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Violent J - Wizard of the Hood (CD)

My Thoughts On: August 13th, 2003

Originally posted on Project Wonderboy's Project Whatever, I really enjoyed this album for it's unique storytelling properties. Check out the details in full below.

Since the only two other posts here to contend with are cd reviews, I figured I'd throw down a cd I've been listening to lately. In a musical adaption of the story The Wizard of Oz by the Insane Clown Posse's Violent J, the Wizard of the Hood casts Violent J in the role of a thuggish inner-city Detroit Dorothy wisked away to a magical fantasy land of fiending scarecrows, tin men looters, and lions that just need some tail.

Track List:

1. Intro

2. Let It Rain

3. Yellow Brick Alleyway

4. Homies To Smoke With

5. Thug Whilin'

6. Horribly Horrifying

7. What You Thinkin' About?

8. Shiny Diamonds

9. The Wizard's Palace

10. Axes Swingin' (bonus track)

11. Multiple Myselves (bonus track)

I suppose there are some spoilers as I go through each of the tracks. But who cares?

The Breakdown

1. Intro

2. Let It Rain

(the Intro is only 40 seconds) We open with Let It Rain, where we meet a crack dealer in Detroit, humble horrorcore rapping street scrub Violent J, who is roaming the hood thuggin' when a violent storm hits. He goes inside, sits in his Lazy Boy playing some Megaman 4 (a '93 release for the Nintendo Entertainment System), but more to get away from the crackheads than the storm. J notices crackheads knocking on his door as the winds begin to pick up, and when he looks out he sees them being swept away... holy shit, is that a tornado? After a crazy sequence where the house is spinning and crackheads, pizza boys, mailboxes and naked women go flying by, poor Violent J winds up in Oz... and he's on probation, he can't be leaving!

3. Yellow Brick Alleyway

After making sure he has everything he needs, a sack of seventeen roaches, and an O' of regular weed, J comes out on his porch to find he's landed in a fantasy land, the Munchkin city. When he comes out the Munchkins all come out and throw a party because J's damn near abandoned house seems to have landed on some neighborhood hooker that everyone hated, the Wicked Witch of the South. After playing it off like it was intentional, the Munchkins tell J that all he has to do is take that ass down the yellow brick road, motherfucker / take your ass down the yellow brick alleyway / to get to the biggest pimp of them all, the Wiz, who is the only person in all of Oz that can get J home, and one hell of a playah.

Well hey, let's get J's ass home!

4. Homies To Smoke With

Passing down the crooked road J comes passing by a cornfield. Lighting up a blunt to think about his situation, he sits down on the roadside, only to hear Can I get a hit? And a song floating on the wind that goes... I don't need a brain / Don't need anything / I just need some homies to smoke with /

Once the Scarecrow, played by Monoxide Child of Twiztid, gets J's attention, J lets him free so they can go to the Wiz, who supposedly has some of the best crop to smoke. So our duo hits the road again, in search of some homies to smoke with, and a way to get the fuck back to Detroit.

5. Thug Whilin'

In the dark parts of the Yellow Brick Alleyway, the Scarecrow and J get jacked from behind by the Tin Man (Jamie Madrox, the other half of Twiztid).

I'm made out of metal and alumnimum foil / They call me Tin Tizzy and I drink '40s of Motor Oil / Which one of ya'll holding, Me, you got weed? / And all the folks around here smoke stems and seeds / And I need a little bit of that shit you got / Keep looking forward, or one of ya'll are getting shot /

J and the Scarecrow decide that this is bullshit, and if the Tin Man is robbing anyone he should rob the Wizard who has all the shit in the land. So they turn around to fight back only to realize that the Tin Man doesn't have a gun! You think the Wizard gots one? Oh! So the Tin Man joins the crew to perhaps get a gun from the Wizard so he can really be a tough guy on the streets of Oz.

6. Horribly Horrifying

After coming out of the Tin Man's part of the road, J and the crew of two cross through the dark woods. The Lion, played by Blaze Ya Dead Homie (another Psychopathic Records artist), jumps out of the forest, and being the King of the Jungle he's really fucking pissed. But J talks the big man down and gets the Lion to admit that all he really wants is some fine women, which he can't get because every girl he meets is too scared of him. Well hell! The Wizard has all the fine women in the world, so the Lion joins up to keep heading down the road to Oz.

