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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?

It would be nice if someone sat down and wrote a thorough history of all this. Until then it’s just bits and pieces. And, now, this tape. Tracklisting under the hop.

Rap Side
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)

Bass/Club Side
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.

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36 Responses to “A-Town Rap & Bass 1985-1992”

  1. BENJY Says:

    ilu nozinskiii great post

  2. noz Says:

    “In newer forms of Georgia rap there has been the emergence of the Black Jewish rapper Lord Hector Diono from the Gangsta Grunge Rap Rock genre”

  3. david Says:

    commercially yea…atlanta is important…but that lyrical shit and heavy bass hard beats type shit…plus the innovations on mixtape freestyles etc etc i think Houston got that the past decade plus homeboyy….honestly ti, jeezey etc they whack to me…compared to other atlanta rap they weak…if anything the best atlanta rap was the decade before that…this being my humble opinion….TI aint gonna surpass aquemini or soul food….he can keep trying tho….thanks for this comp tho looks interesting

  4. slizzard Says:
  5. crunkite Says:

    Respect to this post. Atlanta bass music is always overlooked in favor of Miami, but was just as good… maybe even better?

  6. mark p. Says:

    Youtube link for “The Piz”:


  7. Paine Says:

    This MC Shy-D, specifically “Shake It”… is making my insomnia-induced Wednesday possible.

    Thank you for this.

  8. Thun Says:

    Great post. A solid introduction for those of us who are entirely ignorant to this scene.

  9. slizzard Says:


  10. mike Says:

    damn you are bringing back some memories… ATL before JD, Dallas, and the DF… totally different scene.

  11. deej Says:

    great post.

  12. BLAST Says:

    Nicely Done.

  13. BLAST Says:

    The new Sammy track on BLVDST is pretty damn great too….

  14. noz Says:

    “The new Sammy track on BLVDST is pretty damn great too….”

    Woah, yeah I don’t know how I missed this.


  15. Ianista Says:

    yes yes, well done. I’ve got the original CD of A-town rush. took me years to find one after i lost my old cassette. let me know how and i’ll get it to ya.

  16. Boogie Brown Says:

    A-Town Playaz, DJ Kizzy Rock, DJ Smurf, Kilo Ali, The Hard Boys, Ichiban Records, Edward J and The J Team, LA Snow The list goes on… someone really needs to write a book on Atlanta Rap Scene…

  17. Suga Fist Says:

    THIS WAS EARLY ATLANTA. Kilo was the King before Tip. We grew up on booty shake as Dre said.

    Hopefully they’ll be an early to mid ninties mix soon with Mr.Ku’s “Born Threat” and Xplicit’s “Atlanta (its back to you)

  18. TSF Says:

    My only knowledge of this stuff is a dollar bin cassette of Raheem that I have kicking around the car. Thanks noz.

  19. barns Says:

    damn thanks for this one

  20. zone3 Says:

    great post !

    thank you for this

    peace from eastside atl

  21. FireBrand Says:

    goes back to 1979 with acts like mojo and danny renee & the spaceship crew. atl been in hip hop for a minute.

  22. noz Says:

    “goes back to 1979 with acts like mojo and danny renee & the spaceship crew. atl been in hip hop for a minute.”

