Uptown Downtown All Around – Yaggfu Front
December 8, 2006, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Album Reviews

There seems to be little rhyme or reason behind why some artists make it and others don’t. In the case of Yaggfu Front it could only really have come down to an issue of marketing, as their sound resembles that of true hip hop success stories such as Pharcyde and Leaders of the New School. Admittedly, ‘Action Packed Adventure’ is not as strong a release as either of the aforementioned groups’ debuts but it is still an album worthy of a good listen and a place in your collection.

This was one of those albums that I slept on for a while, and only discovered relatively recently. I know very little about them other than what I have gained from the insleeve. Production seems to have been largely handled by Yaggfu themselves as well as the New Vibe Messengers of whom I know absolutely nothing. The beats have a classic early to mid-90s feel with crisp snares and jazzy horn sections and the majority of the cuts have an upbeat feel to them. The standout track for me is ‘Hold ‘Em Back’ which features one of the most atmospheric opening 8 bar sections that I have heard before dropping into a heavy drum break and bass loop which is ridden effectively by the three MCs. My criticism of the album would be that the rhymes lack finesse, at times disintegrating into shouting/rambling that has the potential to grate against the nerves.

I have always drawn a strong link between this crew and Rumpletilskinz, both in terms of sound and the way in which they both barely registered within the genre as a whole and then disappeared without trace despite worthy credentials. There is another release available entitled ‘The Lost Tapes’ which I have never heard although assume that it would also be worth checkin’. Perhaps the claim that ‘you are gonna get fucked up if you front’ is a little strong, but this is still an example of a quality release that never seemed to gain the props that it deserved.

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