February 15, 2017

Frankie Cutlass "Politics & Bullshit" (The Source, 2/97)

"In case some of y'all have forgotten that Latinos in general (and Puerto Rocks in particular) are in this hip-hop thing for the duration, Frankie Cutlass, better known for his bangin' remixes and a few underground crowd-pleasers, is here to remind you. No need to re-up on the long-forgotten high school Spanish lessons though, Frankie doesn't use this album as a venue for any Castillian-speaking Rico Suave characters sans skills to get some light. Matter of fact, except for the original and remixed shots of "Boriquas On Da Set," with Bouncemaster Doo Wop and South Bronx heavyweight Fat Joe, most of the songs on the album are freaked by non-Latinos. With snippets from Al Pacino's cult-classic Carlito's Way serving as intros and intermissions, this compilation of sorts is a combination of solid production and some well (and not so well) established talent.  For example, in what has to be the surprise move of the year, some former members of The Juice Crew - Craig G, Shante, Biz Markie, and lo and behold, none other than Big Daddy Kane himself! - get together once again to flex their vocal chords on "The Cypher." Although the foursome's lyrics and flows sound a bit strained and/or dated, it is kinda cool, nonetheless, to hear them gettin' some run."

"Despite using the same Freddie Jackson sample, that's rapidly gaining accolades for a certain foxy female, another phat team-up is "Focus," which features The Lost Boyz and M.O.P. The bugged mixture of the classic, Quiet Storm groove with Cheeks' raspy smoothness and M.O.P.'s adrenaline-pumped vocals results in nothing less than head nods for days. The absolute butter award, however, has to go to the darkly tinted Mobb Deep / Kool G Rap / M.O.P. joint, "Know The Game." Having to mention Frankie's Puerto Rican heritage is a sign of these fucked up race / ethnicity infatuated times we live in, but with the lack of exposure that Latinos in hip-hop get, it will hopefully help to dispel the myth that Hispanics are really outside observers and not an integral part of Rap. With a platoon-sized roster full of top choice talent, this latest from Cutlass should expand his fan base beyond the NY metro and re-establish Latinos' as true members of the Hip-Hop Nation."

The full review in The Source (February 1997) is available below...