Bumpy Knuckles Once Overpowered KRS-One On His Own Song With A Ruff Verse (Audio)
The guest feature is a powerful position in Hip-Hop. From Nas to AZ, Snoop Dogg to Lupe Fiasco, lyrical legends have made key introductions through pivotal appearance on others’ songs. One of the artists who put down key blocks of his legacy through features is Freddie Foxxx (later known as Bumpy Knuckles).
The Long Island MC began his professional Rap career more than 30 years ago through 12″ single work with the Supreme Force. In 1989, he released Freddie Foxxx Is Here on MCA Records. With Eric B. tied to the project, it was a lukewarm start. In an era when features were far from the norm, this MC/producer got in where he fit in. In 1990, he put brawny bars onto Kool G Rap & DJ Polo’s “Money In The Bank” alongside Large Professor and the late Ant Live. In ’91, it was the “Heal Yourself” message with the Stop The Violence Movement. Rocking closely with Boogie Down Productions and KRS-One, Foxxx’s next appearance would prove to be especially meaningful.
1992’s Sex and Violence would be the final Boogie Down Productions album in an iconic five-year run. KRS had sought out like-minded artists, including Heather B, Prince Paul, and Foxxx. The L.I. artist jibed with Kris, appearing on two songs. The second of the two, “Ruff Ruff” would forecast Freddie’s storied stride. Foxxx would later call this material his favorite collaborations. It shows, as the artist in between labels would state his name at the top of the track. Following a Blastmasta verse, F-O-X-X-X gets busy as promised: “Listen as I flex, cause I’m about to rip up shop / It’s the return of the hip-hop master, Freddie the Foxxx / (Bo!) Rappers that see me, don’t even speak, just walk / ‘Cause I’m the maddest ni**a in New York, ha! / I see a rapper in the crowd that I don’t like / I wanna fight, so when I drop the mic / I’ma jump off the stage, bum rush your crowd to wimps / Suckers that wanna be pimps.” Moments later, he hits ’em with: “I’m sick and tired of hearin rappers talk smack / About who’s nice, and who’s wack/ Motherf*ck that! / They know my style, and my rep, every stage / That I stepped on – I was the rapper they slept on / But y’all rappers keep sleepin’.” He drops more than 40 bars, before setting Kris up to come back in and stomp out the track.
The guest was not out to best the host MC, indicative of the way he closes out his verse. When he and Kris were crafting their rhymes, each time Freddie looked up, KRS was still writing. Freddie kept writing as long as KRS did, only to learn that Kris had just been doodling the whole time, as his verse was already in his head. However, the bars that Freddie crafted were so rough and rugged that they were kept in their entirety. History shows that he did, indeed, steal the show.
As KRS set the table for Steady B, D-Nice, Channel Live, and others, it may have been by design. These friends and peers had an understanding, that hardcore Hip-Hop must be a unified front. And together, they hit D-Square’s beat with “Ruff Ruff” bars that bit just as hard as they barked.
Freddie Foxxx would not bring out his Bumpy Knuckles persona for five more years, thanks to two other kickers on O.C.’s Jewelz LP. However, the menacing delivery from an artist that was angry at an industry overlooking his many talents was birthed here, in 1992. This is the verse from which so many others bleed. From classic shots alongside O.C., Gang Starr, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and others. By 2000’s Industry Shakedown, it was cemented. He became a leader and a beacon for the passed over artist—compromised by a crooked industry and mislead masses. In the years since ’92, Bump’ put on for the likes of Cash Money affiliate Sy Ari Da Kid, Alchemist, and others.
In 2011, Bumpy Knuckles and KRS-One released the Royalty Check album. Bump’ is presently working on the O.G.ology project with Treach and Trick Trick, produced entirely by Nottz.