Thursday, 25 June 2015

Non-Phixion - The Future is Now (2002)

There's never really been a need for the white rap version of NWA  because - aside from the NWA we had working just fine - if you're grading your rap by skin tone, then you're almost certainly missing a huge chunk of the point regardless of what may be claimed by idiots like Lauryn Hill or that Made Men guy who owned The Source magazine, whatever the fuck his name was; but, if you really, really, really insist, then it was probably Non-Phixion.

As with NWA, Non-Phixion only made two proper albums, and this was the first of them; and they were notable for just about every single track involving any combination of these four people - Ill Bill, Sabac Red, Goretex, and DJ Eclipse - emerging from that period being more or less fucking perfect. Bringing in Sabac Red's I Have A Dream and Ill Bill's Anatomy of A School Shooting and that's four spots in the hip-hop top ten all time greats just from this one group alone - the other two being Rock Stars from this album and Caught Between Worlds from The Green if anyone cares, and keeping in mind that there's no such thing as a hip-hop top ten all time greats, or at least not one that stays the same for longer than a couple of hours.

Where was I?

The Green had a bit of a mixtape feel to it, but this one was solid as fuck - hard gritty beats, that skipping exhaust-choked cinematic New York groove that Wu-Tang never really got right quite so often as they should have done, but here on point from beginning to end; and the pump of bass, and some fairly low-key sample, and DJ Eclipse scratching away like nobody's business. It's the simplest, most basic sound in the world, no more than a variation on the stuff done in the parks and baseball courts before anyone had even heard of this sort of thing, but somehow it's done with such conviction on this album - thanks to Necro, Pete Rock, Large Professor, and others - that even in 2002 it managed to sound like something new. Obviously it wasn't, but Non-Phixion always seemed like a breed apart from most of their peers, which was probably the lyrical melange keeping everything far too lively for reduction to being just one thing. This was street-level underground conscious rap which spent far too much time watching Italian splatter movies and had no intention of apologising for its heavy pornography habit. It was a whole mess of contradictions all jammed together and forced to carry such weight that it makes you apologise for being a dick, for not getting it first time. It was supposed to make you feel uncomfortable, or to make you laugh, or to make you go out and rob a bank. Non-Phixion were one of the few groups who could switch from capitalism and world politics to black helicopters, L. Ron Hubbard, and Area 51 without sounding like complete loonies.

I don't know what happened after The Green, and La Coka Nostra just sounded like some sort of Insane Clown Posse version of Non-Phixion to me, even without the off-putting involvement of that Cypress Hill bloke. Maybe I've just heard the wrong stuff.

What matters is that this existed and still blows my nuts off each time I slap it on, figuratively speaking; but of course you already knew that, even if only just from Rock Stars which is, as you should be aware, just about the phattest shit that's ever existed in the history of phat shit, because if you ain't still bumpin' Rock Stars at least once a week, then what the hell is wrong with your ass and how do you justify your existence?


Get away from me.

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