April 12, 2015

Penthouse Players Clique - Paid The Cost (1992)

Paid The Cost is a Ruthless Records album from 1992, so Dr. Dre wasn't doing the beats on this since he had already left to craft the Death Row Empire and try to sucker punch Eazy-E with a pretty fake diss. The album doesn't have the dark and gritty bite of Ruthless's premier post-Dre producers, Cold 187um and Rhythum D, either. Paid The Cost is actually a DJ Quik produced album many people forget about since he wasn't a huge name at this point and would go over to Death Row as well. The production is very similar to and just as fantastic as 2nd II None or Quik Is The Name, but with better rappers that have more range to their lyrics. Producing for the biggest hip hop label in Los Angeles at the time, Quik now had access to live guitar and bass help make the beats even juicier. There are also a few tracks that were produced by Battlecat that seem to have gone uncredited, but an awesome look at the producer that would once blow up on the scene in the late 90s, producing a favorite of both Jody and me, Vision Of A Dream.

The group dissolved shortly after this, which is unfortunate since they could have been massively successful for Ruthless especially when the Dre beef took off. I have a problem with calling The Chronic the origin of g-funk, which I believe is untrue because it's just another stepping stone in the evolution of g-funk. Paid The Cost is a great example of this because DJ Quik (not to mention Cold 187um again) had developed g-funk as well as Dre, and despite Ruthless fumbling on the release date of Black Mafia Life, this album was actually released like 8 months before The Chronic. I guess The Chronic just got caught up in the drama Dre and Suge created by leaving Ruthless, appealed to a broader audience, and had more instantly memorable moments. Oh well, it just sucks people in my generation have to do so much digging to figure out the actual development of the sub-genre. Not only that, but many people don't know this fantastic album exists, listen to it!