Reviewed on this page:
Bacdafucup - All We Got Iz Us - [Black Trash] The Autobiography Of Kirk Jones
Onyx managed to piss off a lot of people with their 1993 debut by
relentlessly using the "N" word, the "F" word, the "B" word, the
other 23 words, and generally celebrating guns and gangsta culture,
without even the ring of truth that, say, Ice-T brings to his work.
But nobody could possibly take this band seriously, except perhaps
the confused middle class white boys who make up the majority of
gangsta rap consumers. Anyway, what really sets this act apart is
the frantic, mock-intense rhyming of Sticky Fingaz - when he gets
on a roll he's impossible to ignore, and frequently hilarious. He's gone solo, and his 2001 debut was one of the year's pleasant surprises.
Sticky Fingaz, Big DS, Suavé,
Fredro Star, all vocals. Big DS left after the first album, and
Suavé apparently changed his name to Sonee Seeza. Later on, Starr changed his name to Firestarr. Big DS died of cancer, 2003.
The band's breakthrough single "Slam" is their best work so far,
with a nagging, catchy chorus, a heavy keyboard bassline, and a
stunning rap from Sticky Fingaz that takes extraordinary liberties
with meter and rhyme but works because his rhymes are a match for
his manic delivery. Disappointingly, he only has a few more lead
features on the album, including "Throw Ya Gunz," where the words
aren't very interesting, and the wild "Nigga Bridges," based on the
nursery rhyme "London Bridge"(!) The other rappers are nothing
special, and there are too many throwaway interludes (including the
opening title track, the closing "Getdafucout," "Bichasbootleguz,"
and more), but the music, by Chyskillz and Jam Master Jay, is simple but not
simplistic: they leave a lot of space, and every riff is a good
one. The same year, the group guested on Boss's debut Born Gangstaz.(DBW)
All We Got Iz Us (1995)
The joke is wearing thin by now, although Sticky Fingaz still gets
in a few good lines (he decides not to kill himself because there
"might not be any weed in Hell"). The tone of the album is heavier
and despondent, without much of the exuberant lightness of the
preceding record. And without Chyskillz or Jam Master Jay, the
music is the same mellow sample-heavy sound pioneered by N.W.A. and
done to death by practically every other gangsta rapper. Sometimes
they hit on a hypnotic groove ("Getto Mentalitee"), but more often
it's just boring ("Betta Off Dead"). Not to mention more dull
interludes, this time called "skits" - "Life Or Death," "I Murder
Shut 'Em Down (1998)
DMX guests on the title track, while Big Pun and Noreaga turn up on a remix; Method Man and Raekwon appear on "Take That."
"Broke Willies" contains a sample from the Rolling Stones' "Miss You," while "Overshine" samples the Isley Brothers' "Here We Go."
Production is split among Self, DJ Scratch, Bud'da and Keith Horne.
Review coming soon. (DBW)
[Black Trash] The Autobiography Of Kirk Jones (Sticky Fingaz: 2001)
Can an artist progress directly from absurd self-parody to hard-bitten social commentary, and be taken seriously? Perhaps. Now, can he do both on the same record, and make it a concept album to boot?
That's the task Sticky Fingaz (born Kirk Jones) sets himself on his first solo project, and he's more successful than I would have thought possible.
The album traces the life and spiritual journey of a young man who alternately celebrates and regrets his criminal career.
On the gleefully violent tracks ("Come On"), he's as over-the-top and hilariously manic as ever; on the contemplative tracks he's downright moving ("Sister I'm Sorry"; "Baby Brother," a warning from behind bars)
- Sticky even performs both sides of a conversation with God in "Oh My God," the first time I've heard that attempted since Prince's "Temptation."
There's a slew of different producers - Self works on a plurality of tracks, but there are contributions from DJ Scratch ("Why" with X-1 and Still Livin), Joe Naughty, Rockwilder ("Money Talks"
with Raekwon; "Cheatin'"), Damon Elliot ("What If I Was White" featuring pale imitator Eminem), Dominick Lamb, Buddah, Big D Evans,
and Punch - and they bring a refreshing variety to the proceedings.
Too many obvious refrains ("Why," "Not Die'n"), forgettable backing tracks ("Licken Off In Hiphop") and practical jokes (the closing, ironic rendition of "Wonderful World")
to rate as a classic, but on the whole Sticky Fingaz manages to have his cake and eat it too.
Actor Omar Epps plays Kirk Jones on several short skits; Fredro helps out on "Get It Up"; "State Vs. Kirk Jones," which acts out a trial,
has cameos from Rah Digga, Redman, Canibus, Scared 4 Life, Superb and Guess Who (?); other guests include Blackchild, Dave Hollister, Columbo the Shining Star, Choclatt and Petey Pablo.
Firestarr (Fredro Starr: 2001)
Bacdafucup Part II (2002)
Decade: "but wait it gets worse" (Sticky Fingaz: 2003)
Don't Get Mad Get Money! (Fredro Starr: 2003)
Cold Case Files (2008)
Apparently this is made up of outtakes from the group's 90s sessions; Method Man appears on "Evil Streets (Remix)."
Tytanium (Sonny Seeza: 2009)
The album title refers to Seeza's birth name, Tyrone Taylor.
A Day In The Life: The Soundtrack (2009)
I can't tell whether this is supposed to be Onyx or Sticky solo; either way, it's the soundtrack to a film he directed and starred in, but couldn't get into actual theaters.