Lyfe 'N' Tyme
Released in 1995, Lyfe N Tyme is the debut album from the Bay Area duo The BUMS, also known as Brothas Unda Madness. Produced mostly by Joe Quixx, along with Fredwreck, Baka Boyz, and King Tech, it's loaded with dusty soul-jazz samples and neck-snapping drums, topped by exceptional intelligent-yet-funky verses from D'Wyze and E-Vocalist. Sounding like nothing else coming out of Cali at the time, it was distinctly not influenced by G-Funk or Mob Music, and many heads mistakenly assumed that The BUMS were from New York. Though a few singles hit the airwaves—the ridiculously catchy "Elevation (Free My Mind)" and "Take a Look Around"—overall the album was criminally slept-on, and it remains shamefully unknown by all but the most serious golden-era connoisseurs. Unfortunately, The BUMS broke up before they could release a follow-up (though they're rumored to be recording a sequel), and this remains a forgotten hip-hop classic. Do yourself a favor and listen to the whole thing, right now.