The Goats are Alive

…Well, 1993 alive.

As I and anyone of my friends from the 90s – especially those who worked for Ruffhouse, and that was a considerable lot, to be sure – will tell you, Philadelphia live hip-hop unit, The Goats, were the best at what they did; which, at the time, just happened to be deeply politicized, wackly humorous (or humorously wack) rap-funk-rock.

The Goats: Oatie Kato, Madd and Swayzack (L to R).

When they weren’t busy sleeping on your floor (a story for a whole ‘nother time), The Goats vocal mainframe, MCs Madd, Oatie Kato, and Swayzack, were making like an interracial, boozy, cokey cross between The Marx Brothers and The Last Poets with its blend of rad social critique and lit-smart cosmopolitan laughs. They made two under-selling, underappreciated (in their time) LPs, 1992’s “Tricks of the Shade,” and 1994’s “No Goats No Glory” before disappearing (well, Swayzack vanished down i-95, literally) and becoming part-and-parcel of Black Landlord (that’s Madd or Blue Maxx Goat) and Jimmy Luxury (Oatie).

Between the two totems, they legendarily and professionally recorded at live record at The Khyber – their second home – that forever has been relegated to weird cassettes and wild rumors. Until now. 

The kinda-sorta release of “Live at Khyber Pass, July 4th 1993” sounds the musky magic call of The Goats at its most dynamic, rude crude, polemic driven and funny-forceful with the rare “Real Phillie Blunts” and a Clash cover (“I’m So Bored with the U.S.A.”) segueing into “Burn The Flag” as the live jam’s finest, funkiest moments.

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