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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released September 8, 2017 | Melee - Wild Pitch

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Masterpiece alert! When the first album from the trio Main Source came out at the height of the summer of 1991, the group formed by New York MC Large Professor and Canadian DJs Sir Scratch and K-Cut from Toronto were already very well-respected on the hip hop underground. Written and recorded throughout the previous year, with the legendary E-mu SP-1200 sampler, Breaking Atoms marked a turning point in rap, in particular with its production that held up sturdily against an avalanche of jazz, soul and funk samples. We encounter snatches of song from Donald Byrd, Bob James, Mike Bloomfield, Johnny Taylor, Lou Donaldson, Lyn Collins, MFSB, Kool & The Gang, the Three Sounds, Lou Courtney, S.O.U.L., Funk, Inc. and the Detroit Emeralds. Funky to the point of madness, Large Professor's flow and the subtlety of his punchlines set the album apart from the competition. Breaking Atoms is a major record of golden era hip hop, and also legendary for the début, on Live at the Barbeque, of a young rapper of 17 named Nas… This remaster of Breaking Atoms includes several bonus tracks, like the grandiose single Fakin' the Funk, released in 1992 on the soundtrack to White Men Can't Jump, and carried by its sample of Magic Shoes by The Main Ingredient. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 18, 2017 | Melee - Wild Pitch

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released | Melee - Wild Pitch

Even if Main Source's lineup had remained the same for the follow-up to Breaking Atoms, the group would've had trouble following it up. That's not all the group had working against it. Most significantly, in a very gutsy move, K-Cut and Sir Scratch opted to keep Main Source running after the departure of Large Professor, easily their greatest asset as both an MC and a producer. They replaced him with the rougher-sounding Mikey D. and didn't return with F*ck What You Think until a full three years after Breaking Atoms impacted the hip-hop world. Needless to say, the group is much less of a force without their original member; while the in-house production isn't lacking by any stretch, it simply doesn't have the same degree of liveliness as Breaking Atoms, and there's nothing that makes Mikey D. a distinctive MC. Perhaps it's unfair to judge this record against a landmark that has such a different element to it; if this had been a debut by a new group, it probably would've gone down better. But, by retaining the name Main Source, K-Cut and Sir Scratch left themselves completely open. Regardless of the circumstances, F*ck What You Think does not sound like the work of a group. It sounds like the work of two remaining group members struggling to maintain completely lost momentum for all the wrong reasons. ~ Andy Kellman

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released | Melee - Wild Pitch

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The chemistry between the Large Professor, Sir Scratch, and K-Cut was sufficiently powerful to make Breaking Atoms an appreciated album upon its release in 1991, as well as a historically valued recording after the breakup of the original crew. The production credits on Breaking Atoms go to the collective Main Source; listening to the album in hindsight, it is difficult to miss the stylistic trademarks (such as the raspy drum kit of the EMU SP1200 and the groove and soul music samples) that typically identify the Large Professor's production. In any case, Breaking Atoms featured original concepts, innovative production, and conscientious lyrics. Some of the stand out tracks include "Just a Friendly Game of Baseball," a well-developed rhyme in which the Large Professor uses a detailed analogy of baseball to describe -- in no subtle way -- the brutality with which police treat young black men. "Just Hangin' Out" employs a wild horn loop underneath a slow and melodic string sample as the Large Professor flows about -- what else -- hangin' out. "Looking at the Front Door" (one of the three commercial singles released from this album) was very popular and was accompanied by a video which helped Main Source to obtain an audience. The two other commercial single releases were "Peace Is Not the Word to Play" and "Live at the Barbeque." Commenting on the excess of violence in American society, "Peace Is Not..." is a brief, uptempo warning against the casual use of the term "peace," especially considering the lack of real peace in the world. The Large Professor's singular verse in this song is supplemented by Sir Scratch and K-Cut's minute-long medley of creative, energetic scratching. "Live at the Barbeque" was another very influential track, serving as the launching pad for the careers of both Akinyele and Nas. A diehard favorite of serious hip-hop fans, "Live at the Barbeque" is a classic posse cut which has not only Nas and Akinyele delivering tight lyrics, but Joe Fatal and the Large Professor also adding to the lyrical stew to make this cut historically famous. The tracks on Breaking Atoms are infused with lucent instrumentation, creative scratching, entertaining bridges, and proficient lyrics, all of which combine to make this a memorable album sure to live in the annals of hip-hop's influential recordings. ~ Qa'id Jacobs