Album Review by Mark Bayross
After compilations from Skitz and Roots Manuva, the third in the BADMEANINGOOD series offers another mix of pioneering hip-hop / electro tunes handpicked by an influential, if left-field, artist in the genre. On this occasion, it’s the turn of Bay Area DJ / producer / mogul Peanut Butter Wolf to give us an insight into his record collection.
Opening with a burst of Grandmaster Flash, the album moves almost chronologically through the origins of hip-hop. From the seemingly incongruous prog rock of Iron Butterfly’s SOUL EXPERIENCE, though the soul-enhanced disco of Roy Ayers’ CAN’T YOU SEE ME and Alicia Myers’ DON’T STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOIN’, and on to the electro of The B Beat Girls’ JUNGLE SWING and a furious attack of scratching.
Some choices are a but odd, though: while the Human League’s HARD TIMES and Joe Jackson’s classic STEPPING OUT are hardly cutting edge, they at least fare better than Michael White’s unlistenable bout of tuneless jazz, but Prince Far I’s rousing reggae protest song BLACK MAN LAND is a welcome inclusion.
We end – naturally – with some hip-hop, courtesy of, among others, the Jungle Brothers and their 1988 track I’M GONNA DO YOU. All in all, this makes for an interesting history lesson and another eclectic mix album. There may not be much here that merits a purchase, but it’s a good way of seeming effortlessly informed at parties.