= Live Album Review: Boogie Down Productions, Live Hardcore Worldwide (1991) =

There are some interesting production choices for this album. The material seems to come from at least four different 1990 performances, not including an intro and outro that were added for the release:
Tracks 2-12 Live at Cuando, NYC, NY
Tracks 13-16 Live at SOB’s, NYC, NY
Tracks 17-19 Live in London, UK
Tracks 20-23 Live in Paris, France
As such, the album is a little disjointed, and it is challenging to write about the album as a singular object. There is so much going on. The album starts really strong with the Cuando show, where KRS-One’s political stance is front and center, engaging with the audience by constantly calling them to action. The energy from these tracks comes from the audience, as they are extremely present in the recordings. Standouts include “The Eye-Opener” with its militant lyrics about race and the Bible, and “Still No.1 (Freestyle) which captures old school tools such as “throw your hands in the air, and wave them like you just don’t care” “somebody say oh yeah and we don’t stop”. The songs in this section of the album flow and create a cohesive experience of what it might be like at a rap show in NYC in the early 90s. While the 11th song is labeled as being from the same concert as the previous section, there is definitely a production shift. The audience is non-existent and the sound is much cleaner. This song “The Bridge Is Over” is an important song in that it documents a beef between Boogie Down Productions, representing the Bronx, and a group of other rappers from Queens. There is a really fun part of the song that uses Billy Joel’s “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” melody to deliver a diss:
‘Whats the matter with your MC, Marley Marl?
Don't know you know that he's out of touch? What's the matter with your DJ, MC Shan? On the wheels of steel, Marlon! You'd better change what comes out your speaker You're better off talkin' 'bout your wack Puma sneaker Cause Bronx created hip-hop, Queens will only get dropped, You're still tellin' lies to me. Everybody's talkin' 'bout the Juice Crew funny
But you're still tellin' lies to me’
While this is a great song, I do think it sounds out of place, as it doesn’t include the audience like all of the songs before and after it

Each of the rest of the three shows featured are great in their own way. The introduction to the SOB’s show historicizes the fact that it is being recorded for a live album with DJ Kenny Parker proclaiming, “Boogie Down Productions is in the House; This is the first, the first live rap album in the history of rap music, and you are all part of it and we are going to get live.” If true, it seems like it might have been smarter to start the entire release with this track, since the historical impact is important. The European shows continue to capture, and at times even eclipse, the energy of the NYC shows

Overall I recommend this as a document of the emerging rap scene in the late 80s and early 90s. Standouts include:A Shot, The Eye Opener, Still No.1 (Freestyle), Criminal Minded, Reggae Medley, Why is That, and Self Destruction

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