Ok ya’ll seen how ya boy drove the Internet crazy with yesterday’s Jay-Z and Nas post right? Well it’s time to slow down, we’re closing another issue here at XXL and shit is HECTIC (And I’m working on what will be one of the GREATEST magazine features of the year—BELIEVE THAT)! So instead of stirring things up again I just wanted to take today’s post to commemorate one of my personal favorite groups of all-time, The Beatnuts.
When the Queens rappin’/production trio (Psycho Les, JuJu and Kool Ass Fashion) dropped “Reign of the Tec” back in ’93 I damned near lost my mind. It was important for me as a Latino to see Spanish dudes in Hip-hop (which explains my love for Kurious Jorge, Fat Joe and Cypress Hill). But not only were the Nuts Latino, they were dope AND they were part of the Native Tongues movement too. I remember when Fashion left after their self-titled debut LP (yeah folks it wasn’t called Street Level, it was called The Beatnuts), critics wondered if JuJu and Les could carry the weight. When Stone Crazy dropped in ’97 all skeptics were silenced, thanks to the album’s most popular single “Off the Books” which featured a then unknown Big Pun (even though Puns very first verse came on Fat Joe’s Jealous Ones Envy—I’m such a fuckin’ Stan).
The group’s fourth album, A Musical Massacre (1999) was pretty underrated, that shit had bangers like “Beatnuts Forever,” Watch Out Now” and my personal favorite “Se Acabo.” Their 2001 album Take it or Squeeze was pretty good too thanks to the lead single “No Escapin’ This” but after that my beloved Beatnuts began to lose me. I copped their 2002 album The Originators, but haven’t gotten around to getting’ their ’04 joint Milk Me. I mean every group is allowed a dud or two.
Still it has always baffled me why JuJu and Psycho Les never got the credit they deserved. The rhymes were pretty tight and the beats, well the beats were FUCKIN’ INSANE! Here’s to the Nuts (fuck-a-pause)! – Rob the Music Ed
“Reign of the Tec” – 1992
“Hit Me With That” – 1994
“Off the Books” – 1997
“Do You Believe” – 1997
“Watch out Now” – 1999