CRU (feat. Slick Rick) – “Just Another Case”

“Now this ain’t funny, so don’t you dare laugh it’s, just another case about the wrong path…”

Originally known as the Rhythm Blunt Cru, the trio of Yogi (…the bear?), Chaddio, and The Mighty Ha (Ha) shortened their name to the simple and iconic CRU (which I admit, makes for a nice album cover) for their first and only album, Da Dirty 30. Released in 1997, Da Dirty 30 arrived right in the middle of hip-hop’s “shiny suit era,” the time when money reigned, champagne flowed freely, and the bitches, cars, suits, and jewelry came hard and fast. The album was notable for having 30 tracks (hence, the title), a staggering amount of content for a major release, as if Cru knew that this was their only chance and had to pack as much stuff into the record as possible. While a good 10 of those tracks are skippable skits dealing with the aforementioned bitches, cars, suits, and jewelry, along with guns, crime and references to OJ Simpson (?), which was already dated in 1997, but sounds REALLY dated in 2017, the rest of the album is pure, uh…

Well, I won’t sugar coat it, the album is a kind of a chore to listen to, and a few of the songs are pretty forgettable, outside of that one track which samples Portishead and another that’s called “Bluntz and Bakakeemis.” Really now, the fuck is a “bakakeemis?”

But wait! Before you turn your back on this post, let’s talk about this little gem right here. “Just Another Case” is a rather subtle listen about double crosses, bad breaks, and fatal mistakes. In fact, it’s so subtle I didn’t even notice that I had racked up a few hundred plays on it over the years, according to good old Last.FM (rofl, do people even go to that site anymore). Utilizing a sample of the obscure R&B band Rhythm‘s 1976 track, “The World is a Place,” the song is really superb, the beat is very posh and ice-cool, with a hint of uncertainty and danger. It’s smooth as hell, especially that hook (quoted above), cribbed from the old school heavyweight Slick Rick’s classic, “Children’s Story.” Even better is CRU inviting the man himself to contribute the last verse to this song. It all sounds like a super suave cautionary tale for playas in the game.

A really good listen. Hell, if there were more tracks like this one on Da Dirty 30 maybe the group would have lasted a bit longer. Maybe release a Dirty 60?

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