Comprised of a bunch of emcees hailing from all parts of New York, Da Henchmen arrived on the scene in ’93-’94 with the release of their EP, “Beware: Lyrically Dangerous” (on which “Basket Case” DOES NOT appear and has also sold upwards of $1,000.00!) and also released a 12″ later that same year with “What U Gonna’ Do?”/Flippin’ With Da Henchmen”. However, in 2011 Chopped Herring Records thankfully released a collection of Da Henchmen’s work from ’93-’95 as “The Ill Cyde Vaults”. Now, before I expound, let me just say that my love/adoration of what some may label “random rap” has become quite excessive/compulsive over the last two years or so. Groups such as Down To Erf, Citizen Kane, Ring (Massive Ring) and even more “known” acts such as The Juggaknots, Micranots and Jigmastas (or rather, anything that DJ Spinna touched) have remained in constant rotation. However, the last two days have been nothing…and I mean, nothing but Da Henchmen blaring in the headphones.
Straight up and down, “The Ill Cyde Vaults”, named after the label on which Henchmen product was released, and specifically “Basket Case” are simply out of control! Twenty (!) years later this EP sounds as if it came right outta’ the oven! It’s only proper that “Basket Case” samples Guru from “Now You’re Mine” (from “Hard To Earn”), much like the Gang Starr classic, hoop references are plentiful. Everyone from Ed O’Bannon to former Villanovan (ahem..plug) Kerry Kittles gets a mention on this lovely production from The Tic. Also, be sure to visit Chopped Herring to purchase the Vinyl EP and they can also provide you with more data on this unique crew from the East!