November 21, 2018

Group Home "Livin' Proof" (The Source, 12/95)

"We first heard Dap back in '92, when he represented on "I'm The Man" off Gang Starr's Daily Operation. Then Group Home itself emerged with the banging "Supa Star." Much like that first single, their full-length debut, Livin' Proof, is a throwback to the days when MCs actually had something to say. "Inna Citi Life," the album's first cut, does exhibit some of the generic gun talk that has run rampant in the industry. But Livin' Proof has a distinct theme: revealing the nuances of East New York ghetto life. "Serious Rap Shit," "Sacrifice" and "Suspended In Time" display Group Home's love for hip-hop and their desire to use it as a vehicle for elevation. On tracks like "2 Thousand" and "4 Give My Sins," they actually show remorse for the dirt done to survive. The former's chorus -- "95 is yours but 2000 is mine" -- paints an optimistic vision of the future. One of the brighter spots on the album comes from Jeru The Damaja on an interlude: "When you have the voice to say something, say something / 'Cause this is for the seeds / The seeds are what grow into the flowers / So shine light and water seeds." This is advice every MC should heed." Cont'd after the video below...

"From a production standpoint, Livin' Proof comes tighter than Adina Howard's spandex. DJ Premier brings the steelo heads have been in love with for years -- butter loops over hard hittin' drums. It's the same flava the group brought on "Supa Star" and it's the same style that has made Premier one of the best producers in hip-hop. The only downside to the album are the at-times simplistic verbals of Lil Dap and Melachi The Nutcracker. Lyrical enthusiasts will not be blown away. Nevertheless, Livin' Proof packs enough punch and flava to keep a party live. All true heads should give this one a listen." - The Source, 12/95. Is this DJ Premier's best produced album? Listen HERE.