[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/08-Woosah.mp3|titles=08 Woosah, Rugz D Bewler, By Any Means Necessary]
I remember thinking to myself, I should get the DJ's name at the listening session for #BAMN. Later, I was quietly amazed because more people need to pay attention to the music and close their mouths (disrespectful). Having these thoughts was a good sign.
If you're unfamiliar with Rugz's offbeat delivery, check out my previous blog entry about his second album, The Memoirs of Muhammad McFly and the release party at DD172. #BAMN is a different experience than his previous album, but it's more high quality hip hop from this Harlem representative. The best way I can explain why I like Rugz's music goes like this......... If you can keep more than one rhythm at the same time, you will appreciate how Rugz switches from one flow to another while remaining off beat. That's just his delivery, but there's a lot more to his style. He doesn't force himself into the stereotypes of the hip hop game, but he's also not so far gone to the point that his style seems foreign. He has a unique style, but it's still accessible. High quality lyricism, production and substance will make you wonder why #BAMN is free. Seriously!!
[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/10-Divas-Doobies.mp3|titles=10 Divas & Doobies, Rugz D Bewler, By Any Means Necessary]
A clear Harlem story is told within the selection of speech samples, track titles and stories referencing Malcolm X and his infamous line, "by any means necessary". The first track highlights this Malcolm X/Harlem bond by featuring the eulogy at Malcolm X's funeral as told in Spike Lee's film, Malcolm X. I feel for Harlem because it's hard to imagine The Audobon, the theater where Malcolm X was assassinated is not a nationally recognized historic site. If that is how they treat a place where documented historic events occurred, just imagine how little importance is given to preserve the rich African American history throughout the rest of Harlem. Columbia University reshaped the face of Harlem and there is too much to cover in this album review of Rugz's latest project, #BAMN. But it does partially explain why so many people have such a strong emotional connection to the historic neighborhood.