Whodini – “Back in Black” 30 Year Album Anniversary
The legendary rap crew Whodini released their third studio album “Back in Black” on April 29th 1986. The album was produced by the great Larry Smith and is the following to the groundbreaking “Escape” album.
The album starts off with the dope and (of course) funky “Funky Beat” where Jalil, Ecstacy and even Grandmaster Dee go on the mic and represent! Ecstacy represent Brooklyn with his rhyme.
“The point we tried to make, is simple
On the turntables he’s quick and nimble
Since he’s here we’re gonna prove our point
Now that Whodini’s inside the joint
Born and raised in the streets of Brooklyn
There are three of us, and we’re all good looking
Young ladies hearts, we’re sho’ to win
Cause like five plus five we equal ten
So easy on the tweeter, heavy on the bass
With some help from Master Dee we’re gonna rock
My time is up, it’s on you Jalil”
Check out the video with all kinds of cameo appearances.
The second track is also legendary. “One Love” is a track about falling in love and losing the one you love. The slow pace track and positive words puts you in a trance. Every time this song comes on, you know you have to put one finger in the air!
“Well I think it’s ’bout time, that we break it down
This is all about the love, that we lost and found
About the love that we missed, and the love that we shared
About the love that just, up’d and disappeared
About whos was bout real, and who was fake
So you can learn, from our mistakes”
“Cuz see it was already written, done and said
So you can stay, two steps ahead
Of the L(echo), for the love which you give
The O(echo), is for the one who we live
And the V(echo), is for the vivrant letter
The E means may we last forever and ever”
Now, you know that rap in the 80’s always came with a message for the youngsters and this album did not disappoint. On “Growing Up” they tell kids to go to school and “not give up”. It’s a bit on the preachy side but as kids, we took their advice. Well…most of us!
“Now I used to cut class hanging out in the hall
I tipped my hat to the side cold playin the wall
Because smoking in school was a against the rules
So I did not smoke and I still was cool”
“Now you get yours just like I got mine
wanna see you there at graduation time
Fight your battles, don’t ever run
Cause you win some and then you lose some”
We go from positivity to controversy when we get to “I’m a Ho”. Whodini was never the type of rappers that would “talk about sex” it it was a surprise when we heard this cut. As for the production, the same beat was used for Eazy E’s “Boyz N The Hood:.
“Some say it’s an art, some say it’s a shame
You would give me yo’ body, before your name
But I’m a jigga-high, and I’m a jigga-low
I’m a jigga wherever it can go
So later on don’t act like you don’t know
When I pick out the freaks in the front row
I’m the rapper J, that’s the rapper Ex
We’re known for playing tag team sex
When I get you in the house, you know what I do
Well let me tell you a story that’s definitely true
When I came to the party I was by myself
Nine times out of ten I’ll leave with someone else
It’s something about the way I rock the microphone
The ladies in the place wanna take me home
Stretch me out all along the couch
And show me what good lovin’ is all about
So when I get ’em, then I let ’em
I throw my Jimmy on the top and then I wet ’em”
Tracks like “Fugitive” with its guitar riff and “Echo Scratch” with it’s stripped down old school beat make this album a must have, but it doesn’t have the weight that the previous “Escape” album had. “Last Night (I Had A Long Talk with Myself)” is the hidden gem on this album. The track makes you get up and dance and you will be singing the hook for days.
The final track is a Mega-Mix by Grandmaster Dee that even features tracks like “5 Minutes of Funk”, “Friends” and “Big Mouth” that will have you reminiscing of the old school days.
These guys are legends and I can assure you that no Hip Hop Head will disagree. I just can’t believe that this album is 30 years old! Where has the time gone? No matter what, we salute you guys and thank you for all the funky cuts you gave us!