A few months after the debut of Onyx and Lords of the Underground, another group with hype energy, shouted raps, and crew-chanted hooks, the Hoodratz, dropped Sneeke Muthafukaz. Though with every fresh idea in hip hop comes a slew of imitators, the Hoodratz successfully captured the essence of that movement and the result was a fairly good and quite listenable album.
Right from the jump we get “Bootlegga” which could easily have been influenced by the skit on Onyx’s album from a few months earlier. “Rollin Wit da Rat Pack” has a Gang Starr/D.I.T.C. feel to it with its funky beat and call-and-response shouted hook. “Murdered Ova Nutin” has a bass line that hums like a Black Moon track. The title track hits hard with dirty drums while both members of the crew put their raw rap skills on display.
For more stripped down production we get “Grimee…” and “Git Off Ma Dic”, the former dealing with “hoes” while the latter relies on a smooth bass line and a simple but effective drum beat as a backdrop for verses about “the bozack”. “Street Smart Dummies,” boasts a less straightforward boom bap track. Its concept — that a high school dropout can still be intelligent in ways that matter— also stands out.
While Das Efx and Onyx will be more remembered for their contributions, Hoodratz deserve to be checked out. The crackling noise throughout makes it sound like it’s being played on vinyl, even on the CD, which only adds to the character of the disc, giving it that golden age feel. — C-Dub
Rollin’ Wit Da Rat Pack