Thursday, 25 March 2010

2002 Blazin' Squad: Crossroads

Like So Solid Crew before them, Blazin' Squad were a British hip-hop conglomerate who scored a solitary number one. In Blazin' Squad's case it came via a cover version of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's 1996 hit 'Tha Crossroads', albeit sawn off to a single word. Unfortunately, the title isn't the only thing that's cut down; 'Crossroads' is more abridgment of the original than a cover version per se. Out go the multi-layered, multi-worded rat-a-tat rhyming harmonies and in place comes a pruned to the bone, no-frills truncation with an effect that's less a Brodie's Notes summation to something more akin to condensing a novel by simply ripping out every third page. But the free ebb and flow of the interlocking vocals was as much part of 'Tha Crossroads' as the words and music themselves, and in adding no quirk of their own to stamp an identity and replace what's been lost, Blazin' Squad's 'Crossroads' is a vanilla affair of Pop Idol wannabe gangsta that's all posture and no substance. Nothing 'Blazin' certainly, and, in terms of hip hop, about as authentic as that pitch they're dancing on in the cover shot.

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