Thursday, August 24, 2006




Black Sheep's A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, in many ways for a legion of thirtysomethings, is the admittance of a life once lived--a kid in junior high copping an attitude, bustin' a sag. It never ceases to amaze me how many people I come across, when this record is mentioned, exclaim, "Yeah, I love Black Sheep!" or "I had that on tape a long time ago." That was me. I ran that tape front to back, start to finish countless times--finally replaced it with the much more convenient compact disc as I grew taller. In fact, the album's only sold 300,000 on CD, but a whopping 550,000 on cassette--almost 65% coming on a near-extinct format. Really, it's because kiddies had to bump it in their older brother's car and, back in 1991, the only CD player in a car sat in your lap and had to be held real steady. But still the numbers indicate a boom of popularity and the inevitable pop fallout--now the name hits you like that kid back in high school that accidently wet his pants in algebra.

Nonetheless, Wolf is quite frankly still as good as hip hop gets. It represents the very best of the genre to this day--an product that stood the test of time and still stands tall against your favorite hip hop album.

The lead single "Flavor of the Month" about the obvious traffic jam of hip pop acts in the early 90s, but it was the remix of "The Choice is Yours" that launched the duo into the mainstream. And, while the two singles confirmed Black Sheep's position amongst hip hop's elite, the remaining 20 cuts on Wolf exhibit Mista Lawnge's tasty production prowess and Dres' unique abilities as an emcee. Endlessly irreverant and sometimes just downright obscene, Black Sheep is hip hop's answer to Andrew Dice Clay--often teetering between crude misogynistics and 40-swiggin' jokery. The result, however, is an achievement in both the critical and popular sense--an almost impossible feat in hip hop.

We got 145,000 copies to go to get Wolf to platinum--tell all your friends.

Album Highlights:
"Pass the 40"
"Similak Child"
"The Choice is Yours"
"Flavor of the Month"
"Gimme the Finga"
"Try Counting Sheep"

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