THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE BOOGIE MONSTERS
WRITTEN BY : BUTTONPUSHA
Boogiemonsters were always ahead of time. Between the revolutionary/spiritual content and immaculate production, the Jugganauts definitely raised the bar in Hip Hop. The crew consisted of Mondo McCann, Vex Da Vortex, Yodared and Myntric. Although the group hasn't released an album in over a decade, their music continues to gain a cult like following. In 2009, Vex announced on his Myspace blog that their first album: Riders of the Storm: The Underwater Album climbed to #2 of the TOP 5 International Rap Chart on Amazon. I'm not sure if this info can be verified but their music is not an easy pick up on any format. Even though their work is hardly mentioned amongst other Hip Hop classics, the BM's story is unique and somewhat...untold.
The BM's first came together during their college years at Virginia State University. The crew put together demos and rocked shows across the campus. A turning point in their early Rap career was at Howard University's Hip Hop Convention where they took first place in a performance competition. Shortly after being recognized at VSU they eventually graduated from college shows to the world stage. In 1994, the 4 Man crew struck a record deal with Pendulum/EMI who gave them the opportunity to drop their first album. By 1997, the crew was down to two members when they released their final albeit darker album: God Sound.
PHOTO CREDIT: PAUL POSEY
PHOTO CREDIT: STRICTLY CASSETTE
"Well I came through the door, I said it before, I never let the stress get me down anymore, so as we walk through the thresholds of snake in the grass, I thought of super vicious shapes, lyrics begin to mass..."
The single "Honeydips in Gotham" was their buttery ode to the ladies while the follow up single "Strange" exhibits more of the group's conscious side. Lyrics like:
"The empire's falling, check the New World Order, for the slaughter, run for shelter, underwater..."
The Boogie Monsters aren't exactly considered a Christian Hip Hop group however they've made it clear that they center themselves around the belief in God. In addition to lyrical references to the bible and song titles, proof of this could be found on the credits and even their live interviews. Shortly after the release of the Underwater album, Yodared and Myntric began to get more involved with church as they became devoted Seventh-Day Adventists. Along with more success and notoriety came the challenge of their spiritual beliefs. Surprisingly, Yodared would later on become a lead pastor at Templeton Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church (Templeton, Ca) Recently, he openly spoke out against the Hip Hop lifestyle that he once lived. A recent sermon of his includes an account of his experience with the music industry and why he chose to leave it behind.
I remember when God Sound dropped, I was shocked to see only 2 members on the cover. Right off the bat, it made the album more interesting and caused me to look further. Song titles like "The Beginning Of The End" , "Behold a Pale Horse" and "Sodom & Gamorrah" gave me an idea of what the album was about. The cover art is a picture of Vex and Mondo in front of a tall building with a huge megaphone speaker standing there like two of God's holiest prophets. It was clear that these guys had a message to bring to the masses.
PHOTO CREDIT: SLANG DISCO
"Yo Domingo slide the faders on the bass and I'mma lay it all out in they face...most of the presidents was Masons, with one thing in mind...to keep it in the family they must eliminate the swine and the swine is us so who's God do you trust, it's getting realer by the second in the future...say what?"
The B-side/title track: God Sound is a slower tempo joint with a walking bassline with echoing guitars. The uptempo joint "Bodya" features Mondo breaking it down with the line:
"It's time we realize that this New World Order is on the rise with no disguise to the wise, I'm obliged whenever I speak on those lies..."
God Sound is not nearly as praised as the Underwater album but there are definitely jewels on it. The content of the album is a little bit heavier which may have been a little too much for most listeners. God Sound is definitely on the more conscious side as Mondo and Vex draw inspiration from books like "Behold a Pale Horse" by William Cooper as well as "The Keys of This Blood" by Malachi Martin. Both books cover topics about the Illuminati, Masons and the quest for World Domination.
Another highlight of the second album is the joint "Say Word" featuring Bahamadia spitting her classic whisper flow:
"Presents to be a fiddax right towards my righteous acts, but I'm human And to front angelic illusion is just too time-consumin Be 29 plus 1 and still bloomin Blessed with ability to drop a jewel or two..."
I think the part that stuck out the most to me wasn't even a song. The interlude titled "And Then What..." provides some real food for thought as Mondo speaks over a slow night time track:
"If you got 5 minutes or an hour or a whole LP or somethin' to speak to me man, then change my life...word..."
It's been years since we heard from the Boogie Monsters. God Sound would be the last time that we ever hear Mondo McCann on a record however, Vex continues to release music all the way up to 2009. In fact, he recently uploaded some of his newer tunes on Youtube. I can't say that his solo material is in any way comparable to his material with the BM's but it's fresh to see that he is still practicing his craft. Although a future Boogie Monsters reunion is probably not in the cards, it's always dope to revisit both of their albums. As a devoted fan, it was difficult to see each member of the group part ways but I'll always remember the Boogie Monsters as the guys in this video: