First of all, big up to my brother G for holding the site down, but I’m back up in this piece like I left something.  Today, I’m focusing on another classic album from that epic year of hiphop, 1996. (See ATLiens, Reasonable Doubt, WU-Tang, Nas/It Was Written, etc…) One of the albums that was slept on the most that year was Ras Kass’s, “Soul on Ice.”  On subject matter alone, this is probably one of my top 5 albums ever.  From top to bottom, this is one of the most complete hiphop albums to date.  “Nature of the Threat,” has to be the most thought-provoking hiphop song ever.  Ras Kass effortlessly gives us a run down of history since the inception of the indigenous man.  Ras Kass sets the record straight on what really happened throughout history Vs what was taught to us (at least me) in the public school system.  Peep the tract below.

Nature of the Threat

Quotable… (Although this whole song is a quotable)

“Now around this time, Whites started callings us Negroes
That’s Spanish for black object meaning we’re not really people
But profit, and the triangle trade begins – they seize us
Queen Elizabeth sends the first slaves on a ship named Jesus
Stealin land from the indigenous natives
Gave them alcohol to keep the Red Man intoxicated
Whites claim they had to civilize these pagan animals
But up until 1848 there’s documented cases of whites bein the savage cannibals,
Eatin Indians In 1992, it’s Jeffery Dahmer
They slaughtered a whole race with guns
Drugs, priests and nuns
1763, the first demonic tactic of biological warfare
As tokens of peace, Sir Jeffery Amherst passed out clothing and blankets to the Indian community
Infested with small pox, knowing they had no immunity Today it’s AIDS, you best believe it’s man made
Cause ain’t a damn thing changed”

“Soul on Ice,” the title track of the album is filled with numerous quotables with one of my favorites being, “If Bill Clinton was the answer, then it was a stupid question…”

“Soul on Ice”

 The Evil that Men do is probably the most honest song on the album as Ras takes us on a trip through one of the more darker periods in his life.  He discusses how his first child was conceived, going to jail, family quarrels and several other trying times and issues in his life.

“The Evil that Men Do”

Quotable…

“Nappy headed nigga stigmatism at birth
Born to a family of four and so that makes me one-fourth of a dysfunctional home
I had a father who only stayed to see me grown
When I turned twelve he was gone
Alone, no role model I used to watch my Granddaddy and Uncle hit the bottle
And then hit each other Granddaddy beat Grandmother,
But that’s before my time
But I still see how it affected her mind
As a child I was introverted, and drew pictures
While my mother prayed to Jesus reading King James scriptures
She used to take me to church so I could put money in the basket
Tell the preacher how she used to get her ass kicked”

Ras Kass, in my opinion, placed himself in some elite company with this album.  From top to bottom, (lyrically) I can make a point that this is one of the, if not the, most complete HH album composed.  15 years later, this LP is still relevant and has stood the test of time.  Now that’s the meaning of classic!

1 “On Earth As It Is…” Bird, Ras Kass Ras Kass
2 “Anything Goes” Bird, Ras Kass Ras Kass
3 “Marinatin'” DJ Battlecat Ras Kass
4 “Reelishymn” Bird, Ras Kass Ras Kass
5 Nature of the Threat Vooodu Ras Kass
6 “Etc.” Bird, Ras Kass Ras Kass
7 “Sonset” Michael Barber, Michael Schlesinger, Ras Kass, Reno Delajuan Ras Kass
8 “Drama” Bird, Ras Kass Ras Kass, Coolio
9 “The Evil That Men Do” Vooodu Ras Kass
10 “If/Then” Michael Barber, Ras Kass Ras Kass
11 “Miami Life” Michael Barber, Ras Kass Ras Kass
12 “Soul on Ice” Bird Ras Kass
13 “Ordo Abchao (Order Out of Chaos)” Vooodu, Ras Kass (co-leader) Ras Kass