In 1996 M.C. Brains, now calling himself M.C. Brainz (if the original name stood for Bringing Raps And Instrumentals Non-Stop, I don’t know what the “z” stood for…), released the follow-up album to his 1992 debut LOVERS LANE. No longer on Motown/Biv10 Records, or managed by Michael Bivins (check these articles HERE and HERE for that story), this album was released on the independent Ichiban Records label.
This album features 13 full songs (plus several little skits, but I’ll ignore those), starting with the title track BRAINWASHED, and following with TAPE DECK, TRIPPIN’ (which features a female rapper named Lady Keem), and HOT OUTSIDE (which features M.C. Breed and Kool Ace), all of which have Brainz rapping over mid-tempo beats that sound like they fit in with the G-funk style that was popular at the time. I like each track, but it’s notable that now Brainz is cursing, including liberal use of the N-word. That’s a rather drastic change from the previous album, which takes some getting used to for me.
The next song,OPEN WIDE, slows down a little, and has more of a classic R&B sound to it, then it’s back to the mid-tempo funk sound for CLOUD NINE and DUB SACK. Brainz gets a little more creative, lyrically, on CONSCIOUS, putting himself in various situations where he has to decide whether to do the right thing or the wrong thing.
He’s also more lyrically stronger on the next track, MOODSWINGS, and talks about his history in the business (“the East Coast Family, niggas couldn’t handle me”).
OHIO PLAYERS is another rap about Brainz’ skill with the ladies. Rappers M.C. Breed and Jibiri join Brainz on the gangsta track WICKED, while Sir Charles joins him on the mellow AT MY PARTY. Brainz raps for the ladies again, and praises his mother, on the final track DOWN WITH YA, with a slow R&B track.
It’s a decent album, although I do feel it’s lacking any fast dance tracks. Those looking for a sequel to Oochie Coochie will be sorely disappointed. I could have done without all the cursing, but that’s my own personal preference. Lyrically, Brainz still had it. His voice and his flow sounds a lot like Snoop Dogg on this album. Overall, I’d say I like Lovers Lane better, but Brainwashed is good enough for me to give it FOUR STARS.
Brainwashed can be found on iTunes
And here’s an interesting interview with Brainz from last year that I found on Youtube.
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