KMD – Humrush
Yo so this week I’m going with one of my all time favorites, my last few posts have kind of tenuously linked to KMD which has put them at the forefront of my mind for an article for a little while now. I first found out about KMD long time ago after I had first started to listen to MF DOOM. So naturally as my obsession grew I then found the goodness that was the group. My tastes in hip hop generally run with a more old school 80’s and 90’s vibe so this instantly struck a chord with me, and made me curse myself for not having found it sooner. Well lets get to it. I’ve had difficulty finding as much detail as I want for the bio really, so the samples section is going to be a bit more in depth. Hope you enjoy!!!
KMD (Kausing Much Damage, or A positive Kause in a Much Damaged society) are an American hip hop group formed in the early 90’s. The members of the this group were Zev Luv X (now known as MF DOOM as well as many others) who seemed to be the point man of the group. His younger brother DJ Subroc was the driving force for the groups production, though never having been officially credited with a lot of the work from the 1st album due to his being underage at the time of release. The third member initially was Jade 1 soon to be known as Rodan, but left the group very early to focus on finishing his high school education. Rodan was then replaced by ONYX The Birthstone Kid whose great skills added even more to the groups formidable musical stylings.
In 1990 the group came to be known in the public eye after Zev provided the concept and a verse for fellow hip hop group 3rd Bass’s hit 1990 single ‘The Gas Face’. This garnered some buzz around the group which then brought them to the attention of A&R Dante Ross, soon after they were signed to Elektra Records.
In 1991 the group released their first Album ‘Mr Hood’ which combined lighthearted humor with divisive political rhetoric, but the overall sentiment was one of youthful positivity. The first Single released off the album was Peach Fuzz, with Gas Face Refill as the B side. Peach Fuzz also featured a guest spot from label mates Brand Nubian and appearances from Pete Nice and MC Serch of 3rd Bass in the music video.
Click Image To Watch Video
The second single ‘Who Me’ was released shortly afterwards with the track Humrush as the B side. This song touches on more serious notes about racism in society. The video features a man dressed up in a costume depicting a sambo character which helps emphasize the content of the song. This also becomes an image which is put into regular use by the group in the future.
Click Image To Watch Video
The next two years saw the group perform at live shows and work on their second studio album and also saw the departure of Onyx from the group for reasons unknown to me or any other sources i have tried to tap In fact he all but drops off the radar completely. So if anyone knows what happened please drop a comment. Shortly after this tragedy strikes when Zev’s brother DJ Subroc is fatally wounded by being hit by a car while trying to cross Long Island expressway. All this happening just before the scheduled release of their second album ‘Black Bastards’. The group was subsequently dropped from Elektra Records that same week. Before the release of the album, it was shelved due to controversy over its cover art, which featured a cartoon of a stereotypical pickaninny or sambo character being hanged from the gallows.
With the loss of his brother, Zev retreated from the hip hop scene from 1994 to 1997. He testifies to disillusionment and depression, living “damn near homeless, walking the streets of Manhattan, sleeping on benches.” In the late 1990s, he left New York City and settled in Atlanta. According to interviews with Zev, he was also “recovering from his wounds” and swearing revenge “against the industry that so badly deformed him.” Black Bastards had become bootlegged at the time, leading to Zev’s rise in the underground hip hop scene. Thus giving rise to the creation of his new alias of MF DOOM but I’ll address the rest of the story in another post seeing as the focus here is KMD as a whole not just the mighty MF DOOM.
So now onto samples, lets Kick it! (Don’t forget there is plenty of extra info on the artists sampled if you click on the album picture, also click on the names of other artists who have sampled the same tracks to hear what they have done with it.)
KMD – Peach Fuzz
Samples for this track are both from the same artist O.C. Smith. Unfortunately I could only find one of them amongst my stash and no amount of internet searching could throw it up either not even the mighty youtube was reppin it. Which is a shame, but if you do know of a source hit up the comments yo(the track is O.C. Smith – Sounds Of Goodbye). Luckily the track I do have features the main piano hook which is used throughout the track, you can’t miss it.
O.C. Smith – On A Clear Day
KMD – Who Me?
The Isley Brothers – I Turned You On
KMD – Subroc’s Mission
Dope sample one of my favorite KMD tracks and due to that I have now fallen in love with the band they have sampled, ‘The Hassles’ dope old psych rock group plus I’m loving the album artwork check it out below. This track has also been sampled by The Beatnuts and a group called Jel on the Anticon label. But I haven’t included the link for it because its literally just a snippet from the original as an interlude on their album.
The Hassles – Four O’Clock In The Morning
KMD – Black Bastards
Not much to say here the title of the sample pretty much tells you whats sampled from the tune. Check out more of Gylan Kain’s work aggressive style spoken word poetry. Truly ill.
Gylan Kain – I Ain’t Black
KMD – It Sounded Like A Rock
Another ill track which samples two tracks from the same artist Pharaoh Sanders who is a sick Jazz saxophonist and both the tracks sampled are from the same album so bonus. Not been able to find any other artists that have specifically sampled both these tracks so it has an air of exclusivity. The first track is only used briefly in the intro at about the 11 second mark and the other provides the meat for the rest of it.
Pharoah Sanders – Love
Pharoah Sanders – Thembi
KMD – Plumskinzz
Sampled used here of great Blue note label recording artist Bobbi Humphrey, amazing flute player and amazing track which has been sampled by quite a few other artists. My favorites being Eric B & Rakim and Madlib (from a track off of his Blue note Remix album which ironically MF DOOM does the intro for).
Bobbi Humphrey – Blacks & Blues
KMD – Sweet Premium Wine
Stairsteps & Cubie – The New Dance Craze
KMD – Suspended Animation
OK and last one peoples containing two dope tracks. The Kid Dynamite track has been sampled by so many other people its crazy even that fool rick ross gets in on the action, but seriously the likes of Roxanne Shante, EPMD, and GangStar to name but a few. The other track is pretty cool uses the very start of the song whichis sampled about 10seconds into the track. Player’s track has also been sampled for by Biz Markie.
Kid Dynamite – Uphill Piece Of Mind
Player – Baby Come Back
Well that’s it for this weeks installment, as ever any corrections or extra bits of info just drop a comment the more the merrier. On Behalf of the WIB team a big shout to Subroc (RIP), Big ups to MF DOOM and big ups to Onyx the birthstone Kid… wherever the hell you are. I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did compiling the info and rummaging through my music stash and digging for these bits. Until next time Peace and Blessings.