ONYX – Bacdafucup (Throwback Thursday Review)

Countless hip hop groups & personas have come & gone, but none command your attention like ONYX. As soon as you press play, especially on Bacdafucup, you feel locked in. There’s no escape, nearly like a hostage situation, a feeling captured in the pure aggression that’s displayed on every track.

From the jump, you’re threatened. They immediately tell you to “Bacdafucup” over the course of forty-seconds. This simple gesture sets the stage for a near hour of content, and if you aren’t ready for it, then you might as well do what they say.

An underrated aspect of the group, comprised of the MC’s Fredro Starr, Sonny Seeza, Big DS & Sticky Fingaz, is how they combine to make one voice. On each track the four of them have their own voice that’s distinct, but they utilize gang vocals to become a whole new beast all together. While there’s countless examples of this throughout the album, there’s no more obvious example than on “Throw Ya Gunz”. They all hold their own for each verse, but as soon as the intro & hooks come in, it might as well be a fifth member. Along with the backing vocal to highlight certain bars, it helps add an extra level of unexpected aggression to each verse.

Production on the album is handled by Chyskillz, who is just as crucial to the experience. All the beats have a peculiar eeriness to them, a sorta twisted quality to them. They’re all jazz samples, but they sound nothing like what De La Soul or Jungle Brothers might have done at the time. Due to this it is something to note that ONYX & De La Soul had used the same Fat Boys sample at different periods of time, on “Phat (N’ All Dat)” & “Baby Phat” respectively.

Onyx – Phat ‘N’ All Dat

De La Soul – Baby Phat

Jam Master Jay’s contributions come in the form of scratches, and is used sparingly. Jay’s scratches don’t pop up on every track, but when they do, they give fresh variety to the beats. Like on “Bichsaniguz”, its subtle but happens just enough to drive the beat a little further for the hook.

There’s plenty of work here to geek about, how it influenced years of music to come that can still be felt in the more aggressive Soundcloud scene, to where Sticky Fingaz excelled on a solo career with his debut conceptual album. Yet, an album like this can be respected just on its own. There is possibly no other album that capture the same level of aggression that is displayed on this release, and that’s probably for the better.

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