Freddie Foxxx – Crazy Like A Foxxx

Freddie Foxxx - Crazy Like A Foxxx

Artist:  Freddie Foxxx aka Bumpy Knuckles
Album: Crazy Like A Foxxx
Label: Fat Beats
Rating: 4/5

In the same year that "Illmatic" and "Ready to Die" dropped another gem should have  molded a new breed of rapper. Bumpy Knuckles aka Freddie Foxx’s sophomore album Crazy like a Foxx. Shelved by Epic in 1994 is being re-released by Fat Beats Records. Fat Beats distributes hardcore/underground paraphernalia via there website
"Crazy like a Foxx" starts with the usually abrasive Knuckles writing a ghetto scripture. He runs down the nature path {nature vs. nurture}  and depicts a youngster whom can’t escape the pressure of the ghetto hence the title "Can’t break away". "So Tough" reminds you of the early 90’s blacks vs. society movement. It also shows an insight into the black man’s dilemma in commercialism. The third verse argues whether to "play the role" or  blame society and stay broke; there is no foreseen winner. In "Amen" Bumpy  revisit’s the intro’s motive of revitalizing the ghetto and unearths his Islamic heritage.  This replenishing of the ghetto is a faint theme in the CD but very important to the disc and  it reflects the times.

Six tracks on "Crazy like a Foxx" portray Foxx’s alter ego Daddy Boot Knock. Although Freddie Foxx has this consciousness of the black plight and this will to overcome the pressure of the ghetto Daddy Boot Knock does not. Daddy Boot Knock is just the opposite, he actually is the very thing Freddie wasn’t to deter from. On "Daddy Boot Knock" he raps vicious lyrics dedicated to rappers whom play the hard role warning "they’ll catch a beat from Daddy Boot Knock". "Killa" featuring the late 2pac is a violence orientated song which chorus boasts "Don’t fuck with us" with a "killa" loop in the background. Foxx raps aggressive figurative lyrics like "I’ll bite you in the face like Hannibal Lecter" 2pac interjects "You really don’t want none from Pac cause I be strapped with a glock and throw thangs like I’m born to box". "Shotty In The Back" is the most lyrical song telling a story of  Daddy Boot Knock being double crossed by a fellow mack then disposing of the body near the Brooklyn Bridge. Its very deceiving as that the track is slow paced and over a 70’s soul sample but the fact of the matter is it shows the adverse aspects of the ghetto.  Daddy Boot Knock was a major theme in the "Crazy like a Foxx" visited early and often. 

"Man Destroys Man"  shines an insight into why "Crazy like a Foxx" was shelved by Epic. Foxx churns a tale about a homosexual named Joe whom rapes a white boy Mike, (Michelle) kills him and then in turn wants to recruit Foxx as a victim. Although lyrically it is a gem, and the story telling is compelling, the subject matter is disturbing. This track is not politically correct even for 1994 standards and could be misunderstood as homosexual intolerance.  Artistically The Militant Mac would want this on his album but obviously Epic, being a major record label,  couldn’t condone the material;  hence the disagreement and eventual shelving of "Crazy like a Foxx".
H.G. Wells couldn’t offer a better trip in time. "Crazy like a Foxx" takes you back to a place where Spike Lee movies were relevant, the changing of the guard in American politics and living young in poverty. Its hard to imagine how life would be different if "Crazy like a Foxx" were to be released in 1994. Would he be on the same recognition plateau as Nas and Notorious B.I.G.? Would hardcore hip hop have a major following and be a staple in the commercial hip hop world? Would the West Coast have engulfed hip hop at that time period or would there have been a healthy balance? All questions that will never remain answered yet  we were blessed with  the resurface of "Crazy like a Foxx"  and look into its retrospect. To really appreciate this album you have to remember the nature of the world in 1994 and the turmoil black people have climbed out of.

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