Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stuck Mojo

Stuck Mojo has been around since 1989 and their still goin' strong. A group that consists of Rich "The Duke" Ward on lead guitar, Lord Nelson on the mic, Steve "Nailz" Underwood on drums, Mike Martin on rhythm guitar, and Sean B. Delson on bass. The group is without doubt one of the first, and best, rap metal bands in the world. The blend rap, metal, and southern rock into a formula that creates pure unadulterated magic.

Stuck Mojo have toured all over the United States, and Europe. They have released numerous albums, and gone through numerous line-up changes (with only Ward being the lasting original member). Despite all the changes, the Moj is still going strong, with a loyal fan following that spans the globe, they have returned in recent years to retake their place atop the mound of the rap metal world, which they helped forge in the late '80s and early '90s.

The band has also been known to touch on racial issues in their music as well. The song "Suburan Ranger", the bonus track on the album Rising, is a song from the point of view of a black man in the hood seing a "wigger" or a white guy acting, speaking, and in some cases actually thinking he's black. With lyrics like "Yo you in the wrong hood better knock on wood, Gold chains and gold rings you misunderstood, Trace back and look back you ain't black" and a chorus that says "Who's that wigga in my neighborhood, In my neighborhood..., In my neighborhood...", "Mr. Trailblazer, with the mad flavor,Look out ya'll the suburban ranger, Suburban ranger danger danger, Suburban ranger danger danger, Suburban ranger danger danger, Suburban ranger danger danger" and dialog like "[Judge] Order! Jury, have you reached, have you reached a verdict? [Jury] We find the wigger GUILTY!!!!! [Judge] I here by sentence you, wigger, to a 100 years confined to a chair, forced to watch episodes of the Andy Grifith Show, Hee Haw, and Lawrence Welk. No parole.", they poke fun at people who they think their someone their not, and get away with it flawlessly.

The band is also known to tell fans how proud their are to be from the south. The song "Southern Pride" tells how they have their southern pride, and they aren't ashamed of it, and how they like NASCAR and wrestling, with the line "...We love wrestling and NASCAR too...". Stuck Mojo have also been known to add a splash of comedy into their music, with the likes of "Suburban Ranger" and "Hang'em High (Loser's Theme)" with the lines like "I say we hang 'em high!"

Stuck Mojo also makes their love of professional wrestling well known. Just look at the cover of their album Rising, which features the World Championshp Wrestling (WCW) United States Heavyweight Championship belt on it. The video for the title track was directed by then-WCW superstar Diamond Dallas Page, and features Stuck Mojo as the fictional MCM World Tag Team Champions performing in the middle of the wrestling ring, surrounded by fans, when Raven and "the Flock" enter the ring and start to cause trouble with fans and the referee and they proceed to toss fans from the ring ending only when DDP, who had been watching the happenings from a distance, clearing the ring with a wooden folding chair. The video features cameos by then-WCW stars, such as Raven, Kidman, Riggs, DDP, Lodi, Hammer, Sick Boy, and Reese. This album also happens to be their most sucsessful album, most likely due to the airplay the video received on MTV as well as WCW Monday Nitro.

Stuck Mojo, have also released one of the better live albums in years, with 1999's HVY 1. Unlike most aritsts, who don't lipsync live, the vocals on the album are clear and can be understood, as opposed to most live performances where the lead vocalist is winded from jumping around, etc. The album also features two studio tracks.

With their latest release, 2007's Southern Born Killers (which was released free to fans with all songs intro'd by Ward, or a purchased CD), the Moj have returned and proved that they still have what it takes to rule the rap metal game at its best. Killers, personally, reminds the listener of Stuck Mojo in the 1990s with some politically charged music with great riffs by Ward, and vocals by Bonz (1990s) and Lord Nelson (now). Stuck Mojo have the ability that other, more famous political bands lack, the ability to subtly infuse their music with politics. Mojo doesn't have to be the type of band that is politics every line of every song. Unless you're listening to the "Intro" or their song ''Crooked Figurehead'', then guess who it's about.

Only time will tell what is in store for Stuck Mojo. I give Stuck Mojo 4 1/2 stars out of five. With talent like this, this band is a MUST for all music fans.

"Southern Born Killers (Rich Ward intro)"
"Southern Born Killers"
"Crooked Figurehead"

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