In ’96, legendary DJ and radio personality Bobbito Garcia started up Fondle’Em Records to put out 12″s from the underground’s starving artists. Due to poor distribution, most releases became cult favorites to due their obscuruty. Not to mention, they were hella dope. In 1996 there were 3 gems in particular, all EP’s; Siah & Yeshua Da PoED, The Cenobites, and the Juggaknots. The originally release of “Clear Blue Skies” was 9 tracks of raw hip-hop goodness for the soul. The Bronx duo of Breezly Brewin and Buddly Slim only garnered more respect after some incredible collabo’s with Company Flow and Prince Paul. But time passed and the Juggaknots were quiet, but they weren’t forgotten as their EP became one the most sought after albums in hip-hop.
Some 6 years later Third Earth Music is doing the world a favor and re-releasing “Clear Blue Skies” – with 11 new tracks. The new material was recorded from ’95 to the present. It is hard to tell though since it is very unified all the way through. Besides, Breezly and Buddy were ahead of their time and therefore nothing sounds dated. Truly dope music is timeless. This is truly dope.
Until racism dies in this God-forsaken world, “Clear Blue Skies” will always be relevant. The song appears in both original and remixed form. Hard to decide which is better. Old classics like “Trouble Man” and “Epiphany” are joined by new certified bangers in “A Rainy Saturday” and “You Gotta Do One of These Songs.” Really, every song is worth a mention and I could just go on and on. “Romper Room” is my shit though so I gotta mention that.
Aside from late 80’s hip-hop, there really is nothing better than mid-90’s hip-hop. “Clear Blue Skies” is one of the albums that helped to spearhead the independent movement (that is carrying hip-hop to this day by the way) along with El-P and Company Flow. Making nice hip-hop isn’t hard, one part fresh rhymes, one part dope beats. That seems to be as clear to the Juggaknots as the blue skies.