A-Town Rap & Bass 1985-1992
A-Town Rap & Bass Compilation 1985 – 1992
Straight up, Atlanta is the most important hip hop city of at least the past decade but little to no national attention is given to the first wave of emcees the city was producing in the late 80s/early 90s. (Look at this dismal wiki.) So here goes.
This is not a random rap compilation. There are a couple lesser known tracks on here, mostly fillers, but the vast majority of these tracks are certified classics from local legends. I’m on the outside looking in here, basing most of my knowledge on dollar bin records and such but hopefully my A-Town heads should be able to confirm this. Kilo/Raheem/Sammy Sam/Shy-D were more or less the Jeezy/TI/Gucci/Shawty Los of their era. (Tell me that Kilo’s “The Piz“* was not an influence on his Bowen Homes brethren Shawty Lo.) In fact many of these records could provide a historical perspective on why certain critically maligned A-Town rappers – Fabo**, Gucci – rap the way they do. Flow wasn’t all the current generation inherited – they also picked up on some old school producers (Toomp) and a penchant for bickering. Roughly one in four tracks on here is a diss to another artist on the tape. But then again what would a local rap scene be without such beef?
1. Raheem The Dream – “Eliminator” from Grand Theft LP (Arvis 1990)
2. Kilo – “Kilo Don’t Take No Mess” from America Has A Problem LP (LGP, 1991)
3. The Hard Boys – “Groupies” from A-Town Hard Heads LP (AEI, 1991)
4. Tony MF Rock – “I’m That Type Of Nigga” from Let Me Take You… (Effect, 1989)
5. Damage – “Dead Man Walking” from Can’t Get No Lower (T&S, 1991)
6. Sammy Sam – “The Hitman” from 12″ (Master, 1988)
7. Dynamicly Def – “Crush’in” from 12″ (Cart-Wright , 1987)
8. Kilo – “Georgia” from America Has A Problem LP (LGP, 1991)
9. Sammy Sam – “Nothin To Play With” from You Don’t Know CS (Smith & Smith, 1991)
10. D-Rock – “Cut It Up” from Who Rocks 12″ (Charles Jr., 1987)
11. Raheem The Dream – “U Don’t Know…” from U Don’t Know LP (4-Sight/RTD, 1992)
12. The Hard Boys – “Mission To Nowhere” from A-Town Hard Heads LP (AEI, 1991)
13. Success N Effect – “Freeze” from In Tha Hood LP (On Top, 1989)
14. Kilo – “She Got Me Eating Pussy” from A-Town Rush (Wrap, 1992)
15. Sammy Sam – “Low Profile” from The Hitman 12″ (Master, 1988)
16. Raheem The Dream & DJ Toomp – “Raheem The Dream” from 12″ (Arvis 1986)
17. MC Shy-D – “Rapp Will Never Die” from Rapp Will Never Die 12″ (4 Sight, 1985)
1. MC Shy-D – “I Wanna Dance” from Comin’ Correct in ’88 (Luke, 1988)
2. Tony MF Rock – “Keep Dancin’” from Let Me Take You To The Rock House (Effect, 1989)
3. Damage – “Can’t Get No Lower” from Can’t Get No Lower (T&S, 1991)
4. Sammy Sam – “You Don’t Know” from Cassingle (Smith & Smith, 1991)
5. Kilo – “Hear What I Hear” from A-Town Rush (Wrap, 1992)
6. D-Rock – “Who Rocks” from Who Rocks 12″ (Charles Jr., 1987)
7. MC Shy-D – “Shake It” from Comin’ Correct in ’88 (Luke, 1988)
8. Raheem The Dream – “If U Ain’t Got No Money” from U Don’t Know LP (RTD, 1992)
9. Tony MF Rock – “She Put Me In A Trance’” from Let Me Take You… (Effect, 1989)
10. Raheem The Dream – “Work That Body” from Grand Theft LP (Arvis 1990)
11. Kilo – “My Ding A LIng” from A-Town Rush (Wrap, 1992)
12. Success N Effect – “Roll It Up” from In Tha Hood LP (On Top, 1989)
13. Raheem The Dream “Cutie Pie” from Grand Theft LP (Arvis 1990)
14. MC Shy-D – “Shy-D Is Back” from Shy-D Is Back 12″ (4-Sight, 1986)
15. Kilo – “Cocaine” from America Has A Problem LP (Arvis, 1991)
The compilation is loosely split into two discs – one of more straightforward New York style hip hop and a second of Miami informed bass and club tracks. Admittedly, this is a somewhat dubious distinction – most of these artists walked the line between the two styles and that’s part of what makes them so unique. Basically if a track rocks a Kraftwerk loop or a TV show theme song it ended up on disc 2, if it has knock off LL Cool J style punchlines it’s on the first. The sound quality is all over the place. A couple of these joints are tape only and most of them were poorly mixed to begin with. The first Raheem LP sounds like it was recorded inside a beehive. I cut it off at the year I did because it seemed like the resources and major labels really started to come into Atlanta hard around ’92-’93, probably thanks in part to the success of Tag Team, So So Def and LaFace. That old Motown Of The South talk left a Gordy style sheen on the streets. Once the money came in records got more polished and R&B influenced. Not to take anything away from those later classics, but it seems like some of the charm was lost in the process.
Shouts to Def Momentum, Bust The Facts, Terry Clubbup, Twankle & Glisten and Rapidshare for filling in some blanks.
** “The Piz” is not featured here because I only own the second pressing of A-Town Rush, where it was omitted for the inferior “My Ding-A-Ling”. Also the version of “She Got Me Eatin’ Pussy” featured here was apparently abbreviated or remixed. Anyone have the hook up on the originals? Other stuff I could use: Raheem G-State Is Coming Up EP, Sammy Sam – “Good Cop, Bad Cop”.
** A viable case could probably be made for D4L being each of Kilo’s multiple personality traits diffused into four people. But I don’t care enough about Mook B to make that case.