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JJFP reunite for 50 years of Hip Hop December 10 ×
Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince Forum

Code Red Turns 22!


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I agree with Schnazz about it being a Fall/Autumn album.  Sure, it can be played any time of year, but the tone and sound of many of the songs lean towards a somber, honest, simplistic vibe that fit well with that time of year. "Ain't No Place" is the ultimate song for that time of year...not to mention that's when it dropped.

It was a time when New Jack Swing was fading and songs were less polished. Hip-Hop's sound was generally getting away from the mainstream feel that exploded in the late 80's. Listen to Salt-N-Pepa's Very Necessary, LL Cool J's 14 Shots To The Dome, Queen Latifah's Black Reign, MC Hammer's Funky Headhunter, MC Lyte's Ain't No Other, Heavy D + The Boyz' Blue Funk, Young MC's What's The Flavor, and Kid N' Play's songs on the House Party 3 soundtrack. Every classic Hip-Hop group at the time was taking on this formula in their style.  It was a time of progression. No one was selling out, but shift from mainstream, dance, and political Hip-Hop was shifting to G-Funk and West Coast Hip-Hop.

I feel the reason the album didn't do as well as the others was because everyone was so focused on Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Ice Cube, and many other West coast artists at the time.  You HAD to have an explicit lyrics sticker on your album and follow their formula to have huge success.  It's similar to And In This Corner..., when hardcore and political Hip-Hop took attention away from JJ+FP's work.

JJ+FP's promotion of the album was start and stop for this album due to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Six Degrees of Separation, and Bad Boys.  Jive wasn't supporting them fully anymore.  It was also the first album where their formula for making albums changed.  This album allowed a greater amount of outside producers to take the boards.  The separation of Jazzy on the East Coast and FP on the West Coast didn't help the album.  I'm not saying the album is bad in any way though.  It's probably the JJ+FP album that I've listened to the most.

I can see why Dance or Die, From Da South, Get Hyped , and Don't Fight The Feeling weren't included on the album. I like all of those songs, but they don't gel with the rest of the songs on the album as well.  Dance or Die has that bouncy sound and creative writing approach. It sounds like a song they recorded before they knew the direction and sound of the album.  While much more interesting and better executed, I feel the same about Get Hyped.  I think the sound of From Da South fits in well, but lyrically I don't think it mixes well with the other songs.  Don't Fight The Feeling sounds like it's not a demo, but not quite ready for an album.

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as much as i like artists like dr dre, snoop, and ice cube, i feel that JJFP and all those artists you mentioned are just as talented but a lot of those albums from that time did get overlooked...

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