The Legion – Krill Ill
Tuesday November 14th 2006,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Steady Bootleggin',Video Clips
Written by:

When it comes to raw shit from the Bronx, you can’t go past The Legion. Some of you might have written them off as nothing more than Black Sheep‘s baggage handlers, but a quick listen to their Theme + Echo = Krill1 LP will quickly erase that impression. While Cee-Low, Molecules and Chucky Smash hold it down with their old-school influenced tough guy mic techniques, the most impressive aspect of their album is the production, which they handled themselves on most tracks. Having learnt how to flip the SP1200 from Showbiz, they continued the BX tradition of hard drums and samples by the pound, putting down with classic lo-fi grit. They were also the first to flip a variety of loops that would be used years later by everyone from Mobb Deep to MF Doom, if you care about that kind of shit.

Why am I talking about The Legion in 2006? Because they were the Boogie-Down precursor to a QB’s Screwball, in that both groups are pure street over non-progressive beats, and their LP is the missing link between Runaway Slave and A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing.2 “We Boys” was one of the highlight of the bloated second Black Sheep album, with it’s sparse but satisfying track, while “It’s Thorough” may not have been the best song off the Legion album, but it rocks that ill loop that Smif ‘N Wessun later used for a white label. ‘Cules sets it off for his Show banger from the Japanese-only D.I.T.C. project with a big payback that JB would been proud of.

Black Sheep featuring The Legion - We Boys [Non-Fiction, Mercury, 1994]

The Legion - It’s Thorough [Theme + Echo = Krill, One Love/Mercury, 1994]

Molecules - Revenge [DITC‘s All Love, Next Level, 1999]

The Legion featuring Dres - “Jingle Jangle” video:

The Legion @ MySpace

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  1. 1. Catchy title, huh?[back]
  2. 2. Four years after their debut, they dropped a quality twelve inch called “Street Thing / Caught Up” on their own label.[back]

32 Comments so far
Leave a comment

God, that second Black Sheep album was awful. “We Boys” and “Autobiography” hardly justified buying it.

What happened to the second footnote?

Comment by floodwatch 11.14.06 @

Peace Robbie…Revenge is fuckin bangin…always loved that track..I need this LP tho…where can i find it???

Comment by AFFECKS 11.14.06 @

At first, I thought the second Black Sheep album was awful. But listening to it now, I think it is seriously slept on. It just came out at a time when ‘we’ were checking albums by Biggie, the Artifacts, Nas, etc, and got lost in the shuffle.

Comment by turtle 11.14.06 @

I don’t agree with floodwath, the second Black Sheep album was dope, I still blast it today and it is way better than many albums coming out these days. And check Dres still holding his own on the latest Handsome Boy Modelling School lp.

Comment by ceedub 11.14.06 @

^ It’s been probably ten years since I’ve listened to it. I’ll go back and give it another spin…

Comment by floodwatch 11.14.06 @

How come I’ve never heard of these guys? I bought the first 12″ off Non Fiction which had Without A Doubt/We Boys on it and always thought it was nice. I guess I must have been too broke to buy their album that month. Any chance of a Megaupload?

Comment by End Level Boss 11.14.06 @

legion was mad slept on.. alot of cats didnt know that they used that loop mobb used for “realest n
****s” wit g rap and the 50 cent paul wall joint .. im glad someone is biggin them up

Comment by dolo 11.14.06 @

End Level-

I found the Krill Lp, as well as a bunch of other stuff, at this site but it’s a Sendspace file:

http://da-underground-kingz.blogspot.com/2006/10/biggest-post-in-history-of-forever.html

If you’re ever looking for anything that’s out of print, be sure to hit up Bust The Facts, Wake Your Daughter Up, Rapchwast in the links here at Unkut. I’ve had to buy a backup harddrive because all of the stuff i’ve found at these sites lately. It feels good to finally have clean/clear copies of alot of stuff from the late 80’s/early 90’s when only having it on crappy sounding single grade vinyl that’s in VG- cond. for the last 15 years or so. Buddah bless the internets.

Comment by Kin Corn Karn 11.14.06 @

I remember looking all over for the Legion LP. I think I eventually got it and then lost it.

Comment by Aaron 11.14.06 @

YO! regarding the Legion…thank you for putting in a word for a record that truly touched me back in the day. I was doing a radio show on WRUV in Burlington VT at the time this album came out and I remember getting mad emotional as I played their songs on the airwaves cuz what they were saying was SO real, profound, and true. Even back then there were few records that created a whole picture and storyline the way they did. There was one track in particular about the word “Nigga” that just made me wanna cry and in general lyrically they were very much on point. I felt like people had to be hearing this shit NOW and played any track that didn’t have too many curse words, damn FCC ; ) I’m glad there’s some others out there who remember that shit and like those Kenny Parker interviews we ol’ school headz need to stay connected through sites like this.

