V.I.P.

V.I.P.

by Jungle Brothers
     
 

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Since the late '80s, the Jungle Brothers have been an integral part of the high-brow hip-hop movement -- dubbed by Afrika Bambaataa the Native Tongue Posse, the loose alliance also includes A Tribe Called Quest and Queen Latifah. On their fifth disc, V.I.P., the

Overview

Since the late '80s, the Jungle Brothers have been an integral part of the high-brow hip-hop movement -- dubbed by Afrika Bambaataa the Native Tongue Posse, the loose alliance also includes A Tribe Called Quest and Queen Latifah. On their fifth disc, V.I.P., the Brothers (now slimmed down to the duo of Mike G and Afrika after the departure of original member DJ Sammy B) show no signs of dumbin' down. What is ever-changing, however, is the J Beez's imaginative production style. Back in 1988, the Jungle Brothers' debut disc, STRAIGHT OUT THE JUNGLE, spawned the hip-hop house anthem "I'll House You," a collaboration with house producer Todd Terry. This time around, the duo worked with Alex Gifford of the Brit-techno duo the Propellerheads to produce a sound that is more orchestral than it is deejay driven. Drum 'n' bass underpins "Party Goin' On," while "Get Down" recalls the duo's house-party roots. Another stellar track is the old-school homage "Strictly Dedicated," which sounds like a live jam session. Not only is their music stylistically diverse, but Mike G and Afrika's rhymes are still characteristically whimsical. In the hip-hop world, the Jungle Brothers are indeed very important people.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Huey
By the time the Jungle Brothers signed with Gee Street, there was a full decade between them and the days of artistic freedom and respect from critics and discerning hip-hop fans. Seeking a creative rebirth, they hooked up with British producer Alex Gifford of big beat dance group the Propellerheads -- who'd actually sought out the J.Beez first to appear on their own album. The Jungle Brothers had embraced contemporary dance music right from the start, and their groundbreaking collaboration with Todd Terry, "I'll House You," gave them a lasting credibility in dance circles. The result of the team-up, V.I.P., pretty much gives up on appealing to the masses or the purists, instead setting their sights on dance-music fans who enjoy hip-hop as well. And if you aren't expecting a return to the sounds and attitudes of the J.Beez's glory years, V.I.P. is fun, funky, and infectious -- a party record where everyone sounds like they're having a blast. They try a little of everything, making for a pretty eclectic mix: the slamming big beat title track, a straight-up house groove on "Get Down," the blues pastiche of "Playing for Keeps," gonzo experiments in "Party Goin' On" and "JBeez Rock the Dancehall," and some cheerfully over-the-top love-man schtick on "Sexy Body" and "Freakin' You." Plus, there are a few reminiscences of hip-hop back in the day and hints of techno and drum'n'bass sprinkled throughout. Truth be told, the Jungle Brothers were never the most virtuosic MCs in the Native Tongues, and their rhymes can sound a little simplistic here -- not just because it's 2000, but they also tend to lay back when Gifford's grooves take over the show. Plus, a few cuts are a little too long, making V.I.P. a qualified success. But even so, it's still pretty difficult to resist.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2000
Label:
Universal Import
UPC:
5033197082929
catalogNumber:
970829

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