7. What You Thinkin' About?

Stumbling upon a purple mushroom field, a very inflective and whispy track has the crew sitting down to eat a few shrooms, passing from character to character, What You Thinkin' About? is really just a well-rounded track, throwing the humor into a semi-meaningful spin.

8. Shiny Diamonds

So they make the last leg of the journey, but stop for a minute to ask J, hey, what do you really want to go back home for? Why not stay and hang in Oz? It ain't always all good at home, but every day it is makes it all worthwhile is the theme of this track, showing that maybe the Psychopathic Records crew has good intentions with a few bad ideas, but those days that do work out for the best in the end are Shiny Diamonds. This is one of the first songs by ICP that actually has a legitimate bridge past the chorus, and it's surprisingly upbeat. Perhaps my personal favorite on the album.

9. The Wizard's Palace

Well then, let's get J's ass home then! They finally make the way to the Wizard's Palace, with halls that lead to the Wizard's finest pot plantations, of course, they're stopped by the guard (Anybody Killa, another Psychopathic Records Artist). Fools get they gizzards chopped / When asking around about the Wizard's crops! / Come to find out that the Wizard doesn't share his stash! He's a big prick! Well they have something to say about that.

Entering the main chamber, they're greeted by a booming voice. After scaring the shit out of our crew, the voice machine gives out, to reveal the voice of Shaggy 2 Dope, Violent J's other half of ICP. The Tin Man disbands the curtain only to reveal it's just some fool in a Fuck Off shirt. A player of the caliber of the Wiz shows he knows how to handle the situation, and has been saving a Magic Blunt to save him from the possible ass-kicking that posing as the almighty Wizard might bring upon him.

First the Lion takes a puff, only to realize that this whole time any woman he wanted to step to could've been his all along, the Wiz tells him that when it comes to reputation, don't let some rep go and intercept you. The Tin Man takes a puff next, but nothing happens. The Wiz reminds him that he doesn't need to wave a gat to be tough, your wish is for iron when you're made out of steel but you're still the hardest for real. The Scarecrow's next...

Wiz: Scarecrow, my man, hit the dro /

Scarecrow: Some homies to smoke with me? /

Wiz: I know

Scarecrow: I'm puffing... but I ain't seeing nothing! /

Wiz: What about the homies that's with ya, you saying they frontin'?

Scarecrow: But I love Tin Tizzy, The Lion, and J-dog...

Wiz: And down with you for life, too!

Scarecrow: Oh!

It turns out after all this bullshit they all already had what they really wanted all along, they were just too stupid (or high) to notice it. Besides J that is, who just wanted get home. And of course J takes a puff of the mystical bud only to wake up in his own damn bedroom, high as hell.

What a happy ending.

10. Axes Swingin' (bonus track)

Well, I have nothing to say about this. Sorry, skipping ahead one track.

11. Multiple Myselves (bonus track)

Violent J's emotions take control and bust out with raps in the middle of this song. Larry, his fear, starts off with a shakey worrysome rap - Plush, his soft side, just wants to cool things down - Captivity, his chick-boning ability, says he better get it right, or we're gonna be a virgin for the rest of our life - Fred handles the smarts for our Mr. Bruce, he once read a book, has a ninth grade degree, and he's hardly used, oh well - and of course, Butch shows up at the end to be really, really, mad.

All in all, a creative track.

Synopsis:

In all truth the only reason I did a review of this is because I needed to write something and this just so happened to be what I was listening to lately. Rating systems make my brain hurt. So instead, I'm just going to leave this review, and any others I do after it, with a recommendation or a lack of it, along with a reason.

I recommend this album, it's cheap (I saw it listed for $11 online) and creative. It's only 35 minutes total, but that's a good size for the album since it flows more like a story, being more an audio musical than a normal album. Any longer and it would've lost your interest. If you can download it, go for that too. Definitely worth a listen or two, especially considering that albums like this don't come along very often. Shiny Diamonds and Multiple Myselves both make good songs outside the album itself, if you enjoy that style of music. ICP usually has heavily negative music, but this album had an oddly positive spin on what is otherwise an irreverant humor-based concoction.

Later from Good ol' PA.

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