The Brotherhood - Elementalz (Throwback Review)

The Brotherhood - Elementalz (1996)

Released in 1996, Elementalz is the second album released by the UK group The Brotherhood. I'm not really familiar with much hip-hop from outside of the U.S. (help me change that and suggest some others), but this album is really dope. The Brotherhood consists of two MCs (Mr Shylock and Mr Spyce), and a DJ (Mister Dexter). I'm not sure if the main producer on this album (The Underdog) was a member of the group or not, but he produced all of the tracks on here, as far as I can tell. So how is it? Click to find out.


1) One 3 - The instrumental on this track on some dark, gritty, smoked out dungeon type vibe reminiscent of DJ Muggs during the "Temple of Boom" days. The MC's, Mr Shylock and Mr Spyce, rip it to shreds and set the foundation for the rest of the album - MCs of different racial backgrounds coming together to form a brotherhood. This is one of my favorite songs on here.

2) Alphabetical Response - This is one of the singles from the album and its really really dope. Keeping with the theme of the album so far, the beat is very dark and the chorus has some nice scratches by Mister Dexter. Both MC's sound great over this. Absolute fire track.



3) Nothing In Particular - The chorus for this track samples Frukwan aka The GateKeeper from the Gravediggaz, which is appropriate since the instrumental sounds like something off of the "6 Feet Deep." Both MCs flow effortlessly over it. Another great track.

4) Mad Headz - I believe that this was the second single from the album. The beat is more upbeat and sure to get your head nodding. This is some classic 90's hip-hop right here.

5) On The Move - Another more upbeat song. Both MC's bring it. I miss beats and lyricism like this.

6) Goin' Undaground - The beat and lyrics sound just like the title says - dark, gritty, underground. "We creep subterranean, comin packed, we react like Uranium." This is really good.

7) Punk Funk - After the slower "Goin' Undaground", "Punk Funk" picks up where "On The Move" left off with a more upbeat tempo. This was another single from the album and has a chorus that keeps getting stuck in my head - "We brought the Punk Funk baby!" So far, this album is pretty much flawless.

8) You Gotta Life - This beat sounds like something off of Onyx's "All We Got Is Us" album - very dark, very atmospheric. The song is a Mr Shyloc solo and he spits about someone with a really messed up life. This would fit perfectly on a Gravediggaz album since it somewhat reminds me of "1-800-Suicide."

9) One Shot - This is probably the most popular single from the album, and its straight fire. If you have never heard this album, watch the video below and you will get a good feel for what the entire album sounds like - dark beats with great lyrics. Probably my favorite song on the album.



10) Incredible - The chorus on this song samples "How many MC's" by Black Moon and sounds like it could come straight off of Smif-n-Wessun's "Dah Shinin'" album. The production on this album is amazing and neither MC has spit a wack verse yet. It's incredible...

11) Clunk Click - Cannot..stop...head...nodding. Seriously, the beats and rhymes on this album are top notch. For some reason, this song reminds me of Royal Fam's "Black Castle." Not sure why, the beats and rhymes are totally different. Weird.

12) Nominate - "It's just a matter of time / before me and my kind / take a step out the light and cross that thin line." Mid 90's gritty boom bap beat and Mr Shylock and Mr Spyce trade off great rhymes.

13) Dark Stalkers - The beat here has some organs over a heavy thumping bass. The lyrics follow the theme of the title - "Don't look to the light, stay away from the light." Reminds me of a Flatlinerz song. Remember them?

14) British Accent - It sounds like Mr Shylock and Mr Spyce are criticizing other UK MCs for not rapping in their native accent and instead trying to sound more "American" on this one. I'm not sure if this is a common thing, since I'm not really up on UK hip-hop like I should be, but the message sounds is clear. Great song.

15) Pride - This song has a nice laid back piano beat over some dusty drums. Both MC's destroy the beat as well. Great way to finish up the album.

If you enjoy MCs spitting knowledge over hard mid-90s East Coast hip-hop beats, DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS ALBUM. Check out some of the singles and videos on Youtube, whatever you have to do. This album is a true gem and should not be overlooked.

I'm going to rate the album a

5 / 5

since this is exactly the kind of album I like. Dark, atmospheric beats and hard rhymes.

2 comments:

  1. hornes of jericho by hijack the singles and patriot games by gunshot great uk hip hop check them out

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    Replies
    1. I'll definitely do that. Thanks a lot for the recommendations.

      Mike

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