Tuff Crew, Back to Wreck Shop

Brian Coleman

By Brian Coleman

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Back to Wreck Shop

Tuff Crew
Old-school hip-hop from the mean streets of Philly.

Philly has always had to fight for attention in the hip-hop world, but you'd never know it listening to this 1989 Tuff Crew opus. Back to Wreck Shop was the group's third release, and on it they sport one of the rawest attacks in the game, bolstered by LA Kid's production, DJ Too Tuff's cuts, and lyrics by tough guys Ice Dog and TL (Tone Love). The formula is simple and straight-forward: a kick-ass funk break is laid down and looped, cuts are sliced and diced and no-bullshit rhymes commence and continue. It's hard to hand-pick standouts since they're all impressive, but "Show 'Em Hell" and "Come On & Go Off" are good places to start. If there was any downside to Tuff Crew from a commercial standpoint, it was that they were anti-flash. But it's for that same reason their fans loved them. If you're talking Philly old-school — and you should, whenever possible — this muscular group will always deserve attention.