June 28, 2016

Heltah Skeltah "Operation Lockdown" (The Source, 6/96)

Securing their place in the already well equipped Boot Camp Clique, Heltah Skeltah step front and center for the "the ninety now." Each track is sound - fashioned by E-Swift and Mr. Walt respectively - and both fit with the smoked-out, baritone lyrics of Ruck and Rock. The two tracks complement each other and provide a balanced attack like a proper single should. The A-side, "Operation Lockdown," begins with a comical, stimulated narrator whose daydream leads the listener into a circle of hypnotic strings that come at you in seamless waves. From then on the two MCs do indeed "lock it down with the full court press." Their lyrics are compact and concise - each MC building off the other - and flow all the way into the short and unobtrusive chorus. The B-Side, "Da Wiggy," hits with the familiar, brooding, bass heavy Bucktown production that you feel more than hear. Lyrically, Ruck and Rock ("Sparsky and Dutch") flow back and forth with an ease that is only truly manifested between partners in crime, much like their clique compatriots Tek and Steele. These two double team MCs from all angles, promising to "split 'em in half, divide and conquer," and warning, "if I'm bein' polite I'm schemin' like Eddie Haskell." The voice-boxed chorus recalls the "wikky, wikky, wikky" of the old school hit "Jam On It," but unlike the little voice on the Newcleus record, this one doesn't know when to quit. Heltah Skeltah should follow the talented trail blazed by Black Moon and Smif-N-Wessun. So Bucktown heads can carve yet another notch in their rhyme revolvers. - Another Sure Shot Single from The Source, back in June 1996. I don't know why the album is not available to stream, a major oversight! Rest In Peace, Sean Price; one of the greatest MCs EVER!