The internet has allowed for more acceptance of international HOP music in the last 25 years but before that it was much harder for the same music to be heard or let alone respected. Walkin’ Large was an act from Capetown, South Africa and linked with producer Roe Beardie in Germany to create a bumping album, fresh for the year of 1995. ‘Riverside Pictures’ is the debut album from Walkin’ Large who consist of rapper Ono and D.J. Ara. I first heard this group listening to college radio in 1997 with a track called ‘Listen To This’ featuring Black Thought. Of course I had no real idea of who they were until I purchased a used copy of a compilation album called ‘International Griots.’ The group had two songs on ‘International Griots’ and one featured Jeru the Damaja called ‘When I Flow.’ Upon hearing the broken English accent of Ono, I realized this was the same group from ‘Listen To This’ and it was apparent that the influence of “truskool hip-hop” was with Walkin’ Large. I didn’t get to hear this album until 2017 but what is here is curated for the listener who loved and appreciated the sound of mid-1990’s HOP music. Walkin’ Large will remind you of Digable Planets with a bit more hardcore sound but that is mainly due to Ono’s aggressive delivery at times. D.J. Ara provides the cuts and ‘No Time For Weakness’ is one of the D.J.’s finest moments on this record. ‘Riverside Pictures’ is more about the vibes and atmosphere the music was created in. Lyrically there will not be an impressive amount of quotes but this album feels like a journey to another land in another time. What did you think of the album?
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