    Definitely. http://www.cocaineblunts.com/blunts/?p=594

  23. FireBrand Says:

    No doubt. I had to go edit that wiki shit. Made me sick. I aint change all of it, though. I just added this:
    Atlanta Hip Hop dates back to 1979 with records from groups such as Mojo, Rufus as well as Danny Renee and the Spaceship Crew. Atlanta has a rich tradition of Hip Hop of varied sounds that has been making regional and national hits since the early 80’s with songs from The Hard Boys, MC Shy D and more. Contrary to popular belief, Atlanta Hip Hop does not begin with Outkast. They aren’t even the first group out of their own crew to make a record. That group is Parental Advisory. In the early-mid 90’s diverse sounds such as Parental Advisory, Y’all So Stupid, Mass Influence, The Micranots, GooDie MoB, Raheem The Dream, Kilo Ali, Kizzy Rock, The Hard Boys, OutKast, Cult of Icons, Lyrical Giants (Bonecrusher’s first act), Binkis Recs, Sammy Sam The Hit Man and so many more could be heard in Atlanta clubs and in the Atlanta streets. Not to be forgotten are the two under-age acts during the 90’s from Atlanta as well: Another Bad Creation & Kriss Kross. For decades Atlanta Hip Hop has been bastardized by the media, history books and so-called purists to the point that many Atlanta residents aren’t aware of Atlanta’s rich Hip Hop History. Atlanta has produced DJ Champtions such as Toomp & Klever and has a respectable Graffiti and Break Dancing scene that both date back to the early 80’s with crews such as HBO and more.

  24. Peanut Says:

    I love everythang on dis page main, but what about DJ Redd Money’s solo album. You know, it had that song “six fifteens in the back of my Lac”. I’ve been wanting to hear that since for ever. PLEASE ADD!

  25. MC ICE SKI Says:

    Yo im going to post this one for myself my group Damage was here before a lot of these cats i was first a part of the group 1.5 with sammy sam bra smooth walt and dj boo but i love all these cats i have changed my name to skinny man i have been on a lot of records since then i have done songs with young dro rocko lil john pruduced tracks for pimp c sammy sam the list goes on but i just want to say thanks for the love all these years

    from yo boy MC ICE SKI “Cant Get No Lower”
    follow me on twitter its @ant808

  26. DeHere Says:

    man there were like 15 different versions of “cocaine” by Kilo…I need the one with all the shakers and him screaming “cocainnnnne”…this one is too low key

  27. king Bro'D Says:

    ooh snap! an page on Atlanta hip hop history. bout time somebody did this. while back in the early years of hip hop,most rappers were just mimicking the then still young New York rap style,MoJo was ripping it up in the A! who remembers them V103 roadshows? Sans Sushi brodcasting on the radio on sat nights? Fresh Fridays? recording off the radio with your boom box? yeah i was a B-Boy back then. Did graffitti,tried rapping and still dabble in DJing with my stash of records i have left over from the years of collecting. man,them fresh ass album covers! no more. all rappers now are either dope boys turned rappers,claiming they not rappers or wanna be thugs,killas,whatever. long gone are the true essence of hp hop. just rappers and no show.

  28. Makell Bird Says:

    My name is Makell Bird, aka The Mixtape King of Las Vegas. I am also the creator and host of Maktown TV/Radio/Mixtapes. We have some EXCLUSIVE interviews with DJ Taz and DJ Kizzy Rock to name a few for those that remember them and want to know what they’re doing now.

    I’ve been working with DJ Taz for the past 10 years and have created the mixtape “Makell Bird Presents DJ Taz – Classic: The Black Mongoose Edition” which is available on itunes, emusic, amazon, rhapsody, etc.

    Find our videos on http://youtube.com/makell and SUBSCRIBE!

    I’m all over the net on twitter, myspace, facebook, friendfeed, etc…. all at /makellbird

  29. Link Building Says:

    I would like to start my own blog one day. This was a really nice blog that you made here. Keep up the success :P

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  32. Sheena Eshbaugh Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing a lot of this good information! I am looking forward to seeintg more!

  33. GRKiller Says:

    Amazing compilation of some very very hard to find tracks!

    Thanks from the 404

  34. jimmy jazz Says:

    please … can sombody re up this almost antique ish

  35. The Dec 404 Says:

    I remember especially listening to The Hard Boys and Damage(Major Damage back then)on my Walkman riding the 107 Glenwood downtown to go to Walter’s to get me a $10 Starter T shirt, jordache cargo pants and some suede Champion shoes..LOL!! That’s real early 90s ATL..

  36. The Dr Says:

    Man if someone, can reupload this that would be great. I can’t hardly find some of these songs.

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