2LP, Red Vinyl, Gatefold
Rhymesayers Entertainment (2023) US
Following their 1991 debut album, Mr. Hood, KMD shed one member leaving two remaining – Subroc and his brother, Zev Love X (better known today as MF DOOM). Originally scheduled for release in 1994, their sophomore album Black Bastards showed clear progression from their debut. It was a truly amazing record, both sonically and lyrically, full of youthful creativity and tinged with the stresses of growing up as Black men in urban America. Songs like the lead single "What A N*gga Know", the slippery, bass-driven "Get U Now", and the album's title track explore Black consciousness viewed through young-but-experienced eyes. Musically alternating between bouncy and raw, the tracks gave the MC's the springboard they needed to express themselves clearly.
Sadly, Subroc would face a sudden and untimely death just as the duo were finishing the album, and their label Elektra Records unceremoniously shelved the project in the eleventh hour, due to controversy surrounding the album's provocative cover art. Zev Love X tried for years to release the album on other labels, but he was continually met with dead ends. It would be 6 years before the album would see the light of day with an official release.