Nastyboy Klick (NBK)
Tha 1st Chapter
Hey, is that another bunch of small-name rappers who came together and formed a group so someone would pay attention to them? Why, yes it is! And that is how the Nastyboy Klick was formed and apparently no one in the group can spell.
MC Magic, L-Dog, Bookie Loc, D.O.S., Sly, Ziggy, Little mischief and DJ 2 Swift form the Klick, with the only premiere persona being MC Magic. It is clear how much influence he has on the album, from production to song writing to arranging programming and sound. You could say that it is basically MC Magic and few of his cell mates and friends.
You would expect this would be another hard core Gangster Rap album, filled with profanity and violence. You would be right, for half of it. The other half of Tha 1st Chapter is surprisingly mellow and contains one or two slow groove ballads.
The mixing and sampling is very well done on this album and DJ 2 Swift mirrors the sampling style on Tupacs All Eyez on Me. It works well for almost all the songs, but it can get repetitive after a while. The track "Bookies freestyle" has a backbeat which sounds suspiciously like a track on the Puff Daddy's No Way Out, but knowing him he probably stole it from someone else.
On the whole, Tha 1st Chapter is not very original, is weak in lyrics and strong in its background sampling. Did I mention that it was not original?
Boyz II Men
Once again the world of R & B has become infused by the soul-inspired style of Boyz II Men. Their third album, Evolution, follows on the heels of II with the same wistful lyrics and flowing backbeats.
Wayna Morris, Shawn Stockman, Nathan Morris and Michael McCary form the famous quartet which blends a surprising variety of musical tastes into one harmonious flow that is Boys II Men.
Famed R & B producer Babyface takes on a strong role in Evolution in co-production and writing quite a few of the songs. Sean "Puffy" Combs also ads his brand of hip hop in some of the faster, yet his talents remain more in production than song writing. Although he makes the effort into new music genres, sometimes it is best to stick with what you're good at (and even that's debatable).
The group regards this album as a positive step towards their refinement in R& B. "Evolution is the act of positive change, growth, maturity. Boyz II Men." This is how Nathan Morris sums up their latest album and the maturity he mentions is definitely present in many of the ballads on Evolution. These ballads have more mature themes and lyrics. Evolution has allowed Boyz II Men to shake their "crying guy" image and allow people to appreciate their music as something more introspective and meaningful.
A particularly touching track is their tribute "A Song for Mama" which exposes all their renowned talents for lyrics, background vocals and rhythm. The single "4 Seasons of Loneliness" is doing particularly well right now on both the R & B and Top-40 charts. This track makes more use of instrumental melody and rhythm, something that many other R & B groups have failed to take advantage of.
While Boyz II Men have not redefined R & B, they have certainly contributed to its growth and ultimately, to its Evolution.