Music

What Went Right With… K.G.B. aka Klik Ga Bow?

A logo for Klik Ga Bow featuring the Wu-Tang logo blended with the hammer and sickle created by What Went Wrong Or Right With...?

K.G.B. (Klik Ga Bow) a Hip-Hop group from Coney Island and Brooklyn, were one of the most impressive and memorable Wu-Tang affiliates and yet they never released an album or a mixtape. There’s a couple of bootleg compilations that you can easily find on the internet but other than that (and a handful of 12” vinyl singles) you won’t find any official releases from the group.

The band’s unusual name, I assume, referred to the sound of a gun cocking and firing (a variation of “click kapow”). Their Russian intelligence agency-inspired acronym was also very different when compared to the other Asian, kung-fu-oriented Wu-Tang names such as Deadly Venoms who K.G.B. were affiliated with (remember their jiggy track “Party, Thuggin’, Cheddar, Forever” referencing Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”?).

The members of Klik Ga Bow were Ill Knob, Raheem, Asiatic, and DJ Ken. Ill Knob released a solo mixtape in the mid-noughties titled For The Street Volume 1 (and a couple of tracks in 2012) and the group also appeared on Wu-Syndicate’s album. Their main releases as a group however, all dropped during the mid-nineties.

K.G.B.’s most memorable track for me, was “Bless Ya Life”, thanks largely to that chorus…

“(Bless ya life) Bless ya life to the peeps who got murdered from my way, we used to puff el’s every day. (Bless ya life) Bless ya life to the peeps who got murdered from my way, we used to crack brews every day. (Bless ya life) Bless ya life to the peeps who got murdered from my way, we used to do crime every day, (Bless ya life) Bless ya life to the peeps who got murdered from my way, to rest you lay.”

…This track featured in many DJ mixes and was played now and again on pirate radio stations. The “Grim Mix” was the version I remember, it contained a sample of Al Green’s “Strong As Death (Sweet As Love)” making for a more sombre and moody sound. I taped this song off the radio and played it for years on my Walkman before finally finding the vinyl in the stores…

There were quite a few other notable singles from the group, the majority of which were released on Mascot Records. There was even a video for one of their earliest releases, the upbeat “Pick Up The Pace”…

Another early track was the Boom Bap, head-nodding “Crack The Brew”…

Later came “Head On” which featured a high-pitched sampled “chipmunk” chorus…

The rowdy “Yeah You” was also a decent song…

And “Win, Lose Or Draw” was a brilliantly catchy track…

Ill Knob’s “A Beautiful Thing” and “Rap Basher” (sometimes called “Rap Bashers”) were also very impressive releases. “A Beautiful Thing” in particular was a bleak, gritty song that sounded like a Hip-Hop joint found in the rubble of a post-apocalyptic nuclear war…

Judging by the tracks contained within the unofficial compilations that circulate the web, I’m surprised that a label didn’t sign K.G.B. Major labels really dropped the ball when it came to seeking talented rappers, especially during the latter half of the nineties. At least we have underground Hip-Hop heads keeping the memory of Klik Ga Bow alive, if it wasn’t for them, groups like this would be all but forgotten by the mainstream media. So let’s not forget that in their day, Ill Knob aka Knowledge, Asiatic aka Adriatic aka AZ, Raheem aka Red aka Infared, and DJ Ken aka Kenny Ken aka Kenny Fingers were…

A Beautiful Thing.

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