BBU – bell hooks

written by: March 12, 2012
BBU bell hooks cover Release Date: Feb. 21, 2012

★★★★☆

BBU uses the word “cracker”… a lot. (They also manage to slip in a “honky” toward the end of the tape). Although some of their content may catch the average hip-hop listener by surprise, the group—that is either known as “Bin Laden Blowing Up” or “Black, Brown and Ugly” depending on the day—offers educated and thought-out views that come across in an authoritative way without sounding dictatorial. The job of a writer is not to profess his or her views as gospel, but to express a well-rounded opinion, and this is something BBU does throughout bell hooks. Agree or disagree, one can’t argue the validity of these Chi-town natives who might “hate the ‘Go’ for what it is but know that bastard made” them.

While bell hooks is a far cry from the anthemic “Chi Don’t Dance” track BBU released a couple of years ago, it still manages to entice “juking” while discussing the young African-American plight. The collective of Illekt, Epic and Jasson Perez come off as a young, impressionable and modern version of Public Enemy, only with a little less bass in their voices and a little more emphasis on blending lyrics and beats.

The mixtape kicks off with a spoken-word intro that leads into an aggressive statement in “Outlaw Culture.” A self-proclaimed soundtrack to Malcom’s “By Any Means,” it searches for answers while hoping for change. The underlying theme seems to focus on the stereotypical views of African-Americans but, in reality, it is for everyone who grew up not fitting in.

“Jumpers” is a cry for everyone to get on the same page in the short time they are here on earth. The Tony Baines-produced track lets the collective wax philosophical on reverse racism and Repbulicans. “Kurt De La Rocha” intertwines a sample of Nirvana’s “Polly” with a bass-heavy bounce track setting the stage for a rebellious chant where BBU continues to voice its displeasure with the status quo.

The somewhat star-studded collaboration with the Hood Internet and Das Racist called “Please, No Pictures” proves to be the album’s stand-out. Not only do the guests serve as a nice change of pace from BBU’s own status quo (with an Arrested Development reference thrown in for good measure), the synth- and clap-heavy beat allow the guys to let their guard down a bit, and a throw in a little wit to help welcome their Brooklyn comrades.

Maybe a less militant Dead Prez, maybe a more militant collection of Commons, the consciousness of bell hooks is well-spoken and will hopefully be heard by the audience it’s addressing.

BBU – bell hooks tracklist:

  1. “Wake Up Call by Malcolm London”
  2. “Outlaw Culture”
  3. “The Hood” (featuring GLC) - Listen/download on Pop ‘stache
  4. “Beau Sia”
  5. “Mr. Goodbar (Interlude)”
  6. “Jumpers”
  7. “Kurt De La Rocha”
  8. “Michael Scott (Skit)”
  9. “There’s Something About Mary”
  10. “BBU PSA by Epic”
  11. “26th & Cali”
  12. “Cormega”
  13. “Spaghetti” (featuring Mic Terror)
  14. “The Wrong Song”
  15. “Tommy Bunz”
  16. “Please, No Pictures” (featuring Das Racist)
  17. “Mr. Good Bar (Outro)”