August 16, 2014

Organized Konfusion "Stress: The Extinction Agenda" (1994)

"Hailing from Jamaica, NY, the members of Organized Konfusion began absorbing a variety of musical influences early - everything from Jazz and gospel to R&B. Price and Monch are from the same South Jamaica neighborhood. They met in 1986 while they were in high school. "Monch, who used to beatbox, was mad popular," recalls Prince. "He asked me about making a tape - as a hobby. But when we listened back to it, we both said it sounded phatter than stuff that was on the radio. We decided to become serious about pursuing a musical career." Pharoahe added, "We call our music medicine because it makes you feel good ... The rap industry is a little sick right now, with so much posing and formatting going on. So, with our songs, we're trying to give new energy to people that are tired of the same ol' shit." Arguably their most popular track was "Stress," which and was inspired by "the gamut of emotions Monch and Prince experienced since 1992, when Organized Konfusion dropped its critically praised and influential debut set. On "Stress: The Extinction Agenda," Pharoahe says "We went through a lot of struggle and hard times... And we're talking about relationships, business dealings ... everything." - via Organized Konfusion's original press kit. Check the video for their single, "Stress," below; one of my favorite songs of all-time.

"At a certain point, people have to realize that there is hip-hop whose primary purpose isn't to rock clubs or bump jeeps... As much as hip-hop elitists refuse to believe, there is a majority of people who have no idea who Organized Konfusion is. They don't know that Queens' own Pharoahe Monch and Prince Poetry are two of the most respected and acclaimed lyrical scientists in the hip-hop core. They may not remember OK's debut album or their singles "Fudge Pudge" or "Walk In The Sun." And maybe they don't care to find out. But for many others, the second Organized album, "Stress: The Extinction Agenda," has been agonizingly overdue. Even though this album is on another level from the pablum of mainstream music, this guarantees nothing at the cash register. The essence of Organized Konfusion is pure lyricism. More so than any other artists out now, Monch and Prince are masters of words and phrases. On "Bring It On," they become verbal contortionists, creating moving molecules of syllables and sounds, new rhyme flows and sound effects. On "Stress," "Black Sunday" and "Thirteen," the duo no longer experiments with verbal sounds. Instead they use their skills to convey their emotions with lyrics... The power of poetry goes without saying, but musically some of the tracks are very dark, eerie and, at times, too heavy and almost monotonous... But on the brighter second half, you have Buckwild-produced "Why," the ill boogie beat of "3-2-1" and the ridiculously dope bounce track "Let's Organize" (featuring O.C. and Q-Tip).... I can't say this album is for everybody and I can't even say it is the most enjoyable to listen to. But you should buy because it just might expand your mind if you put in the effort." - The Source, September 1994.

The full review from The Source can be read below...