Whenever any duo breaks up in hip-hop, it’s almost mandatory that one member takes the limelight immediately while the other vanishes amongst the shadows until much later. This is true in many instances; when Organized Konfusion disbanded, Pharoah Monch took the stage first, releasing his debut solo album in 1999. Only five years later, in July 2004, would Prince Po, his rhyming partner, release his first solo record. The same scenario is evident for the late Company Flow crew. While El-P took the world by storm in the early 21st century, his rhyming counterpart Big Juss was nowhere to be found.
Bigg Jus, founder of Subverse Music Records, released some of the most politically and socially analytical music with Company Flow. His rhymes were a perfect match to El-P’s cascading anger, relieving the brooding tension of Company Flow’s hip-hop masquerade. Although as poignant with his lyrics, Bigg Jus’ flow was considerably cultivated compared to El-P’s tongue lashes. The two would go on to make beautiful hip-hop music, with the classic album Funcrusher Plus, and then dishearten fans with their abrupt but necessary break-up. For Bigg Jus, however, the break-up was perhaps the best thing for his musical career. El-P’s involvement in Company Flow had elevated the DefJuxer to uncontrolled stardom, which undeniably took the limelight off Bigg Jus. But with the release of Black Mamba Serum, Bigg Jus emerges from the shadows to make a vital contribution to politically and socially driven hip-hop.
Black Mamba Serum is a lo-fi excursion through the evils of today’s society. The ‘black mamba’ is a snake with a deadly bite, known to kill a human within four hours if not treated. Using this reptile, Jus paints a portrait of today’s world of social upheaval and despair. The ‘serum’ is the message that Bigg Jus is conveying on his record, exploiting the world and rendering it naked through his vivid, dramatic eyes. “Plantation Rhymes” showcases his judgment on today’s saturated hip-hop culture, rhyming “‘Cause most of you emcees rhyme like slaves” with utmost conviction. The instrumental collage is a disjointed, yet adequate adaptation to Jus’ rhyme flow. Often reminiscent of Company Flow’s abrasive beat assault, Black Mamba Serum is crammed with jagged drum programming that veers constantly throughout the entire album. In fact, most of the songs showcase a distorted beat sequence, requiring Bigg Jus to constantly alter his lyrical flow.
Black Mamba Serum is a perfect patchwork to what is ailing today’s hip-hop culture. Bigg Jus has identified this problem and has concocted the perfect remedy for hip-hop’s sickness. And with his mind and body out of the shadows of hip-hop history, Bigg Jus has finally emerged to receive his justifiable praise as one of today’s best emcees.
1. NYC Color Designer
3. Plantation Rhymes (Southern Hospitality Mix)
4. The Fr8s
5. Silver Back Mountain King
6. I Triceratops
7. The Story Entangles (The Under Flippage)
8. You Must Be Sniffin
9. Moss Pink Coats ’99
10. No Dessert Till You Finish Your Vegetables (Marq Spekt)
11. Dedication To Peo ’97
12. Suburbian Nightmare Texas Size New World Order
13. Say Goodbye
FLAC – Datafile |
320 kbps – Datafile |