REVIEW: DJ Babu – Duck Season

Duck Season

Artist: DJ Babu

Album: Duck Season Volume 1

Label: Sequence

Rating: 9 / 10

Reviewer: P Tha Uptownkid

If you look to the West, you might not see a guy in a 10 gallon hat, cowboy boots with stir-ups, dirty and stinkin’ with a gun-belt on, but you might see a DJ armed with two turntables a mixer and a recording device. Should you see this guy, don’t run the other way… stand and deliver. “Duck Season, Vol.1” is the first installment of series of commercial mixed CD’s that is catching on with the buzz identical to the “World Famous Beat Junkies” series of mixed CDs from the late 90’s. Being a multi-faceted individual, Babu has been penned as one of the hottest and upcoming DJ/producers as of late. If you’re still not sure as to who this cat is, let share some insight – he’s the DJ for the California based, underground rap group Dilated Peoples, ¼ of the main members of the DJ-crew the Beat Junkies, and by his own right, admissions, and past track record (no pun intended) a producer with endless potential and endless gain.

Being a world-renowned DJ (and actually bringing home a DJ championship) and to have, self-admittededly, created the classification of “turntablism” / “Turntablist”, Babu proves on this disc that he is, by right, a man with not only a mission, but a man with a mission statement prepared to spit at the drop of a dime. “Duck Season” is a mixture of underground tracks ranging from around ’99 to ’02. While all artists are pretty much underground, they aren’t too far under not to be recognized (by name) while checking the track listing. The interesting thing about this release is the non-stop, dirty, stinkin’, ill-type tracks that Babu spins throughout the album’s length. Every track thats on this release is HOT. So if one combines the track selection with Babu’s DJ’ing skills, it’s like watching Leonardo DaVinci painting Mona Lisa en vivo. Basically, it’s 64 minutes of pure, unadulterated Hip-Hop music scratched up, down and backwards to precision, by the champion of the one’s and two’s.

The album starts out with an intro setting the tone of the album, (imagine your on a duck hunt and you’re hearing duck quacks and gun shots poppin’ off). while simultaneously, Irascience, Prince Paul, Jazzy Jeff, DJ Evil Dee gives props over a Babu concocted beat. After that… it’s on with the hunt. Not only does this album display Babu turntable skills but as equally as important, it has a number of Babu produced tracks. There are 4 Babu-produced exclusives on this album – ‘Duck Season’ by The Beatnuts featuring Al-Tariq, which Psycho Les and Ju-Ju rip with familiarity due to it’s closeness to their own style of production; ‘Gold Chain Music’ is a piano-laced track giving an ode to the early mid-late 80’s era of Rap music lead by the Bumrush Brothers featuring Planet Asia and Evidence, while ‘Center of Attention’ is a collaboration between Dilated Peoples, Souls Of Mischief and Pep Love… the final exclusive to the album is ‘Ducky Boy’ by Jurassic 5.

While exclusives are something that a lot of headz thrive to be the first ones to get, the other tracks on “Duck Season” are equally hot, if not superior. DJ Babu ingeniously scratches in every track… brings it back… beat juggles, then rocks the track most of the way through. De La Soul with the assisted vocals of Jose “Perico” Hernandez on ‘Watch Out’ give that latin-backed hip-hop flava. Japan’s “King Of Diggin”, DJ/Rapper Muro with his Japanese-only released ‘Patch Up The Pieces’ trades lyrical flows (Muro spits in Japanese) with Freddie Foxxx over a down-home, in-the-Church pianos lacing an ill beat with Pete Rock-aided scratches. Other tracks of note are the soon to be classic ‘Cake’, a Pete Rock produced track by his new project, the UN; ‘Sight For Sore Eyes’ by the Madlib-counterpart KanKick featuring the Visionaries, Defari’s underground and European-released ‘Behold My Life’, Quasimoto’s ‘Microphone Mathmatics remix’ and M.O.P’s ‘Follow Instructions’.

“So this is what they meant by Soul… So this is what they meant by funky” were some words quite recently used by Pete Rock & Grand Agent, but I’d like to borrow their term and use it for this… THIS IS WHAT THEY MEANT BY SOUL… THIS IS WHAT THEY MEANT BY FUNKY. There’s been a lot of talk about various mixed tapes/CD in the year 2002 being the best ones but until you’ve heard Babu’s – “Duck Season, Vol. 1”, it’ll be hard to understand why this shouldn’t be. Run to the stores and pick it up!!!

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