Black Moon released a classic album in 1993. (Courtesy Photo)
1993 was a pivotal year in hip-hop, with Wu-Tang teaching us to “Protect Ya Neck” and Snoop opting to go “Doggystyle.” 2pac was still finding his way in 93’ when he told the world to “Keep Ya Head Up”.
Eazy-E dedicated an entire album to his beef with Dr. Dre and Geto Boys replaced Willie D with New Orleans legend Big Mike.
In the midst of several heralded albums released in 93’, Black Moon released a classic of their own with “Enta Da Stage”. The Brooklyn group consisted of Buckshot, 5ft Accelerator and DJ Evil Dee of Da Beatminerz.
In retrospect, it is easy to see why Black Moon was slept on.
Hip-Hop groups were at a premium at the time, including the aforementioned Wu Tang, Naughty by Nature, and Onyx to name a few. Most of the groups had more memorable members and arguably better music.
The fact that the group released the album through Nervous Records – a relatively unknown label at the time that specialized in house music may also be the blame for obscurity.
It also may have been easy to confuse Black Moon with one of the Boot Camp Clik groups they were affiliated with like Smif-N-Wessun or Heltah Skeltah not to mention the similarly named but stylistically different Black Sheep.
Nevertheless, “Enta Da Stage” is a better album than its subpar sales indicate.
The premise of the album is hardcore street raps explaining why Black Moon is not to be taken lightly. With the two emcees being well below 6 feet tall, it’s safe to say they had something of a Napoleon complex.
DJ Evil Dee and Beatminerz partner Mr. Walt lace the group with hard-hitting beats, experimenting with an assortment of samples that worked well.
The eerie production sounds like it wasn’t mastered, which only adds to the grit and harshness of the album.
Buckshot is solo on 10 of the album’s 14 tracks, but his confidence and charisma ooze through every verse. 5 Ft. Accelerator is only featured on 3 tracks, but his unorthodox flow and raspy voice compliment Buckshot well.
“How Many MC’s” is an incredibly infectious Beatminerz production accompanied by Buckshot’s boastful rhymes. The sample of jazz musician Grover Washington coupled with the heavy bassline keeps your head nodding.
“Act Like U Want It” is one of the premier tracks on the album, with a beat that sounds like it was more fitting for Kwamé than Black Moon. Buckshot flips the jolly beat into his rags to riches story.
Lines like “Back in the days I was a stone cold hood, and now I’m just a paid hood that’s still up to no good” exhibit Buckshot’s unapologetic demeanor.
The timeless “Who Got da Props?” is the leading single and standout track, with its catchy chorus and mesmerizing beat. Buckshot navigates through the track with a lyrical precision.
While most of the album is exclusively Buckshot, “Black Smif-n-Wessun” introduced the world to the group of the same name. Smif-n-Wessun and Buckshot take turns letting listeners know how it goes down in Brooklyn.
The only true feature outside of the Boot Camp Clik family is Mobb Deep’s Havoc.
The Queens emcee appears on “U da Man” dropping lines like “A rhyme ain’t a rhyme if it ain’t crime related”.
The album version of “I Got Cha Opin” pales in comparison to the jazzier remixed version featured in the video, making it the album’s only weak track.
Enta Da Stage is an instant trip to the turbulent 90’s, dropping you off into the bowels of Brownsville and Bushwick. The album may not be better than some more celebrated albums of the 90’s, but it certainly belongs in your collection.