dance genres are expanded, as they hook up with a Propellerhead.  This means loads more simplistic chanting than warranted, a higher level of repetition, and very little quality rhyming.

That is not to say this is a tough listen.  It’s all very light and breezy, and you’d have a better than 50:50 chance of getting folks dancing with the majority of the tracks.  The jazz crossover on Get Down is closest to their classic material:

And here’s one of their old gems (as a reminder to myself to go shopping for those two albums on CD):

File under: What does the V stand for? And the I?…

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