May 13, 2017

Gangsta Blac - Breakin Da Law (1994)

Gangsta Blac was one of the most featured rappers of the Triple 6 Mafia in 1994 and earned quite the cult reputation. On top of that, he was--for a long slice of time--DJ Paul's favorite source for vocal chop hooks. This has never been explicitly stated by Paul, but it's almost overwhelming when you start to realize just how many iconic Triple 6 tracks have Blac's voice as the hook. It's probably because he says everything with an unparalleled smoothness in the most southern way possible. He's also a perfect sonic match for sampling as his higher-pitched voice lays easily above many background samples and bass. Breakin Da Law is Blac's only underground solo tape and is presented by DJ Paul. Paul produced the majority, if not all, of the tracks here (a few don't quite sound like his style, but they're probably still him). Breakin Da Law was released some time between Smoked Out Loced Out and DJ Paul Vol. 16 (so, between March and June of 1994). While an underground tape like Da Devil's Playground was truly crafted in the spirit of the album, Breakin Da Law functions much more like a compilation tape of straggling Gangsta Blac solo cuts going back to a few years before the full tape was released. Needless to say, this is a flavorful and quality assortment of tracks from one of the leaders of the Memphis rappers pack. Tire Shop is the obvious standout song and is a timeless classic; a better quality version was released on his proper solo album in 1996, Can It Be?. The rest of the tape is quality funk & hay music, but not really up to par with where DJ Paul was a producer at this point in his career (again, a lot of the songs precede the tape release date by up to even a couple years). Breakin Da Law is up there as one of my favorite tapes from the Memphis underground, but at the same time I can't help but wish that Blac received a collection of beats from Paul closer to the quality of those heard on Vol. 16 or Da Devil's Playground.


Breakin Da Law