ARTIST: 3rd Bass
TITLE: The Cactus Album
YEAR RELEASED: 1989
CHART ACTION: #55, #5 R&B
SINGLES: Steppin’ to the AM (#54 R&B, #50 Dance, #5 Rap, #95 UK), The Gas Face (#31 Dance, #5 Rap, #71 UK), Brooklyn Queens (#20 Dance, #61 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Sons of 3rd Bass
LINEUP: Pete Nice, MC Serch, DJ Richie Rich.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Sample filled hip-hop record by Def Jam’s Beastie Boys “replacements” on that label is clever and inventive, though only a few cuts are essential.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Pete Nice, MC Serch, and Richie Rich were brought together by producer Sam Sever to create 3rd Bass, a integrated hip-hop group that feature two Caucasian MCs that had plenty of credibility in the NYC community. They signed with Def Jam as replacements for the Beastie Boys on the Def Jam roster and started out their debut with a brilliant dis track of the trio.
The raps by Serch and Nice are lyrical and erudite, while the samples and production by Sever, along with the Bomb Squad and Prince Paul fit in nicely with Rich’s samples. But there are some cuts that just drag a bit, and are not at the same level of the really hot cuts.
Like most hip-hop albums of the era, there are some tracks that are skits or transitions between cuts, and I’m exiling those. I do think they interrupt the flow of the record as well. Still, this is an important late 80’s hip-hop record.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: MC Serch tried at one point to join the Beastie Boys.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: There’s a version with one bonus remix.
GRADE: B+: Downgraded a touch due to the skits and that some cuts aren’t as vital as the others. Still, many cuts are essential listening.