As the hip-hop genre seems to be pulling further away from its roots every year, sometimes I have to go back an reflect on some of the classic albums of the past to reminisce a little. When I normally read lists of classic albums of the 90s, Tragedy Khadafi’s “Intelligent Hoodlum” album rarely makes the list for some reason? Personally, this joint was one of my favorites from the Golden Era. The accuracy and political power of Tragedy’s lyrics on this album were undeniable, so the real hip-hop fans took notice immediately. This was back in the day when certain rappers pushed their freedom of speech rights to the edge. Songs like “No Justice, No Peace” and “Arrest the President” were very straight forward in their content! I wish more rappers today would express those kinds of messages instead of the regurgitated non-sense that seems more comfortable for them. The legendary producer Marley Marl handled the production on the Hoodlum album, so it was even harder to deny! Remember, Marley Marl was a production guru when the Pete Rocks, DJ Premiers and Jay Dees were just stains on the sheets! One of my favorite things about the Hoodlum album is the fact that Tragedy was able to remain politically conscious without being too preachy. Plus, he also kept his street edge throughout this project, which is the basis of the album’s title. This album still gets put back into my music rotation from time to time, which says a lot!
If you have slept on the “Intelligent Hoodlum” album up to this point, I would suggest that you put your ears on it. No, it’s not as groundbreaking in 2007 as it was back in 1990, but it’s still a solid album. If you care at all, this album was re-released as a double album CD with another dope Tragedy project called “Saga of a Hoodlum” that I like a lot as well. Two solid albums for the price of one is a great deal actually. Tragedy Khadafi has released several albums over his lengthy career, so check for him when you get a minute. Other than probably O.C. (rapper), I feel that Tragedy is one of the most slept on East Coast emcees of our time. Maybe one day they’ll actually get their just due?
Let's flashback to a couple of old Tragedy videos:
Tragedy Khadafi - Grand Groove
Tragedy Khadafi - Street Life