Review: Papa Chuk – The Badlands

The Badlands album covers all topics in Hip Hop/Rap such as isolation, poverty, racism, police brutality, sex, drugs, prostitution, revolution, and just having a good time. No filler tracks! Every track knocks. The Badlands is a much forgotten album that is a Hip Hop/Rap classic and was one of the most underrated albums of 1994. I don’t know how this album didn’t hit the BillBoard! It’s a shame it didn’t. Unfortunately this is his only album to date. This album is a must have!

The production was done by the locally known DJ Cassanova from the ATX. Production was also done by Kevin Moore, Amelia Moore, Double D of Wreckshop Records, Tony Dofat, Doug Lazy, O.C. Rodriguez, Scratch God, Shetero Henderson, and Bernie Bismark. There are a few guest emcee appearances from Champ MC, Butch Cassidy, Neil Young, and the local cats from The Texas Posse.

Papa Chuk has that Rudeboy & Reggae Jamaican accent that KRS-One, Biz Markie, Mad Lion, Redman, Lady Apache, and Little Indian had. It’s really cool! Maybe that was one of the reasons the album didn’t sell so well in the market. He sounded like he was from Jamaica or New York instead of Texas as the Geto Boys, Scarface, Nemesis, Ron C, Choice, and Point Blank did.

Show Me Some ID deals with the issue of underage prostitution. Show Me Some ID samples Down By The River by Buddy Miles. The track has both a bluesy and jazz feel to it. Overall it has a jazzy touch.

Down N’ Dirty is a party track which features Champ MC. East Coast hip hop and rap meets southern rap. It’s a Papa Chuk and Champ MC collabo.

Trunk of Funk is trunk music. Trunk of Funk was the buzz single for this album which was a classic. People from Austin and Houston were bumping this joint heavily back in the 90s. Radio stations across Texas played this song heavily in rotation. This song is great trunk music!

Flip The Shit is a posse cut that features members from Section A Movement (Chuk & Quince) and local cats from The Texas Posse outta Austin, Texas. Flip The Shit is ATX hip hop at its finest.

Desolate One tackles the issues of social problems such as violence, poverty, and isolation. Papa Chuk goes mad reggae on Desolate One. In The Badlands, people carry guns and often resort to violence. Those are their tactics. Papa Chuk carries a gun for protection. Blacks are easy to resort to gun violence. Violence is very common amongst African Americans as Papa Chuk describes. This again is one of the problems African Americans face today.

IAB deals with how soldiers are treated in the military by the higher-ups in the government. Papa Chuk drops mad political science on the track IAB. Papa Chuk lets the United States Army that he is not their soldier toy. He now debates on the US Estate about how they run the world because they’re racist. The Foreign Affairs department of the US bombs Iraq for thrills. Papa Chuk establishes distrust towards the US Government. IAB is a very revolutionary track in its own way and its own right.

Lord Have Mercy deals with child abuse, sexual assault on minors, violence against such children, bodily harm towards minors, and plain outright abuse. The children that were mentioned in this track were used as tools for underage prostitution. The morals went away all at the children’s expense for that bliss sexual gratification. A heartless effort to earn a buck. People are under the false impression that children can’t get AIDS. Lord Have Mercy deals with the issue of underage prostitution.

Now the NOW! Recording Systems, Inc. version of The Badlands album on cassette has an unreleased track called Freak It Crazy. Freak It Crazy can only be found on this cassette and nowhere else. For some reason this was removed from the retail album. The song has a dope beat over heavy bass. Freak It Crazy has that East Coast hip hop sound.

Papa Chuk deals with the social problems African Americans face today Niggahs Will Be Niggahs. For example the black on black disrespect in the black community. Mainly Niggahs Will Be Niggahs deals with the problems of African Americans of which they have.

Blacks are easy to resort to gun violence. Violence is very common amongst African Americans as Papa Chuk describes. Gun violence is what kills African Americans faster than AIDS. This again is one of the problems African Americans face today.

Papa Chuk looses his mind about how there is so much madness, pandemonium, and insanity going on in the world on the track Runaway. Papa Chuk combats many issues that plague the American way of life and lifestyle as he does on many other tracks on this album. This is which he is known for doing for. Runaway samples Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay. Runaway heavily relies on the sample of Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay which is played throughout the entirtey of the song.

Papa Chuk vents out his frustration on this track. It’s quite hectic. It’s feels like Dr. Strange. You can feel that Dr. Strange vibe. Anyway, Papa Chuk shows no compassion for the country (US) he was born and raised in. Democracy in retrospect is another word for hypocrisy. Papa Chuk combats many issues that plague the American way of life.

Black people are often pimped out of the American lifestyle. They have AIDS injected into their blood track and drugs moved into their neighborhoods. Papa Chuk discusses how black people in America are played and pimped by the government.

Clearly Papa Chuk supports the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana is better than that alcohol. How many people do you hear about or know that have died from the high effects of marijuana? Legalize it and everybody will advertise it.

There’s nothing for Papa Chuk here. Mentally or spiritually speaking. If it weren’t for Islam, he would be virtually cloned, dum, deaf, and blind. A desolate mind of the American kind. Living off greed and welfare like everyone else. Mainly living off greed. He just wants to runaway. Runaway from all his problems and insanity.

For those who don’t know, Papa Chuk (born Charles Roberts), was born in Oakland and moved to Houston at age 9. From that point, he went back and forth to his mom’s house in Houston while he went to school in Austin. That’s how he was regionally known in both Austin and Houston. He was popular there from 1992 to 1995.

Papa Chuk is one of the founders of what was called the Sector A Movement (some were members of Texas Posse) with Big, Quince One, and X-Man who went on to work with Dallas Austin of TLC. You might remember his raw and gritty flows on the Funky Science/Texas Roughneck single/EP in 1992 with DJ Cassanova that came of Houston/Austin in the Early 90s. In the mid 90s he got shot when it wasn’t cool to get shot. When 2Pac got shot, people started thinking it was cool to get shot. Now we have all these wanna-be studio gangsters. (That’s another story. Look it up.)

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

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Writer, narrator, research archivist, and content curator for Bout Dat Online.

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