Stone Crazy Album Review
When STONE CRAZY was released in the summer of ´97, it seemed like an eternity since The Beatnuts had put out an album. In reality it had only been three years and it was not like the group hadn´t been busy. They´d done a good portion of production on Fashion aka Al Tariq´s GOD CONNECTIONS. There were also remixes, tracks for other artists and two break beat LPs: PSYCHO BEATS on the Opposition label and Volume 5 of the HYDRA BEATS series. Plus Juju had been working with VIC as The Ghetto Pros, putting out singles for Brick City Kids and Black Attack on their Ghetto Gold Imprint. Nevertheless, at the time it seemed like a new LP was never going to come out, plus Fash had also split so the Nuts were now just a duo. Finally a new Beatnuts track did appear on Relativity´s URBAN ASSAULT mixtape. "Find That" was a dark and ominous song, the beat more minimal and sinister than their previous efforts, yet the hook was damn catchy and things looked promising. Then "Do You Believe" was released and again a more serious tone, absent of the humor that had been a common Beatnuts factor. Within months, STONE CRAZY was in stores and for me it was initially a disappointment. After waiting three plus years, the album seemed short, absent of the jazz vibe that was so much a part of the first album and EP, and while some songs still possessed the bizarre comedy of previous efforts, overall the album was more bare bones and tough and thugged out. However, looking at it now, the album is a superb follow up, full of some of The Beatnuts´ most underrated material and showcasing just how versatile they are as beat makers. "Off The Books" is the first of many club bangers that would follow and it´s still hard to believe that such an awesome loop came from an Electric Company record. Big Pun and Cuban Link also bring heat to the track. "Strokes" and "Here´s A Drink" are incredibly catchy as well, the former an obligatory sex tale and the latter freaking a sample from Tribe´s "1nce Again". At the time, some cried foul at the use of Patrice Rushen´s "Forget Me Nots" on "Give Me The Ass" as an obvious attempt at radio play. However, compared to how Will Smith jacked it on "Men In Black" that same summer, what the Nuts do with it is pure sampling genius. Like many albums of this era, Psycho and Juju also sample both Galt MacDermot and David Axelod. Axe is especially well used on the "World Famous Intro" and "N***** Know". "Uncivilized" and "Supa Supreme" are also solid efforts, and "Thinkin´ Bout Cash" benefits from an appearance by Screwball. However, the best song on the album - hands down - is the title track. Not only is the beat incredible, but it features the perfect mixture of the Nuts´ sick humor and horror. "Gunning down Barney Miller" and the muffled sounds of "Your mother sucks c**k" are just some of the ill lines scattered throughout the song. At the end they sing "and around and around and around we go", leaving me to imagine the guys stoned out of their minds, skipping like children through some sort of mega blood bath. The operative word in the title of the song and the album is indeed CRAZY, as although it´s impossible to doubt the genius behind their beats, STONE CRAZY more than any of their other albums, leaves one with the nagging suspicion that they indeed may be mad geniuses. Head nodding and unnerving all at the same time. Now that´s a combination.
Submited by: Lee Jacobs