KMD – Black Bastards

There was an old records store in Hermosa called Scooters (RIP) that was run by a good friend, Uncle Tim.

He specialized in mostly punk, but he also had an awesome selection of hip hop, funk and soul, and other wonderful oddities.  I loved the place because I could come in and just hang out with Tim and his dog, shoot the shit and play records. Also, since Tim was the only employee, I was often tapped to watch the store while he hit the bathroom…so i could live out my dream of running a cool record store.  Many of the great albums I own came from Scooters, and on one particular day Tim smiled as I walked in and just handed me this.

“What’s KMD?”

You need it.”

“I do?”

“If you like hip hop you do.”

“I do like hip hop…”

“That’ll be $15.  Can you watch the counter for me? I gotta pee.”

(That’s the way it usually went.)

But KMD’s “Black Bastards” album is a lost piece of ’94 golden age goodness that most people have never heard of.  Mostly because it was never released. But, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. KMD ( Kausing Much Damage) was formed in 1990 and first appeared on the 3rd Base track ‘The Gas Face’ before they released their eqaully awesome and overlooked debut album “Mr Hood.” (If you don’t know about “Mr Hood” I suggest you get on that one too, ’cause…Damn!) The original line up consisted of Zev Love X (who would later become MF Doom) DJ Subroc and Onyx the Birthstone Kid, and their sound was similar in theme to Brand Nubian…but with much more humor dumped in for good measure a la De La Soul.  It was a sound rooted in obscure samples and thought provoking rhymes.

After dropping Onyx from the line up and bringing MF Grimm in for some cuts, Zev and Subroc went on to record “Black Bastards” in 1994.  And then the trouble started.  DJ Subroc was hit by a car and killed in the middle of the album’s production, then Electra Records refused to release the LP with the cover Zev wanted.  To look at the cover today, it almost seems silly that it was the sticking point that prevented the albums release…it seems tame by today’s standards.  But neither Zev or the label was willing to budge and the album was shelved.

And there it sat for seven years.  Languishing in obscurity…know only to the few heads that had a chance to hear it, people never knew the joy of listening to ‘Sweet Premium Wine,’ or ‘What a Niggy Know.’ (featured above) until Zev got the rights and reissued it in 2001.

Grab it now so you can pretend like you knew all along.



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