Artifacts Stay On The Wrong Side Of Da Tracks, But They’re Back With The Right Video
Twenty years ago this month (April 15, 1997), The Artifacts released their sophomore album, That’s Them. El Da Sensei and Tame One (as well as DJ Kaos) followed the success of “Wrong Side Of da Tracks” and Between A Rock And A Hard Place with an album that paved the way for many of the Underground Hip-Hop releases that followed in the next five years. Even as soloists, the founders of the New Jersey group would be instrumental with the movements that followed. While Tame rocked out with Def Jux, Eastern Conference (and co-founded The Weathermen and Leak Bros.), El would get down with J-Live, Asheru and the 7Heads collective.
After a dozen years apart (which did not always appear to be amicable), El and Tame reunited on stage in 2009. With Kaos also part of the operation, the ‘Facts have made a number of appearances in the eight years since, without dropping a proper third LP. One of the better offerings comes as “SaltGarden,” a video-supported single by Salt Lake City, Utah’s producer Melvin Junko. Shot in the city, Tame and El trade shorter verses that put a bright light on their great chemistry after 25 years and counting. They’re still rapping about tagging on transit again, with crisp voices, and ricochet-style compound rhymes. The scratches feature some nicely corresponding past rhymes from Tame and El.
Akrobatik (The Perceptionists) also appears in this vid’. This is part of Melvin’s 10,000 Hours (May 2). The LP will also feature Rockness Monstah, Copywrite, and Cali Agents member Rasco.
#BonusBeat: “New York Flavor,” The Artifacts’ 2017 single, featuring Denise Weeks. This track was commissioned as an ad for a prominent fast food chain’s Dutch division:
Some Heads may know Weeks from her competing on X-Factor.