Lil Rob - Crazy Life

Lil Rob - Crazy Life Chicano Rap

A name synonymous with the sub-genre itself, Lil Rob has become a household name to Chicanos all over Aztlan. His presence has graced listeners for more than two decades. I was in my middle school years when I first heard Lil Rob's name.

Admittedly, I must say I didn't automatically connect with his music. It took years for it to grow on me. Fast forward to high school and I re-encountered his music. When I finally knew the sound I wanted in my rap collection (funk samples primarily) I dissected "Crazy Life" and only bumped select songs ("Jump In The Ride", "Do My Thing", "Stop, Look & Listen" and "Somethin' 2 Relate 2"). Now, I consider it one of my all time favorite albums, one I can listen without skipping a track.

In the realm of Chicano Rap, few albums stand out as much as "Crazy Life" (1997). This is the magnum opus of Chicano Rap. A soundtrack to the generation of Chicanos of the 90s. Interestingly enough, the songs were not recorded simultaneously. What makes this album unique is the fact that is was recorded in pieces throughout the early and mid 90s.

Lil Rob and The Brown Crowd started releasing a few tapes beginning in 1992 with "Oh What a Night In The 619" and "Mexican Gangster" (Side B contains instrumental versions of both). Accompanying the first 2, the next couple of songs were "Soy Chingon" and "Do My Thing". I would have loved to have "Cruzin' Together" , the single from 1994, added on to the "Crazy Life" tracklist, however it was omitted from the release (or probably never even considered).

Crazy Life is unique because we can track Lil Rob's growth, maturity and progress from 1992 to 1997, when it was released in its complete form. In the 14 rolas that compose his debut, Lil Rob mentions his age at least 4 times. "Just got my drivers license cause I'm 16 with a bullet" (Mexican Gangster) , "A little vato 17 with a cohete" (Do My Thing), "Here's a disaster, watch your hyna cry as I blast ya, 20 with the bullet" (Jump In The Ride) and "Born in September of 1975, you're already 20, I'm the reason why you're still alive" (Stop, Look & Listen).

Despite the fact that the recordings span a 5 year period, it comes off as solid and complete. The samples are another entire reason why this is a masterpiece, DJ Sir Crown outdid himself on the production. We got it all from funk samples to oldies, chill to dark tones and everything in between.

From beginning to end, this classic has no fillers, no skits, no junk just pure unadulterated gangster funk. I've always been a critic of oldies samples, but no one can do it better than "LR the Great". This has the perfect balance of old school funk samples and oldies. The overall sound is incredible, if I didn't know any better I'd say DJ Sir Crown is Mad Man's other half.

01. Do My Thing
02. Jump In The Ride
03. If You Should Lose Me
04. Stop, Look & Listen
05. The Payback
06. Shells Stackin' Up
07. Brown Crowd
08. Mexican Gangster
09. Pachucos Night
10. Somethin' 2 Relate 2
11. Soy Chingon
12. Oh What A Night
13. Crazy Life
14. Brown Crowd [REMIX]

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Tags: Familia Records, Lil Rob

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