“I’m takin ya back come follow me
On a journey to see a for-real MC”
-Buckshot on “How Many MC’s”
On October 19th, 1993, Black Moon released their debut album, Enta Da Stage. While Wu-Tang gets significantly more credit for the hardcore sound on their 1993 release, the Brooklyn trio of Buckshot, 5ft, and DJ Evil Dee did just as much for the east coast rap renaissance.
Black Moon is gutter. You won’t find any inspiring and uplifting raps here. Buckshot and 5ft rapped aggressively over the hard boom-bap production of Da Beatminerz. That formula was ok for an underground act in 1993, but it likely prevented them from getting the attention and acclaim of the acts that they soon inspired. When Nas, Biggie, and Mobb Deep’s projects were released over the next few years, they balanced the hardcore sound with a few lighthearted radio-ready tracks. Still, Enta Da Stage helped to set the tone for what would become the predominant New York sound for years.
If the lyrics sound angry, that’s because they came from an angry place. Lead MC, Buckshot, was only 18 during the creation of the album. He was simultaneously balancing his membership in Black Moon with his budding management company Duck Down and boosting the exposure of groups that would become Heltah Skeltah and Smif-n-Wessun. His rhymes around this time reflected the stress he faced as both a young executive and MC wanting to be taken seriously in both professions.
The album featured four singles and music videos, the most notable of which were “Buck Em Down” and “Who Got Da Props?” which became a Billboard Hot 100 hit. They’re both vintage New York, with slow-motion shots of inner-city neighborhoods and guys nodding their heads while mugging the camera. Clearly shot on a humble budget, they really capture the attitude and mood of the music. The emphasis is on the headnotic rhythms and the tone of the bars.
Even though rap has changed drastically since Black Moon’s debut, Enta Da Stage is still regarded as an underground classic for those in the know. Source tabbed it as one of it’s 100 Best Rap Albums. Talib Kweli and Black Thought still cite Black Moon in their rhymes. Give Enta Da Stage a listen today and celebrate the release of this essential piece of rap history.