Enta Da Stage, Black Moon’s near perfect 1993 debut, turns 20 years old tomorrow. The album arrived during a marquee year for Rap, one that saw the release of several other now iconic projects, including the game shattering Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Snoop’s Doggystyle and A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders. Although it wasn’t nearly as commercially successful as some of these other releases, it was every bit as artistically signifigant. Make no mistake about it, this album had a huge impact on NYC at the street level.
The album produced four singles and accompanying music videos, none of which were particularly groundbreaking, but all of which captured the essence of the era flawlessly. Two of the four used remixed versions of the tracks which differed signifigantly from the versions found on the album. I’ve collected all four below for your convenience, so dust off those 40 Belows and break out that conehead hoody as we take a quick trip back to ’93 with Buckshot, 5FT and Evil Dee.
“Who Got Da Props”
The album’s first single and arguably the group’s biggest and most iconic song, “Who Got Tha Props” set the tone for the trio’s introduction to the world. The video mainly consists of a frantic posse scene with Buck enthusiastically delivering his verses with a backpack strapped to his back. Champion hoodys, army coats and shiny track suits abound. If you keep your eyes peeled you might catch a cameo by a young Ill Bill and his brother Necro.
“How Many MC’s…”
My personal favorite of all of the Enta Da Stage visuals, “How Many MCs…” was shot in the Brooklyn’s Bushwick Houses and captured the essence of Black Moon in their natural habitat. Buck spoke on the video and the signifigance of the elevator shots in the just released mini-documentary Black Moon: The Beginnings.
“I Got Cha Opin (Remix)”
Any discussion of the “I Got Cha Opin” video should be prefaced with the acknowledgement that the original album version of this song is vastly superior to the remix version that was used for this video. At least in my opinion. Make no mistake, this version is a classic song in its own right, but the new beat and Buck’s laid back delivery changed the tone of the track entirely. The video had noticeably slicker production values than their two previous visuals (special effects!), but it wasn’t so polished as to take away from the crew’s signature grittiness.
“Buck Em Down”
The fourth and final visual from the album, “Buck Em Down” prominently features the paramilitary theme that would eventually help define the Duck Down/Boot Camp Clik aesthetic. The opening scenes find Buck assembling his camouflaged troops on the block while calmly delivering his lyrics in a hat he surely swiped from Just-Ice‘s closet. Like “I Got Cha Opin” before it, this video also used an alternate version of the song not found on the album. Edited for profanity and with a decidedly less rousing chorus, I think we can all agree this version doesn’t hold a candle to the original.
As previously mentioned, you can catch a live stream of Black Moon performing Enta Da Stage on turntable.com tomorrow afternoon.
Previously: Black Moon: The Beginnings (Documentary)