Despite Their Name, Brothas Unda Madness Were No Hip-Hop B.U.M.S. (Video)
Although G-Funk was ruling the West Coast in the mid-1990s, there was still a small but strong contingent of Heads that were practice more traditional Rap. These artists tended to show love to all four elements of Hip-Hop culture, rather than just MCing. Collectives like Hieroglyphics and The Likwit Crew, as well as groups like The Pharcyde, Freestyle Fellowship, and The B.U.M.S. leaned towards a more jazzy sound and put a heavy emphasis on substance-based lyrics. If the last duo isn’t ringing any bells, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
This Oakland, California act consists of MCs Evocalist and D-Wyze, and their name is an acronym for “Brothas Unda Madness.: While their one and only album, Lyfe ’N’ Tyme, dropped on well-respected Los Angeles-based label Priority Records, and was generally loved by fans and critics alike, these rappers faded into obscurity shortly after their debut in 1995. Other than being a highly listenable album that stands the test of time, their LP is also notable because it features early production from Fredwreck, as well as a guest verse from Mystic half a dozen years before her lauded debut.
The B.U.M.S. first commercially available single was “Elevation (Free My Mind),” which dropped in 1994. The cut utilized a horn and flute loop from the Teddy Pendergrass classic “Close The Door.” E and Wyze both kick solid verses that call out other rappers for selling out for a quick buck. Ironically, the video seems to have been given a sizeable budget, as the FX are quality for the era and the accoutrements are high-end.
The visual also features a ton of cool cameos including lyricists Ahmad, Ras Kass, and Xzibit (all of whom worked with Fred around this time, too), Sway Calloway, and the ultimate B-boy, Crazy Legs. In fact, the Rock Steady Crew’s preeminent breaker does his thing throughout the whole vid and even gets 20 seconds at the end to straight get busy.