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UK Hip Hop: International
Blak Prophetz - With FX b/w The Maddest Style [Fatt Jointz]
Blak Prophetz - With Fx
Sure Shot and Wille Bee
After some time away from the scene the Blak Prophetz are back on the scene with a slamming 12" which features two heavy duty tracks. These guys have been putting stuff out since the mid 80's, whether it be their own material, or bringing other people through. Over the years they have worked with Kid Capri and Marley Marl over in the US and have put this time to good use learning what makes a good track. Neither track is particularly avant-garde or experimental, but both are solid straight up club tracks designed to get rumps shaking. Production has been described as Premiresque in almost all reviews and Willie Bee and Sure Shot admit the influence in their press material. As such it is formulaic, but as with Premier, there is always room for another well constructed and thought out track, so long as it is good enough. The crew have decided to try and widen their appeal and so have played it a bit safe, they know what appeals and have constructed something that fits the purpose. 

The first track of the two is With FX. Sure Shot lays down the vocals, whilst Willie B is the scratch DJ. Together they have been a production team for a very long time and obviously work well together. With FX has a crispy beat with a nice shuffle and simple, but effective keyboard to compliment the production. It is a simple enough beat, but Sure Shots mellifluous flow just sits on there and eases the track along. Can't immediately say where the special guest GClef The MadkomposA from Soul Kid Klik fits into this, but he is on there. Lyrical topics relate mostly to their history and pedigree within the scene with references to the big names they have worked with, to gentle self approbation and the way they go about producing. The chorus makes use of the Rakim sample. 'E.F.F.E.C.T., A smooth operator operator operating correctly', a sample which I used back in '94 is for my first foray into Drum & Bass and is a touch clichéd now! 

The B side track Maddest Style is a harder affair. The beat reeks of MCP. Ultra simple patterns and a seductive few piano notes make this rock in the way all classic beats do. Having spent so many years in the US and mixing with all the people they did there are undeniable Americanisms and influences going on here. The most obvious of which is the accent. This isn't put on though, it is just the way these guys sound, so look beyond that and realise that you are listening to some of the pioneers of UK Hip Hop, who surprisingly haven't lost heart and packed it all in, but are only now producing some of their best work.  

So the Blak Prophetz have finally decided to return to the scene and it did take a while. Never the less, they have not lost their touch and although they are not breaking any boundaries they are delivering power packed Hip Hop which finds its origins in New York and embodies the spirit of the early 90's. If you see this in the racks, give it a spin, and remember that these guys have a legitimate excuse for the US accent being present. 

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Fatt Jointz
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