With Buckshot, Black Moon, Cocoa Brovaz, and Heltah Skeltah as the front line strike for Duckdown records, OGC remained underground. However, in this year of mass hip hop explosion, OGC have climbed above ground to release their sophomore album "The M-Pire Shrikez Back".
This trio of Starang Wondah aka William H, Louieville Sluggah aka Hennyville and Top Dog aka Da Big Kahuna make up Originoo Gunn Clappaz (OGC). These three fit together like Voltron, making you think they must be family. Their style is gangsta rap with a theme centered around Girlz. Unfortunately this makes for an 'at times' interesting, but mostly boring lyrical album. Only a few songs possess lyrics that go above the threshold of average. Fortunately the production is pretty tight, with mainstays such as Buckshot, Black Market and Havoc (of Mobb Deep) lending a hand. In fact, there were several songs with really innovative and original beats that truly impressed me and caught me off guard. Most powerful was OGC's ability to throw in a new sound/beat half way through a song. In a couple instances this sudden change made the track a highlight of the album.
"Girlz Ninety Now" resembles a cross between the beat from Ice T's "6 In Tha Mornin" and the lyrics from Snoop Dogg's "Freaky Tales". This track features the Boot Camp Click (a.k.a. the whole army of Duckdown artists). The lyrics are classic, and around the 2:30 mark, a new sound enters that is real catchy. The sound is like a low bass-laden voice, that via synthesizer is saying "ah ah ah, oh oh". "The Big Ohh" is directly related to the ladies again. An indo-laced beat, with a background sound that I've never heard before. It'll draw you, sounds like the beating of a stick on an empty barrel in the middle of an echo-inducing room. "Sometimey" has an interesting backbeat that seems to switch up at unpredictable intervals, but the scratching breaks are the best part of this song. "Set Sail", once again the beat draws you in, and the chorus is catchy.
This album had the potential to be one of the best Duckdown album since the Cocoa Brovaz last release, "Rude Awakening". Unfortunately, "M-Pire Shrikez Back" is flat in certain areas, and impressive in others. The skits were not at all interesting and were down right hard to verbally understand. The beats definitely saved this album, some of which were definite ground-breakers, but others had nothing to them. This album will put O.G.C. on the map, but disappoints me a little for what it could have been. If you're a Duckdown records fan, then this album is a must. Otherwise, if you're looking for an album with some original beats you might want to give this one a try.
(Originally posted on HipHopCanada.com)
This review was written November 9, 1999