Boot Camp Clik: Casualties of War

The summer of 2006 witnessed the longstanding super-group The Boot Camp Clik release their richest, most skillful work in The Last Stand. Arguably perceived as a cry for attention, the militant Brooklyn outfit made music to gain recognition after a chapter of critical and mainstream ignorance since the late ‘90s. As it were, the stand would not be the last. A year later, the cutting-room-floor sessions became Casualties of War (Duck Down), as the group simultaneously preps their next LP.Duck Down Records has a knack for collector’s items. Last year, Da Beatminerz masterfully remixed 9th Wonder’s production on Buckshot’s Chemistry (as Alter the Chemistry) for limited release. These efforts appeal to diehard fans, but do little to yield incoming fans to the BCC movement. Casualties is no exception. Lyrically, Buckshot ("I Need More"), Smif N’ Wessun ("Jail Song") and Sean Price ("What You See") all do as one would expect. They lyrically lay down their work ethic on the pulsing “The Hustle” and rock over electro blips on “Bubblin’ Up.” The bars are sharp and the deliveries frequently reference the late ‘80s and early ‘90s cadence of Big Daddy Kane and Rakim. The subject matter, just as the original album, finds itself a bit limited—lots of military strategy, cries for marketplace recognition, and threats of a good ol’ BK stomp-out.Part of The Last Stand’s mass appeal came from its inclusion of veteran production from 9th Wonder, Da Beatminerz, Pete Rock and Large Professor. Casualties is a bit less interesting in name-recognition and quality. The same style of Soul samples are used, but a bit of the magic found is lost in a slew of album cuts, lacking the substance of the final version.Just as some critics have argued that a too-soon released T.I. vs. Tip stamped out the thriving magic of King, perhaps Casualties is the death-march to a seemingly ongoing campaign for The Last Stand. Although the music dwarfs in comparison to its former, Duck Down’s limited edition releases keep coming for a reason. As Sean Price reportedly fields major deals, there is evidence that even during the Boot Camp Clik downs, they’re anything but out. SOUNDCHECK:Boot Camp Clik "The Hustle"Boot Camp Clik "BK All Day"