Crow - The Hard Times

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Crow - The Hard Times
Crow - The Hard Times cover.PNG
Studio album by DJ Crow
Released September 21, 2007
Recorded December 2003—June 2007
Burnt Up Studios
(Satellite City, UnitedTerra)
Genre Terrain grime, electro-grime
Length 48:20
Label Coalition
Producer DJ Crow (exec.), TrillBron, Yusei
DJ Crow chronology
Crow - The Hard Times
(2007)
Dance on Sunday
(2010)
Singles from Crow - The Hard Times
  1. "Fusion Dance Nyt"
    Released: August 3, 2007
  2. "Tarnished"
    Released: October 12, 2007


Crow - The Hard Times is the debut album of Terrain grime artist, DJ Crow. It was released on September 21, 2007 worldwide for digital download and as a CD under Coalition Recordings. Recording for the album started in December 2003 and continued on till June 2007 - with most of the album produced and recorded in Crow's igloo in Club Penguin. Its production was handled by DJ Crow himself, while he recruited brand new producers TrillBron and Yusei to aid him. Stylistcally the album consists of a new type of genre in the rap scene, Terrain grime, with few elements of old school hip hop and electro-grime. The Hard Times features Crows's multi-syllabic internal rhyme patterns, expressing inner city lyrical themes and narratives based on his native Satellite City.

Upon its release, the album debuted at number 1 on the UnitedTerra Albums Chart and Club Penguin Albums Chart, selling 138,000 copies in the home-land and selling the maximum of 100,000 in CP. While in the USA the record peaked at number 28, managing to sell 39,000. While the label were not satisfied with its moderate success internationally, the album done well in the homelands. The Hard Times received positive reviews from most music critics upon its release and earned praise for its lyrical content, production, and Crow's lyricism. On December 23, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Arctic Countries, and in June 2008, it earned platinum certification after shipments of one million copies in UnitedTerra.

Since its initial reception, the album has been recognized by writers and music critics as a landmark album in Terrain rap. It contributed to the regional scene's artistic renaissance in Satellite City, while marking an influential, stylistic change in rap at the time. Its influence on subsequent hip hop artists has been attributed to the album's production and Crow's rapping. Several writers have cited The Hard Times as one of the quintessential Terrain recordings and one of the greatest grime albums of all time. It has been included in numerous best album lists by critics and publications.

Background[edit]

After DJ Crow's appearances at the Night Club, and his videos on PengTube, he was picked up by an executive of M.I. Records, normally known as Music Industry. He then signed him to the label, and by late 2006 they started writing the lyrics. The company had no producers that could link with Crow. Instead, Crow invited long-time friend Lebron Foster to produce the album. The executives at Music Industry were not sure about using an un-signed and unknown producer, but after Crow explained to them that Lebron had been producing mix-tapes and tracks for over 5 years, the company signed him and allowed both of them to produce the album. A couple of tracks were made by Crow in the Night Club the same year, and they were remastered and added onto the album. In January 2007, Crow talked about the name of the album: "It's called The Hard Times because I've gone through some hard times to become a disc-jockey. I did Crow FM, brought me up myself, coming to Club Penguin and meeting new friends. It was perfect." In May, Crow revealed the track list on his website.

Recording[edit]

The recording took place in Club Penguin Recording Studios and started in December 2006. TrillBron and Yusei produced while Crow wrote lyrics. He finished writing the songs by April. After, Crow decided to produce some songs himself as they were in front of schedule. He then produced two tracks himself in May. TrillBron had finished producing by June and Yusei finished by the end of the month.

Composition[edit]

Context[edit]

Lyrics and themes[edit]

Production[edit]

Content[edit]

Tracks 1-5[edit]

Tracks 6-11[edit]

Singles[edit]

The first single was "Fusion Dance Nyt" which released on June 2, 2007 as the lead mainstream single. Originally a shorter and different version of the song was released on Crow's debut mixtape in 2005. It was an underground success and so the label wanted Crow to revamp it and put it on The Hard Times. It is an electro-grime song and has a more lively feel compared to other songs on The Hard Times, which is why it was chosen. Produced and written by DJ Crow entirely, the song peaked at number 1 in UnitedTerra and Club Penguin. Surprisingly the song did quite well in the USA, peaking at number 17. The title of the song are never mentioned in the song, but despite this the public loved it and eventually became a classic. The second single was to be released the next month but due to the major success of the lead single it was decided that another single was not needed. However, Crow wanted "Tarnished" to be released for the more strictly-grime fans, so it was released on October 12, 2007, just a few weeks after the album was out. As suspected it didn't do too good in the USA, but managed to peak at number 34. Crow earned his second consecutive number 1 single in UnitedTerra and Club Penguin with "Tarnished". It is considered by many critics and fans as one of the best grime songs ever made. Crow did want a third single but decided to just work on the sophomore.

Track listing[edit]

No. TitleWriter(s)Producer(s) Length
1. "The Menacing"  Crow Smith, Lebron FosterDJ Crow, TrillBron 2:05
2. "Through the Satelitte Eyes"  Crow Smith, Lebron FosterTrillBron 5:51
3. "Tarnished" (featuring GGD & Beetle)Crow Smith, Amphibious Dude, Lebron Foster, Maxwell AustinTrillBron 5:22
4. "Night Club Jam"  Crow Smith, YuseiYusei 3:58
5. "Fusion Dance Nyt"  Crow SmithDJ Crow 3:12
6. "In My Town" (featuring TrillBron)Crow Smith, Lebron FosterDJ Crow, TrillBron 4:44
7. "Blowin' in the Wind"  Crow SmithYusei 5:32
8. "One Way to Make It"  Crow SmithDJ Crow 3:53
9. "Voices"  Crow SmithTrillBron 4:58
10. "Reppin' the City"  Crow SmithDJ Crow 3:30
11. "Lifetime Ago"  Crow SmithDJ Crow 4:15
Total length:
48:20

Artwork[edit]

Reception[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Legacy and influence[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
UnitedTerra Albums Chart 1
CP Albums Chart 1
Antarctican Hot 100 Albums 28

Certifications[edit]

See also[edit]