My undying affection for all things Public Enemy has never been a secret. Throughout the course of my life, I've probably listened to PE more than any other group, and their songs are as much a part of me as anything from the realm of "metal". PE is like family to me, which pretty much makes Professor Griff my badass uncle.
That being said, I'd like to introduce you to my badass uncle's first solo album, 1991's Kao's II Wiz7dome.
From Last.FM: "A childhood friend of Carlton “Chuck D” Ridenhour, Griffin Goudreau was exposed to hip-hop as it came to the Long Island, New York town of Roosevelt, where most of the founding members of Public Enemy grew up. By the 1980s, Griffin had become a martial arts enthusiast as well as having done a stint in the U.S. Army... After coming home, he started a security service to work the local party circuit, calling it Unity Force. Chuck D was then a part of the Spectrum City DJ-for-hire service led by Hank Shocklee, and Spectrum City and Unity Force frequently worked side-by-side at local events. When Public Enemy was formed and signed to Def Jam, Chuck D invited Griffin to be a sideman. Unity Force was renamed “Security of the First World”, or S1W for short. The S1W’s were brought along, and became a curious combination of bodyguards/dancers for the band. Their stage routines were a loose combination of martial arts, military drill and “step show” dances lifted from black college fraternities."
Allow me to direct your attention to a couple of details. A) Judging from the white/grey/black camo that Griff is rocking on the cover, I think it's safe to assume that homeboy was involved in some gnarly Black Ops up in the Arctic circa '91. 2) Being the well-educated brother that he is (the guy's a "professor", after all), Griff includes an apostrophe in the word "KAOS", an oft-overlooked grammatical necessity amongst the "revolutionary hip-hop" cogniscenti. C) Griff is obviously a bit of a narcissist, judging not only from the fact that he managed to cram THREE pictures onto his album cover, but also by the longing gaze that the "military" Griff on the left is casting upon the "African" Griff on the right. "Love at first sight" much?
This album pretty much sounds like Public Enemy, and although Griff's voice might not have the power of a Chuck D or the character of a Flavor Flav, it still stands as a solid chunk of early 90's urban protest music, and fans of thick, busy Bomb Squad beats will find plenty to love here. There are also some strange allusions to evangelical Christianity herein, but I find them forgivable, as any God-related material is presented in a wholly acceptable "Jesus was a black revolutionary" kind of way.
Griff on Last.FM