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Unreleased Gems Part Five: The Lost Hit Squad Members

by Travis on July 27, 2006

Knucklehedz – Strictly Savage (1993)

1. Hedrush
2. Savages
3 Wuntz Upon A Time
4. Party Wrecker
5. Uglee Picture
6. Girlies Keep Screamin
7. All She Wanted
8. Trouble Makas
9. 5 Hoods In A 4 Door
10. Who Called The Cops
11. Joy Ridin’
12. Merlin

It’s time for Part Five and final chapter (at least for now, I have more in the vault) in the “Unreleased Gems” series. Today we come with one of my favorite crews in the history of hip hop, the almighty Hit Squad (circa pre EPMD break-up). As even the most novice hip hop head knows, the Hit Squad consisted of : EPMD, Das EFX, Redman, K Solo, but what a lot of people don’t know there was a group of two white boys that repped the Hit Squad that never got their time in the spotlight, the Knucklehedz.

The Knucklehedz were from L.I. along with E Double and Pee and consisted of Tom J and Steve Austin. For some reason they didn’t appear on a lot of the earlier Hit Squad stuff, although it was rumored they were life long friends with Sermon. They first appeared in a small part in EPMD’s “Hit Squad Heist”, while Tom J also had a small part on K-Solo’s first album. They joined PMD’s “Shuma Managment” and got signed by East/West recordings….see where this is going? Yeah, like Omniscience, Supernatural and others, they never got the album released, and were eventually dropped by the label that has dropped more balls than a Denver Broncos wide reciever.

Musically, let’s just say the main thing you need to know about this album is production by Erick Sermon at the height of his career. Think of the first two Redman albums and Keith Murray’s first album and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Some funk for the trunk that sounds funkier than three week old socks. I want to say that Soild Scheme (responisible for some of Das’ classics) also might have had a hand in a few of the tracks, although without any liner notes, that’s strictly guess work on my part. Lyrically, they basically sound like EPMD. Slow, methodical rhymes. They fit the tracks good, but are by no means lyrical geniuses. The album jumps off with “Hed Rush” which to me is the best track on the album. Some lazy horn riding a deep bassline. Some songs come off as stuff you’ve heard one too many times. By no means is the album a lost classic (like say the “Resident Alien” or the “Omniscience”) but if you were a fan of the early 90′s hip hop scene or better yet, the HIT SQUAD, you should definately check this album out.

On other notes, I added a few more links to our “Best Of the Best”, so be sure to check them out. That list is basically my own personal bookmark list, so it’s all good stuff, endorsed by me. I’m not putting up someones link unless its something I personally look at at least 2-3 times a week.

On the same note, miscreant productions have posted some INCREDIBLE source sample compilations of BOTH the Beastie Boys AND the great Public Enemy. The time that had be involved in putting togther not one, but two, complilations like this together had to be extensive (They put it together themselves). If you are into learning where those samples came from, this is the most extensive source for those two groups I’ve ever seen, so head over to the site and get with some Miscreant shit!

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