I don’t think there was a song that was more summer in uptown NYC Bronx/Harlem in the mid-to late 2000s than Purple City Byrd Gang, whether it was blasting from car speakers or being one of the main elements that started a fist fight at a house party I remember. The song is unmistakable from the moment the ominous and captivating beat hits in the beginning. Sheist Bubz’s opening verse is absolutely savage and an all-time classic that perfectly capture of the gritty uptown imagery and swagger of the time; every line from it is a hard hitter from him saying to go ahead and let the fiends into the traphouse, to being a 10th grader going from varsity letterman to getting involved in interstate trafficking and hopping on a bus to Maryland (presumably either Peter Pan or Grehyound). “Nah I ain’t worrying, send shots and they scurrying, transactions we hurried them, bastards we buried ’em, in the belly of the beast there’s Sheist the Barbarian,” he triumphantly declares at the end. Perhaps the only thing that can overshadow the sheer brutality and bravado of his verse is the 3XL purple Dickies work shirt that he’s sporting with purple Dickies workpants and a purple Yankees hat.
I wasn’t expecting to have two Jim-Jones related posts two days in a row here, but when I woke up this morning I was pleasantly surprised to see Purple City Byrd Gang was seemingly out of nowhere getting some buzz on Twitter from a variety of sources after a tweet from Andrew Barber of Fake Shore Drive, one of my all-time favorite blogs that has introduced me to a lot of music from Chicago I would have otherwise slept on, who boldly and correctly declared, ‘Purple City Byrd Gang video better than Thriller.’