Video Surveillance (DVD)

Artist: Boot Camp ClickTitle: Video Surveillance (DVD)Rating: 4 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Orisanmi Burton

Beginning in 1993 with Black Moon’s seminal Enta Da Stage, the Hip-Hop collective known as the Boot Camp Click (BCC) unleashed a full clip of coveted albums, each showcasing their impressive roster of skilled wordsmiths. The Click’s Wu-Tang Clan contemporaries may be the only posse who rival the mythic status of their Voltron-like capabilities. But while Wu-Tang introduced themselves as a crew only to fracture into several solo acts, the Brooklyn-based BCC introduced groups like Smif-N-Wessun, Heltah Skeltah and OGC, then proved that their sum was equal to its parts by collaborating on For The People in 1997. Miraculously, the BCC continues to release solid Hip-Hop albums, most recently putting out highly regarded work from Sean Price, Buckshot & 9th Wonder and Tek & Steele, all within the span of a few months. To date BCC’s combined Soundscans put them at well over 2 million records sold; no small feat for a crew whose radio airtime is virtually non-existent.

Video Surveillance (Duckdown) is a compilation DVD featuring over two hours of music video’s spanning the BCC’s thirteen-year career. The preverbal underground crew has never been known for creating particularly cinematic videos so don’t expect complex narratives or special effects. Fast cars and gyrating video chicks are absent as well. Instead, the focal points are dope beats and clever rhymes. The standout video is undoubtedly “Operation Lockdown” by Heltah Skeltah. It features the squad as Native Americans preparing for battle. Adorned with beads, feathers and headdresses they dance around a blazing fire while trading verses. Other notable highlights include “Who Got The Props” featuring a super hyped Buckshot, the remixed version of “Buck Em Down” that had heads buggin’ in the early 90s and BCC’s collaborative introduction “Headz are Ready” which pays homage to the famous training sequences from the film Rocky.

It would have been nice for the video’s to appear in chronological order enabling viewers to see the progression of the group. Also, album and director credits for each video would have made it feel a bit more complete. Those minor complaints not withstanding, this DVD would be a welcome addition to the collection of anyone still pissed off that Rap City canceled Old School Wednesdays!