Completely unrelated to the litany of albums that could’ve, would’ve, should’ve made the Decade Top 50, but consistent with the spirit of records that never got their proper due, I invoke the good name of Crucial Conflict. Written off as Bone Thugs biters, a charge that later led to the world’s least interesting beef, Coldhard, Wildstyle, Kilo, and Never, came with an urban cowboy style so Saddle Ranch that it’s surprising that they didn’t send out promo copies with a free mechanical bull (it was the 90s, after all.)
Granted, overalls rap is not a sub-genre I typically ride for, and it’s a stretch to call either of their key albums, The Final Tic and Good Side, Bad Side classics. But both featured great singles and ferocious rapping that prefigured Mystikal, hyphy, and Houston, as much as it took its cues from Bone Thugs. If anything, their style bears a direct lineage with their fast-rap Windy City fast-rap peers Twista and Do or Die.
More importantly, it’s high tme that the phrase, “smokin’ on hay” is re-incorporated into the contemporary hip-hop lexicon. I also appreciate their frequent usage of the word, “bogus.”