The Body-Hat Syndrome is the third album from the rap group Digital Underground, on which they continued to cultivate their own brand of P-Funk culture, ending more than a year of silence with a fresh batch of funk-infused rap. With the edgy grind of the leading single, "The Return of the Crazy One", and its accompanying X-rated video (reworked for public consumption) boosting the band back into the spotlight, the rest of the album unfurled to less than outstanding crossover commercial acclaim. The album's second single, an anti-racism cultural awareness politico called "Wussup Wit the Luv", featured an inspired solo from the Funkadelic guitarist Michael Hampton, as well as a verse and video appearance by Tupac Shakur. This was the last time Shakur appeared on any Digital Underground release, while the lead rappers Saafir and Clee were added to the line up.
Another day, another 20th anniversary. This time it's Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's The Art of War. Summer of '97 was a glorious one in Flushing. It was the time in which I was about to go from elementary school to junior high. Woolworths on Main Street was closing down. You could still get $1 slices at Gloria's. Quarters were flowing like water at Entertainment World. NBA cards and Spawn comic books were a must at Chameleon's. Dr. Jay's had the flyest kicks. And most importantly, I spent a lot of time (and money) perusing the Rap aisles of Coconuts and The Wiz. One of the biggest releases that summer was The Art of War. Similar to Biggie's Life After Death and Wu-Tang Clan's Wu-Tang Forever, The Art of War was a double album with tons of songs to help get you through the summer. In my area, or perhaps NYC in general, I think this album was a bit slept on. NYC at that time only cared about NYC artists. My cousin and I were a bit different. The dark melodies of BTNH left an impression on us ever since their debut album, E. 1999 Eternal. A lot of the album hype was fueled by their lead single, "Look Into My Eyes" from the Batman & Robin (🗑) soundtrack. But it was album cuts like Handle The Vibe, It's All Real, Clog Up Yo Mind, 7 Sign, All Original, It's All Mo Thug, If I Could Teach The World, that really made the album come together. My cousin and I bumped this album like crazy that summer, from our cassette walkmans to our boomboxes. Despite people around the way not really messing with this album, the one standout track that everybody wanted to hear was "Thug Luv", a posthumous collaboration with 2Pac. Even my cousins on Fordham Road liked that song. The gunshot laden beat was a huge hit, years before 50 Cent really made that sound pop. Listening to a lot of these songs really takes me back to that summer and how great NYC used to be before the gluten free tapa shops started invading neighborhoods. Back when Flushing was more diverse and every store wasn't an Internet cafe, bank or fish market. Great times @bonethugsnharmony_ #BoneThugsNHarmony#BoneThugs#Cleveland#RuthlessRecords#TheArtOfWar#20thAnniversary#90sHipHop#LookIntoMyEyes#AllOriginal#ThugLuv#1997