The Legion definitely got slept on, but they were the farthest thing from a commercially viable sound…so, that’s how it goes.

and of course a lil’ hype for ya:
peep this site to hear some new/ol’ school Hip Hop coming outa Oaktown, CA.

http://www.myspace.com/outsidersperspective
peace

Comment by Dan D. Lion 11.14.06 @

Thanks for the link KCK. This album has aged a lot better than I would have expected. Really great production.

Comment by Aaron 11.15.06 @

Yo, who has a rip of that Smiff and Wessun white label 12″ referenced above? I’ve been trying to get that for ages. The sample on “It’s Theough” and the PNC Smiff and Wessun white label is “Star of a Story” by George Benson, by the way.

Comment by bedouin 11.15.06 @

Hey KCK, thanks for the heads up. Buddah bless the internets indeed.

Comment by End Level Boss 11.15.06 @

I don’t like either Black Sheep album that much really. With that said, there’s a few gems on Non Fiction. I liked Without A Doubt and B.B.S. quite a bit.

Comment by Finally 11.15.06 @

Good album. If you like the early nineties DITC sound, then you should also like this one. Only negative thing I can say about it is that some slow paced tracks would probably had sounded better when pitched up a bit.

“legion was mad slept on.. alot of cats didnt know that they used that loop mobb used for “realest n
****s” wit g rap and the 50 cent paul wall joint ..”

Actually King Of Chill used one half bar of this sample on MC Lyte’s ‘Stop, Look, Listen’.

Comment by Lotuz 11.15.06 @

“Legion Groove” was the shiznit.

Comment by P-Matik 11.15.06 @

1st Priority family contributions are underrated.

Comment by planb 11.15.06 @

It’s funny how time is so kind to alot of groups like the legion. I can remember sitting around in 94. One of my roommates had picked the legion joint up. A bunch of us smoked a couple of blunts and put it on. At that time everybody except the cat that bought thought it was wack.

Now compared with the shit thats put it now, it sounds dope. Well not really, but that thorough joint with the star of the story loop is kinda tight.

if you got that smiff and wesson all about the cash white label… post that shit!!!

Comment by x7an 11.16.06 @

Saw The Legion in NY in Spetember, as special guests on Black Sheep’s comeback gig (along with Just Ice and an MC named Tito)

Comment by sagol 11.16.06 @

I loved these cats when they came out. Anyone who was down with Dres and DITC at that time was dope. “Legion Groove” is a dope track as well. This video always stuck in my head through the years for some reason because of that bid dude in the pool. The album is not that hard 2 find, check Amazon.

Check this video for Vanessa William’s “Work To Do” remix featuring Dres of Blacksheep from ’91…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id5cHrpUi_Y

Comment by MAAD 11.17.06 @

I’ll check that out and not only because of Dres. ;)

Comment by Lotuz 11.18.06 @

why you not covering all this Nas/Jay-Z/Jim Jones shit that’s coming out Robbie?

Comment by BR 11.18.06 @

I’ve been keeping an eye on it but I’m spending all my free time on the booze at the moment. I’ll be back on point next week though….

Comment by Robbie 11.19.06 @

Man.

Vanessa Williams sure hit the wall.

Comment by Finally 11.19.06 @

Legion’s “Freestyle Destruction” (on the flip of “Jingle Jangle”) has to be one of the gnarliest cuts of the 90s, nobody yelled “Ah shit” over a guitar riff with such venom. It’s also the only record I know that starts with the sound someone plugging the turntable in while being nagged to do so.

Comment by Daddy Bones 11.20.06 @

ewwww… I liked “Jingle Jangle” and their production- and that’s where it stopped. It really didn’t get any more random than the Legion around that time, and there was A LOT more going on in hip-hop to be concerned with than them in ’94. I can really say I didn’t particularly care for ‘em.

Some artists from that time were slept-on due to lack of promotion, lack of a big hit single, or changing tastes… The Legion was slept-on because they were supposed to be.

Comment by DanjaMania 11.23.06 @

Does anyone have an mp3 of Legion’s “Freestyle Destruction.” I bought the album the day it came out and never knew of this B-side. Peace.

Comment by siderealist 11.24.06 @

Yeah I need to hear that song as well.

Comment by Robbie 11.24.06 @

To the people who felt our music nuff respect.We still clickin!!!Glad I found this site see there are many soldiers who understand the elements!Peace Chucky Smash/The Legion check our my space the legionny.We doin some spots with DRES.PEACE!!!

Comment by Smash 02.08.07 @

Tight, just got this “Krill” CD off of amazon for 99 cents! Shit sounds tight, looking forward to gettin it.

Comment by Mike G 03.09.07 @

nah…that 2nd Black Sheep album was pretty bad….Mr “Sugar Dick Daddy” Lawnge decided he wanted to rhyme …like seriously. The Legion, although not as lyrical, were very effective in creating authentic east coast hip hop. It felt good.

Comment by jux55 03.18.07 @

I bought legion’s album some months ago.. first heard of them in the dj krush set called “code 4109″ and I falled in love of the jingle jangle track..one of my favourites groups and album ever, from the almighty year of hip-hop..1994..
you gotta have it..

Comment by Lord Adamo 08.22.07 @



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