Classic Music: Artifacts "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" (1994)

Dynamite Soul..

Away from the Top 25 list that we have on here, there are still so many albums that either inspired our childhoods or just made their mark in time for us. It’s weird to think about, but music has this way of just making time stand still when you really connect with it. So if you throw on an album that you used to basically worship years ago, it can take you right back to that time instantly. That’s really what the Artifacts’ Between a Rock and a Hard Place does for me. 

Growing up on underground Hip Hop and college radio changed a lot for me and my friends. What it did was put us up on music and MC’s that other kids we knew hadn’t heard of or just didn’t listen to. We felt like we had access to this whole other scene that was just ours. And back then, the Artifacts were staples up at Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito’s show on WKCR. So they would play their music all the time, and we’d record every last track that hit the air. Graffiti was a HUGE part of our lives back then, so to hear the Artifacts speakin’ about it and saying they were down with it too, made us even bigger fans. We felt that “Wrong Side of the Tracks” was written for us. We were actually living that! And that’s what you want, to be connected with the artist. We definitely were. They were from Jersey, and Redman was on the album on “ Cummin' Thru Ya F-Kin Block” (which had one of the craziest basslines I’ve ever heard in my life). And since he was probably my favorite MC at the time, that just sealed the deal even more. The production was nothing short of incredible, and most of it came courtesy of the criminally slept-on T-Ray. 

You really wouldn’t need to skip any tracks on this one. “Dynamite Soul”, “What Goes On?”, “C’mon Wit Da Git Down”, “Whassup Now Muthaf-ka?”, “Flexi With da Tech(nique)”, etc. Seriously, the WHOLE album was dope! This was a classic, and it’s just one of those albums that takes you back to a time when you could throw a joint on and just let it play all the way through. Easily one of my favorite albums ever, and one that I still play all the time. It’s a timeless one. Definitely check it out if you don’t have it in your collection. Peace to MSC, NIW, ARS, CM, FWD, ADS, PIA, and MOB.



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