4/24/2017 11:38:00 AM

KMD 'Black Bastards' (Hanging In Stores Now!)

KMD 'Black Bastards' 4080 Magazine 1
KMD 'Black Bastards' 4080 Magazine 1
KMD 'Black Bastards' Editorial The Source

From Brian Coleman's 'Check The Technique' Vol.2: There are few releases in hip-hop history with as much mystery behind them as KMD’s second full-length, Black Bastards. After many recording locations, road miles and wild samples, Black Bastards was just about finished when an almost unthinkable tragedy struck. On April 23, 1993, Subroc was killed by an oncoming car as he was trying to cross the Long Island Expressway on foot. He was only 19 years old. In April of ‘94, less than a year after Subroc’s tragic death, the first single, “What A Nigga Know” was released on Elektra. A video for the song was also shot and readied. 

Unfortunately, the album, whose cover boldly depicted a cartoon “Sambo” being hanged, didn’t even receive the insult of being shelved or pushed back by Elektra Records upon its completion in 1994. Instead, it was outright refused. It wasn't until years later—much like the artist formerly known as Zev Love X, who would shed his old name, image and vocal style and emerged as MF Doom -- the album would be resurrected and released on multiple labels. Doom shares, "Black Bastards was a dope album and it feels right that it finally came out, no matter how that happened. I look at it now and say, ‘OK, I definitely see what we was trying to do.’ I just wish more people would have seen the same thing back then.”

"MF Doom the character was born out of pain. Real pain. The pain of loss and the pain of rejection. Hiding behind that mask wasn’t a joke, it wasn’t an act. It was an alter-ego wrought out of necessity." Read more in Brian Coleman's book 'Check The Technique' Vol.2. The above interview and editorial give additional backstory, but Coleman's book goes much deeper with a track by track breakdown and commentary from artists, A&R Dante Ross, Pete Nice of 3rd Bass, and more.

KMD 'Black Bastards' Post Card
Rest In Peace Subroc KMD
KMD 'Black Bastards' (Hanging In Stores Now!)