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"Blood, Sweat And No Tears" came in 1991 as the final album from the original Hip Hop band Stetsasonic. Coming before Prince Paul and Frukwan of the act would go on to form part of the Gravediggaz, it sees the New Yorkers coming with an album at a time when their throwback style was running out of time to find support (with the advent of Gangsta Rap) and so has them trying to make a final lively effort to show that this can still be a part of this game.
1. Hip Hop Band" (Intro)
2. "No B.S. Allowed"
After we get off a very funky introductory piece, we see that we're taken right into the mix of things as we're thrown into one of their singles here. This is a straight killer tune from them and one that has them working well by basing things upon "Go Stetsa I" and finding that they are able to come up with a funky piece that acts as an alternative to where Hip Hop was going at the time when this record dropped.
3. "Uda Man"
We see that for this one we get the first signs that here the band have certainly advanced things quite a bit since their last album and are much more contemporary here with the darker East Coast stuff coming through here. Delite shows that he's been able to keep up and although Daddy-O and BDC may not be able to keep up with the current trends, I thought that overall it made for a very nice one.
4. "Speaking Of A Girl Named Suzy"
This was another of the singles from the thing and so it seems to stand out as a result. We find that the way they approach things really seems to match right in with what the mainstream, Pop-edged Rap scene around this period was like. I have to admit that by going for that kind of commercialised style really didn't hurt them here and it seemed to make for some heavy results that I wanted much more of.
This is a fresh piece from them and a nice inclusion to the album to see that they've really come a long way since the last that we had heard from them and that this time around they weren't as caught up with having to try and make the most of their gimmick as a 'Hip Hop band' and instead could embrace the more typical traits in the Hip Hop music of this time without going over the top.
6. "Blood, Sweat & No Tears"
They are seen to come up with a little something which really just fitted-in perfectly with what the East coast was saying at the time when it was all about giving some laid-back and smooth stuff to set the act up to do whatever they had to do. In this case, although they aren't as experienced in this field as many others at the time were (in this style) they ensure that it goes a long way and works for them.
7. "So Let The Fun Begin"
Here they change things up as they get into this one as they open things right back up again and they twist things back towards the sort of thing from them that I'd say made for the best results as they get back to the party Rap. This is some nice feel-good Hip Hop from them and it would have been refreshing at the time to have something as funky of this break out amongst the darkness which seemed to dominate the game at the time.
8. "Go Brooklyn 3"
The crew revisit a classic here as they get into a little something that they know all will have wanted them to get back into and as we see that they come out with a track that reminds everyone how long they've been in the game for and how they aren't down for having the East Coast lose out to the West Coast, or the New Jack Swing and Hip-House sounds to lose out to pure Hip Hop and so with live instrumentation they come in strong to take things back.
9. "Walkin' In The Rain"
I have to say that although I thought that things were going so well, all that came before it was completely lost when this one got going and we found that things took a turn towards the kind of thing that no one was really into as we see that they push for the sort of 'Ballad Rap' that was introduced by LL Cool J with "I Need Love" and they do just as bad a job here with this track.
10. "Don't Let Your Mouth Write A Check Your A*s Can't Cash"
They recover from the last one as they dive into this one and come up with a tune that has them retaining the low pace that the lat was given, from which they take it and manipulate it to get a laid-back, summery kind of vibe going for them on this one. I thought that this was a nice way to see more of the developments they had made as it seems to sit nicely in the mix of the piece.
11. "Ghetto Is The World"
We see that although Daddy-O may have hit out against the New Jack Swing movement earlier-on in the record, here the band come up to do a track which uses the sort of energetic breaks heard throughout that scene for this one. I felt that although he may have contradicted himself by ultimately embracing it in his own music (along with Delite and Wise) it makes for a very nice one.
12. "Your Mother Has Green Teeth"
They kick out a jazzy piece for this one and I thought that it was quite predictable to go down that sort of 'Jazz Rap' route for a tune which has them sticking to the humorous stuff throughout it. It's a track that has Prince Paul both producing and rapping on and when you consider that he was behind De La Soul's classic "3 Feet And Rising" album, what you get on this one seems like a perfect extension of that sound.
13. "You Still Smokin' That S**t?"
We see that this one has them attacking things with even more of the jazzy stuff. I thought that here they went a bit deeper with it that we ever would have thought it would be taken, but it seems t6o really do the job here and get the most of thing as Daddy-O takes us down into a little socially-conscious work where he attempts to steer people clear of crack cocaine. One of numerous drives by the Hip Hop community, it's nothing special, but fits in here.
14. "Heaven Help The M.F.'s"
They get right back into the New Jack Swing biz here, and I have to say that I was really a fan of it and so can't complain about them returning to a style that was quite heavily-criticised around this sort of time as its run came to an end in R&B and Hip Hop. This is a freaky piece from them and has them ensuring that we aren't put off by any of the dark things that we got from other acts of the time.
15. "Took Place In East New York"
This is a very nice one on the album and one that shows that really they weren't close to being on-trend with things on occasions as here they get right back to the sort of thing they enjoyed doing around the time when they began and really had been rejected around this time in favour of a whole new sound. Wise takes control here as he produces (with help from Daddy-O) and raps alone with a little of his beatboxing to give it that edge as he does a full Old School track as we come to the end of the record.
16. "Paul's A Sucker" (Outro)
This is an impressive album from Stetsasonic and although some people will have been put off by their choices to return t things which others would have considered to be outdated, overall it makes for a nice album and a refreshing one at a time when the game was under a rapid transitions as they came out of the eighties and were down to changes up significantly.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Hip Hop Band
2 No B.S. Allowed
3 Uda Man
4 Speaking Of A Girl Named Suzy
6 Blood Sweat & No Tears
7 So Let The Fun Begin
8 Go Brooklyn 3
9 Walkin' In The Rain
10 Don't Let Your Mouth Write A Check That Your Ass Can't Cash
11 Ghetto Is The World
12 Your Mother Has Green Teeth
13 You Still Smokin' That Shit
14 Heaven Help The M.F.'s
15 Took Place In East New York
16 Paul's A Sucker
17 Free South Africa