Not Forgotten: Ruthless Rap Assassins – And it wasn’t a dream (+ uk hip-hop doc.)

Formed by future Black Grape MC Kermit (then known as MC Kermit la Freak) in the late 1980’s with brothers Dangerous Hinds and Dangerous C, Manchester’s Ruthless Rap Assassins made two great albums to critical acclaim and mystifying commercial indifference, but had split by the beginning of 1992

The first album produced this killer track based on Cymande’s ‘The Message’  and tells the tale of the Parents coming to England in search of riches and a better life to find maybe the paths aren’t paved with gold, in fact almost directly what they were trying to escape; poverty and inherent racism. ‘You were O.K. in the jungle you’ll be fine in the slum, But in the slum there were houses little better than shacks, Signs in the window – ‘No Irish – No Blacks’. spits Kermit in the first (mother’s) verse.

Despite everything, this single only just creeped into the charts (peaking at a miserable 75) and the album didn’t fare much better, even with the backing of John Peel and Hip-Hop Connection magazine, who described it as ‘the best rap album the UK had ever produced’.

It was a rich scene in Manchester despite some of it sounding slightly dated these days, with the RRA, MC Buzz B, Kiss AMC, MC Tunes and others.  For us slightly more mature people, its fascinating and also brings back a whole load of memories, plus it doesn feature ‘and it wasn’t a dream’ and a discussion around it.

There has been a 2010 reissue of the first album ‘killer album’ which, although the company releasing it (original dope) seems to have gone quiet, and links to buy weren’t working, is still available from amazon if you search for it. Certainly its worth checking out, as is the second album, Th!nk, it ain’t legal yet, and they aren’t too expensive to try to track down on their original formats.

Memories, eh?

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