ArtistBlack Moon
AlbumEnta Da Stage
OriginNew York
Record LabelNervous
Release TypeFull Length
Black Moon’s Debut album and an underground Hip-Hop classic, regarded as very successful getting their single “Who Got Da Props?”on the Billboard Hot 100 upon release and “How Many MC’s…” on the Hot RnB/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks, is a masterpiece of sampling and use of interesting elements to enhance a genre that frequently favors the lyrics and rapping over everything else.

For a debut album, the amount of production and detailing put into the tracks that compose the album is simply outstanding, adding layers upon layers of mixing, sampling, vocal harmonies and back-and-forth responses and reactions between members and musical elements, and even between themselves. Each track is a main event, full of depth and nuances, escalating the sound to a different kind of Hip-Hop, one extremely refined and complex, very unlike other underground productions from the time, definitely inspiring the East Coast Hip-Hop to move away from outside influences and establish itself within its own style and way of delivering the lyrics and creating the backgrounds for it.

“Powaful Impak!” introduces the album with a bang, confidently putting out strong lyrics against detractors and everyone who dares stand up against Hip-Hop, or rather everyone who damages its culture with empty words and no substance to rap with. It is only the beginning of the use of samples and carefully placed musical elements, yet it is of the simplest within the bunch, preparing the setting for more complex compositions. “Who Got Da Props?” is, understandably, the gem of the album, with an interesting and rather dark background instrumentals that don’t quite stay in the background and stand out on their own throughout, powerful enough to stand against the rapping at all times. The occasional use of samples is perfectly placed, adding catchiness to the track.

“Buck Em Down” is next among the stand-outs, starting off to seem simple and leave it all to the lyrics, until the interesting instrumental work shows up once again, giving a certain atmosphere that lingers throughout the album and instead of becoming boring, it ties all tracks into a single feeling of menace and caution. It is further down the road, on “Slave” where this feeling becomes almost inspiring, it is so well kept through the album and it shines so much, it gives that euphoria you get when you know you are listening to a grand production, something so masterful you have to step back and tell yourself to be aware of the incredible quality of music you are listening to. The sampling on “Slave” is a majestic contrast between tragedy, anger and aggression and the relaxing instrumental that never goes away even as the tension on the song builds up and closes just as high. Nearing the end of the album we have the hit track “How Many MC’s…”, slower and slightly further away from the rest of the album without being completely disconnected from it. More focused on lyrics and rapping as it’s more usual on 90s Hip-Hop, it’s a hail to the more classic part of the genre within a very experimental and layered album.

“Enta Da Stage” is a treasure of an album for 90s Hip-Hop, a show-off, confidently trying more depth and new sounds, fearlessly using samples, thus heightening the whole genre altogether greatly. It’s a production to be proud of, no matter what kind of music you like, a complete stand-out with shinier than gold sound mixing.