Boogie Down Productions - Love's Gonna Get'cha

The 100 Best Rap Singles of 1990: Boogie Down Productions

This 12-inch is arguably Bronx heroes Boogie Down Productions' last great single, and one of the finest story raps of the era.

Boogie Down Productions
“Love’s Gonna Get’cha (Material Love)” (Jive)
Billboard chart positions: Hot R&B Singles (#46), Hot Rap Singles (#4)

“Love’s Gonna Get’cha” is arguably Boogie Down Productions’ last great single, and one of the finest story raps of the era. Produced by Pal Joey — who might be best known for Soho’s house/breaks classic “Hot Music” — it finds KRS-One weaving a first-person fable about an impoverished teen who drops out of school to sell drugs. The protagonist’s rise and fall reflects the song’s theme of worldly lusts for money and power. “‘Cause where I’m at if you’re soft you’re lost/To stay on course means to roll with force,” he rapped memorably. “Love’s Gonna Get’cha” has been sampled dozens of times, yet its long shelf life is belied by some of the career difficulties KRS-One faced in 1990, from filing a lawsuit against former managers to weathering mixed reviews for Edutainment amid claims that he had grown too didactic. But while the rapper’s brusque “Teacha” persona could be grating, “Love’s Gonna Get’cha” strikes an indelible balance between moralism and street tragedy.

Read more: The 100 Best Rap Singles of 1990

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Kings from Queens: The Run DMC Story

The tale of Run-DMC has been told many, many times in numerous forms, from autobiographies to a VH-1 Behind the Music episode. The appeal of Kings from Queens: The Run-DMC Story, beyond its commentary from sundry golden-age legends like MC Lyte and LL Cool J as well as familiar music-doc talking heads like Questlove, is to give testimony about a history that most fans of a certain age will know by heart. The three-part documentary debuted on Peacock on February 1 and, without commercials, lasts around two-and-a-half hours. But it isn’t exhaustive and tacitly avoids some of the group’s controversies. (Run and DMC are listed as executive producers.) Jam Master Jay is rightfully memorialized, but the doc avoids the murky circumstances surrounding his 2002 murder. Jay’s famed protégé 50 Cent is also absent. The group’s final album, 1999’s Crown Royal, goes unmentioned, as does Rev Run’s disappointing solo excursion, 2005’s Distortion. Even their battles with record label Profile, documented in books such as Raising Hell: The Reign, Ruin, and Redemption of Run-D.M.C., are glossed over. The filmmakers rightly conclude that old heads will enjoy throwback clips of the trio performing at Live Aid in Philadelphia, and DMC’s heart-rending confessions about struggling with substance abuse and finding solace in Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel.” But where are the post-millennial voices like Joey Bada$$, Fivio Foreign, or Nicki Minaj? Where are the scenes connecting Run-DMC’s sound with modern-day shouters like Meek Mill? While the filmmakers don’t need to pander to the kids, failing to illustrate why younger audiences should care about these 80s hip-hop heroes seems like a missed opportunity to burnish their legend. Kings from Queens is directed by Kirk Fraser and produced by Believe Entertainment Group.

May the Lord Watch: The Little Brother Story

A common trope of authorized music documentaries such as May the Lord Watch: The Little Brother Story is that the filmmakers tend to deliver lengthy, single-camera interviews instead of a compelling, dynamic story. It opens promisingly enough with photos and camcorder footage of Little Brother’s rise in North Carolina during the turn of the century and the making of their 2003 classic The Listening. Animated clips, courtesy of Creative Junk Food studio, as well as talking heads such as The Roots’ figurehead Questlove and journalist Dart Adams fuel the narrative. But eventually, the doc slows to a crawl as Phonte Coleman and Big Pooh go back and forth, detailing issues with former labels ABB Records and Atlantic Records as well each other, leading to a 2010 breakup, a reconciliation, and an anticipated reunion album, 2019’s May the Lord Watch. Fans who have followed the Little Brother story won’t be surprised by the absence of producer and group co-founder 9th Wonder. More damaging is that the filmmakers fail to show instead of tell us how Little Brother are part of a “bridge” between Native Tongues and current superstars like Kendrick Lamar and Drake. Fewer scenes of the duo sitting in separate rooms, talking into a camera would have helped. And did you know that Big Pooh featured on Lamar’s breakthrough mixtape, Kendrick Lamar EP? Look it up because this film won’t tell you, although it manages to include an unexplained clip featuring Pooh, Lamar, and Ab-Soul. May the Lord Watch is directed by Holland Randolph Gallagher, and was released on YouTube last November. Little Brother and the company Rap Portraits, a collaboration between Gallagher and Yoh Phillips, produced it.