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The YMD are worth their spit. Any good MC knows where he came from, recalls his roots in his rhymes, and the young men of the YMD have good memories. When they sat down to record Excuse Me, This Is The Yah Mos Def, their debut full-length record, the Philadelphia party-starting twosome took something familiar to them, the hardcore punk music of their youth, rapped over it, and turned it into something brand new. There’s no nostalgia to stain it, nothing in their samples that smells like an over-priced reunion show. The YMD stood on the shoulders of their idols to make something louder than hardcore and more vocal than hip-hop: a fountain of youth for the party.

The ten tracks on Excuse Me, This Is The Yah Mos Def are built on samples from a laundry list of bands that includes Bikini Kill, Minor Threat, Shipping News and Cap’n Jazz. The production is raw and guerilla, and lyrically, the album is a cultural history of the city they call home (on “New Direction” the boys attempt to shout out every neighborhood in Philadelphia.) It amounts to a freestyle parking lot battle waged at a dingy punk club, a clash of genres that is a musical revolution.

YMD members Distro and B. Awesome deliver manic, breathless, and hysterical rhymes from the stage. Their live shows shut down clubs, and start the after-parties early. Woe is the band or MC forced to play after them, there may be no stage left. And since their tracks straddle genres, so do their shows. The YMD has shared bills with everyone from Matt & Kim to Flosstradomus and Pissed Jeans to Plastic Little.


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