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Hard Knocks


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Like so many crews, the Hard Knocks (emcee Hardhead and deejay Stoneface) were doomed by their satanic contract on Wild Pitch Records to drop a solid but virtually unheard LP, in this case School of Hard Knocks. Although Wild Pitch’s infamous history of mismanagement and strict adherence to Industry Rule # 4,080 is duly noted, one should not hastily assume that the Hard Knocks’ nosedive into ultra-obscurity is entirely attributable to show biz woes. Although it certainly was. Rapper Hardhead delivers respectable, sincere poetry and his monotonous flow is honey to the ears allowing you to evaluate the lyrics on their own merit.

Furthermore, such cerebral cuts as “Blow to the Head,” and “Thoughts of a Negro,” Hardhead are full of truth. His fixation on crooked cops, the explicit topic of at least four tracks that is continually referenced throughout the rest of the record, shows just how ridiculous growing up can be for a black man in America. While many of the beats are hyper, happy, and danceable Hardhead’s steez just screams we got the beats and it is time to spit truth; his baritone conjures the picture of a man trying to kick the truth to the young Black youth. This is not a bad thing. The samples are crystal clear, highly original, and extremely dope, an awesome record that requires repeated listening.

Musically, the Hard Knocks are indebted to DJ Mark the 45 King’s indelible horns and Marley Marl’s powerful snares. Their lyrical influences include Rakim and Chuck D, whose timely vocals are respectfully cut into the mix. An absolute epitome of a slept-on gem.


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  • Nafister

    The album is awesome

    3 Jun 2014 Reply

    Classic! [2]

    4 Aug 2011 Reply
  • grafDolt

    school of hard knocks is a great album.

    21 May 2011 Reply
  • aarONE119

    hot shit

    15 May 2011 Reply
  • TheAbbott

    The description, what the fuck? Somebody with good English thought that it might be nice to write an essay on this album. However, he didn't succeed with describing them well at all and his idea wasn't that original at all.

    28 May 2010 Reply
  • d4lz

    nigga for hire === love

    30 Apr 2010 Reply

    zeitlos... Underrated Classic!!!

    30 Mar 2010 Reply
  • Laschi2

    hands of a stranger und ghetto love sind ein must have in eurer hip hop sammlung. classic, groovy, jazzy !!! music with attitude.

    26 Mar 2010 Reply
  • smenkins

    need to get it !

    12 Dec 2009 Reply
  • Askari-X

    Where are they from?

    16 Oct 2009 Reply
  • BauhausBangers


    8 Dec 2008 Reply
  • tomgifford

    I've been looking for a proper copy of this on CD or vinyl for so long. Got an original on tape a few years back. It was one of the first hip-hop albums I was introduced to along with Breaking Atoms and Step In The Arena. Criminally underrated, even at the time. Easily one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever.

    8 Oct 2008 Reply
  • fretpunk

    Def one of the illest hip hop albums ever can't deny the funky brilliance on all these tracks. Anyone know what these guys are doing now?

    4 Jul 2008 Reply
  • BoGaNMS

    ima buy the re release.............

    30 Jun 2008 Reply
  • StarcraftReturn

    punk? :P great really great. Show love to those that deserve please, these ones do

    22 Sep 2007 Reply
  • davids2002

    its a shame school of hard knocks gets no love

    23 Mar 2007 Reply

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