Friday, 11 April 2008

Soldiers 4 Life

Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren often sat around during the making of yet another one of their scintillating action showpieces with their Belgian and Scandinavian hip-hop blasting out between takes.

One day, it took over them with immense force. Dolph stood up, chest puffed out and greased up like a channel swimmer. The Ivan Drago look-a-like took in a deep breath and let out some tasty beat-boxing that Rahzel or Biz Markie would be proud of, and the likes of which Van Damme had never heard before. It was so inspiring to him in fact, that the Muscles from Brussels could not help but lay down some funky lyrics to Lundgren's beats.

The incredible sounds they made that day in the 90s, however, were nothing compared to those made by the Uk's Universal Soldiers.

Rappers Ricochet & Ultra along with Producer A.H.Fly haven't been big on the scene for a while, but in the early 00s they made quite a buzz with their 'Street Veterans' mix CDs. Off the back of those a full-length album followed called 'Slanguage', and today my firends, this is my prezzie to you.

The album is a well-rounded piece with one producer manning the boards throughout and guestspots kept to a minimum (only Sundragon & Dia-Blo appear). This enhances the desired effect and sound rather than takes away from it.

Its tough to pick what aspect of the group is better, as the frighteningly rough and imposing rhyme styles compliment Fly's dusty beats, which can only be described as a much grittier and dirtier version of the type of sound messrs Lewis Parker or Jehst usually plum for. This, incidentally, is a type of sound I have always loved and in a way, if someone asked me to describe the most representative sound of UK underground rap, I think this Universal Soldiers LP demonstrates my personal idea of it quite nicely.


1. Renegades
2. Crime Stories
3. Prohibition
4. P.O.W. (Prisoners On Wax)
5. Soldier Skit
6. My World
7. Metaphysics (featuring Sundragon AKA 'Tom Hagen')
8. SLanguage
9. Life's Like A Movie
10. Soldier 4 Life
11. Heavyweight Product
12. 6 Feet Deep
13. Undiluted
14. Minefields
15. Snakes And Ladders
16. Outro (Life's Like A Movie Reprise)
17. The Great Escape (featuring Dia-Blo) (New Age Rework)

Another update coming before the weekend. I'm trying to get the ball rolling quickly so the site doesn't slow down to a stop again.


Anonymous said...

anyone know where i can cop 'universal soldiers - street veterans' from?

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