featured REVIEW


Original Flavor This Is How It Is Atlantic • 1991

There’s no way I can sleep on this album. It’s one of the funkiest hip-hop LP’s out there. No one less than Damon Dash is a driving force behind this project, way before there was dollars, movies and Roc-A-Fella. Original Flavor was one of the two groups, besides Future Sound (lost in the mists of anonymity) he had under contract then. Dame would later introduce his friend and other hip-hop mogul-to-be Jay Z to the group. The Flavor’s debut album has everything: jazz, funk, soul as it can easily compete with albums from groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, Pharcyde, Digable Planets and Black Sheep. However, circumstances didn’t allow the group to achieve as much recognition as the ones mentioned.

Every track on the album is strong and nowhere on the album there’s a setback…the party vibes are all over the place. The rhymes are funny, amusing, laid-back. It's all about having a good time and chasin girls mixed with some braggin writes, but they never take it too serious. Production is in the hands of Ski, former member of the Bizzie Boys! He would later produce some tracks for Jay-Z, Bahamadia, AZ, A.D.O.R. and Lil Kim. The album opens Oriental style: a fantastic mandolin loop reveals the unique style of Original Flavor, only confirmed in the second song 'When I make it' with a supadupa mellow guitar: palm trees, cocktail bars and girls-in-bikini flash before my eyes…divine music. Another song that became one of my all-time party favourites is the funky dope 'Swingin' with girls singin the chorus and nice piano licks in it. Crate diggers will recognize Funkadelic, Commodores, Funk Inc and of course James Brown samples.

The track 'Waitin for my Break' is a dedication to creative production; and one thing you can’t accuse this album of is lack of creativity. It’s original and it has lots of flavor!

POSTED ON 07|14|2004 by cpf

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