Bigg Jus – The Black Mamba Syrums Part 1 (20 Year Anniversary)

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Bigg Jus has been here for years, but easily one of the most underground acts. Coming from the legendary alternative hip hop group Company Flow, the Queens, NY emcee’s solo career isn’t talked about as much. With the anniversary of The Black Mamba Syrums Part 1 becoming twenty years old, the album that’s still hard to seek out remains a rewarding experience.

One of the most notable things here is the immense soundscape. There’s so many samples to pick apart they seem to slosh all over, a subtle ambient sample crashes and becomes a jazz sample, then right back. A stagnant drumline lets Bigg Jus rap like a madman, but the eclectic selection of free jazz push things forward. A snippet from a show becomes a rock interlude, then turntable scratches bring us right back at home.

Bigg Jus – The Black Mamba Syrums Part 1 (Full Album)

If you can sift through it all, you’ll be greeted with so many great lyrical moments. Many tracks speak on the mainstream & sell out nature of the current hip hop landscape, and speaks on how freeing going against the system can be. A sediment that has only gotten stronger so many years removed. “Dedication 2 Peo” speaks on familial dramas, until the second half the track until it suddenly takes a darker, more serious tone.

The backend of the album lays off of the density of instrumentals though. It instead opts for these more sparse piano flourishes, with a singer weaving in & out of the production. Sometimes they’re at the forefront, sometimes they’re lost completely in the mix. While these moments lack Bigg Jus, they let his skills as a producer flourish.

Its an album that requires many, many listens. There’s too much to pick apart, be it through the deep sampling or the abstract yet political lyrics. With a lack of lyrics online, its an even more daunting trial. For those willing however, there’s plenty of insight to the NY underground scene & industry.

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