October 10, 2017

Mac Mall - Illegal Business? (1993)

Illegal Business? is one of the first full length albums produced by Khayree for Young Black Brotha records--a legendary rap label out of the Cali bay area. The label was founded and named in the wake of Mac Dre and his early compilation/solo album of the same title, but in 1992 Dre was locked up for a few years and Mac Mall was pushed into the role of central Crestside rapper. Mac Mall is dope, and while I haven't listened to all of the classic Y.B.B. albums in some time, I think he's still my favorite after Mac Dre. His sense of rhythm and delivery is on point while he shares his tales as a Crestside mack and his militant actions towards police and other class traitors. Illegal Business? is one of the big five albums produced entirely by Khayree (arguably the greatest ground-up hip hop producer of all time). Not only does the guy make all his beats from scratch, he doesn't outsource the guitar and keyboard parts to other people (think Cold 187um and Pimp C); he actually plays everything out himself. I don't mean to undermine any of the other fantastic production styles heard around the genre; just pointing out that this level of virtuosity is incredible. This is a long album, but thanks to Khayree, each song has its own identity and Mac Mall brings a ton of heat for his countless amount of clever bars. I don't entirely agree with the g-funk tag people often give this album because this is the prime example of the livelier mobb style. Illegal Business? is one of the most essential northern California albums and a must-hear for all Mac Dre or E-40 fans.


Illegal Business?