Is there anyone that emphasizes hardcore hip hop more than Freddie Foxxx? Forgot all that fake gangster shit that is being spewed on the radio airwaves these days, that shit is straight up garbage. If I want the raw, hardcore rhymes, from a prototypical hardcore rapper, I’ll listen to Freddie Foxxx. Freddie came on the scene in the late 80′s with his Freddie Foxxx Is Here album, that was released on MCA. This would be during a time that major labels such as MCA had no clue how to market hip hop (and they still don’t), and the album ended up flopping something serious (and in hind sight, it wasn’t that great of an album). In 1992, Freddie, now with Epic/Flavor Unit, submitted an album to the label, which was titled Crazy Like a Foxxx. At the time, Freddie was coming off a strong appearance on Boogie Down Production’s “Sex & Violence” and was a part of the Flavor Unit, led by Sha-Money and Queen Latifah. The album would ultimately end up being shelved by the label after some lukewarm reviews in The Source. Crazy Like a Foxxx would find itself being leaked on the internet, with rather shitty quality (they were made from the promo copies) versions made their way around the internet as early as ’04. That was until just recently, when Fat Beats dropped a two disk version of Crazy Like a Foxxx, with disk one being the original commercial album and disk two being the demo version, which was largely produced by the DITC.
Disc One starts off the track, “Can’t Break Away”, which starts off an album which has an ominous dark mood to it and the track just sets the serve. It’s typical fanfare from the early 90′s, which is when the album was made and meant to be originally released. Freddie was never the most lyrical MC, but what he lacked in lyrical content, he made up for in delivery, style and package as his energy level was always sky high. The beat is suitable for for Freddie’s hard edged flow as he deluges into the ghetto anthem, complete with NY’s favorite way to do a hook, which included getting your homies into the studio and have them shout the chorus. Another banger that exemplified the NY flavor during those golden age years, is “Daddy Boot Knock”, which is a banger if I’ve ever heard one. Freddie was quick to tell you if you were fakin’ the funk, as he let loose and white rappers, female “tough guy” MC’s, and other topics such as “I’m the baddest”, which by now we’ve all heard a million times, but Freddie made that shit sound so rugged and hardcore, you are screaming along with him by the end of the three and half minutes. Disk two actually contains some different tracks than found on the retail version, with tracks like “Man Destroy’s Man” and “Pressure on the Brain”, give anyone purchasing this collection, their money’s worth. The standout track that will have people buzzing is the title track, “Crazy Like a Foxxx”, which Freddie goes at the Ultramagnetic MC boys for a line they dropped on “Yo Black” that went something like ““why would you put a Foxxx against an alligator”. Probably not a smart idea, whether it was on purpose or not, which is still under debate. On the track, Foxxx serves beat down pie to Moe Love, Ced Gee and Kool Keith. There are three versions of the track on the collection, with my favorite being on the demo disk.
Production wise, there was nothing mind-blowing on the original album, just quality music. Lots of the cliched sounds from the day in age are found. Foxxx is one of those MC’s though, that you want to listen what he says, because more than likely, it’s going to be something outlandish, so production doesn’t need to over-shine the tracks. Of course the true treats are found on the disk two, with the Diamond, Showbiz and Buckwild treats. “Call of the Wild”, which leads off disk two, is classic DITC. The dusty horns, and ill bassline brings the track to life as Foxxx brings one of his best performances between the two disks. “Click Click” features some hard drums that deliver a sinister bassline and gives images of creeping down the block in the dark, looking for either someone to blast, or a cypher to spit in. DITC was famous for horns, and tracks like “The Middle Man” contain those trademark horns. A funky sax sample has Foxxx baggin’ on brothers, who are whipped.
What makes this album work so well, at least for me, is the fact that the shit Freddie be sayin, isn’t just shit he is making up. You have reason to believe he’s either done what he is talking about, or would do it. There is not a fake bone in Freddie’s body. He is the epitome of the hardcore New York hip hop to this day. While this may sound a bit dated by today’s standards, it’s also more “real” than 99% of the albums by today’s standards as well. It’s a nice snapshot of hip hop in the early 90′s and really a prime example of why most cats over the age of thirty claim hip hop was better and regularly start sentences with “back in my day….”