Friday, August 05, 2005

Where Are They Now?

The guy that used to put the cape on James Brown?

Red Foo & Dre Kroon: On The Microphone - Featuring Promise
from Balance Beam (Bubonic 1997)

Red Foo & Dre Kroon: The Freshest - Featuring Evidence of Dilated Peoples, DJ Revolution, & Promise
from Balance Beam (Bubonic 1997)

Red Foo & Dre Kroon: Life Is A Game Of Chess (Pt. 2) - Featuring Promise
from Balance Beam (Bubonic 1997)

Jumping around different blogs I've noticed that three in particular have recently posted tracks from Hip-Hop artists that have not been in the public eye for a minute. B-Side Wins Again posted about Low Profile (with a young WC who went on to bigger and better things), while Treat Williams did a post on a personal favorite Kwest the Madd Lad (pick up 101 Things To While I'm With Your Girl before it's gone) and the good people over at The Broke BBoys not only did a post on Bone, Thugs & Harmony but also did one on X-Clan. All of these artists are currently living under the banner of obscurity (with the exception of the aforementioned WC) and reading these posts brought to mind a group that has also dropped off the face of the earth. Red Foo & Dre Kroon, a rapper/singer duo that dropped one album in 1997 and seemed to have not made a peep since then. They made some noise in the underground with their first single "The Freshest" featuring a young Evidence and DJ Revolution. Not knowing anything other than that about them I'm not gonna wax philosophical on their place in Hip-Hop, instead I just present these songs for you.

As a group they're blend of rap and singing tries to take a more unique approach to the combo than what usually happens, where the singer only handles the chorus and is there to accentuate the rapper. Here they actually trade verses and it doesn't sound as awkward as it presents itself as is the case with On The Microphone. As a rapper Red Foo is not bad, tending towards the super scientifical at times, but his voice and delivery are unique enough to make him stand out as when he drops the line "Attack, with more energy than tech/no when I let go the neck go wreck" in Life Is A Game Of Chess. But it's is his work as a producer that should get most of the accolades. Delivering the Boom Bap, his drum programming and overall production just makes your head nod. Listen to The Freshest and try not to move your neck. Dre Kroon as a singer is less inspiring. With a limited range (think Nate Dogg but a little higher pitched) he bounces off Red Foo well enough and his southern drawl makes for an odd but pleasing complement to Red Foo's nasally delivery, plus he has some ties to San Diego according to the liner notes which is always a plus.

Another group that fell through the cracks when the Hip-Hop underground/independent movement went bust in the late 90's, I'd seriously like to know what happened to them. If anyone has any info on them, please feel free to comment.