Fresh Out series compilations sample the latest underground rap resonating from the streets of Northern California. Past volumes one, two and three along with special HBK Gang & HD of Bearfaced editions are all posted to Rap Music Guide with free download links.
Please share them with everyone you know through social media, e-mail and blogging!
For those of you not familiar with R8R & L-wood, they have been releasing a series of classic albums segmenting California rappers in specific geographic areas for years, with such releases as; SFC: Sucka Free Classics, SAC: Nine One Classix, & East Bay Classics.
Originally Above the Law was signed to Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records and released 2 classic albums titled Black Mafia Life & Uncle Sam’s Curse. Above the Law resides in Pomona, California and the group consisted of the rappers Cold 187um, KMG the Illustrator, Go Mack & DJ Total K-Oss.
Shortly after Eazy-E’s death the group signed to Tommy Boy Records. During that time they released two more albums titled Time Will Reveal, in 1996, and Legends released in 1999. Below is black & white press photo of Above the Law taken while still signed to the label Tommy Boy to help promote their record sales.
On the morning of July 7, 2012, rapper Kokane was the first to confirm on his Twitter account that KMG the Illustrator had died at the age 43 years old. R.I.P. KMG!
Luke Records is the label formed in 1985 by Luther Campbell of the 2 Live Crew. The label was originally called Luke Skyywalker Records, but changed as a result of George Lucas’ successful lawsuit against them.
Here is a full page magazine ad promoting only a handful of Uncle Luke’s Miami bass catalog. Don’t forget to call the 800 number for fan club information.
Livewire Records got huge plug from Marshawn Lynch aka “Beast Mode” after the Seattle Seahawks victory at Super Bowl 48. Marshawn was playing DJ in the locker room slapping one of our favorite Philthy Rich tracks titled Ready 2 Ride (Remix) featuring Stevie Joe, Lil Blood, Shady Nate, J. Stalin from the album True Religion Shawty.
As you will see there is a bunch going on in the locker room. Close your eyes at 1:08 or else you might see a naked man in the background.
Here are Public Enemy members Chuck D & Flavor Flav at the premier of Evil Dead II & Return of the Living Dead. We are not sure why this photo made it onto a postcard, but it did, and it’s pretty dope!
For those of you not familiar with R8R & L-wood, they have been releasing a series of classic albums segmenting California rappers in specific geographic areas for years, with such releases as; SFC: Sucka Free Classics and SAC: Nine One Classix
The duo has also released several mixes compiled of cassette tape conversions known as the Trunk Tape Resurrection series.
Eric Woods was a rapper from Houston, Texas who began his career in 1986 as Prince Ezzy-E. In 1989, Woods changed his name to Original E after meeting producer DJ Big Boss. Together they formed the rap group O.G. Style and released the album “I Know How To Play ‘Em!” in 1991 on Rap-A-Lot Records.
After the duo broke up, Woods kept the name O.G. Style and continued his career as a solo artist. In 2001 he released the album I Still Know How To Play ‘Em!!! on Zone Entertainment.
Big Boss also formed his own group called 4 Deep and released several albums. He then followed up with a solo album and then later started his own record label called “Power Move Music.”
Both artists are now deceased. Producer Big Boss died of Kidney Failure in 2006. Rapper Eric “O.G. Style” Woods died on January 3, 2008 from a brain hemorrhage.
Here is a promotional photo of O.G. Style for the album “I Know How To Play ‘Em!” Eric Woods is on the left and Big Boss on the right.
The track Catch ‘Em Slippin turned out to be a moderate success and a video was released. Here is the rap music video thanks to YouTube.
Capone -N- Noreaga released their first album The War Report in 1997 on Tommy Boy & Penalty Records. The album was almost never completed because in 1996 Capone was locked up for a parole violation. This left Noreaga to finish the album on his own, which is why their fellow New York City rappers Mobb Deep and Tragedy Khadafi appeared on 9 of the 20 tracks.
The album also stirred up more conflict between Death Row Records and Bad Boy Entertainment, with the track “L.A. L.A.” which as a response to Tha Dogg Pound’s track “New York, New York.”
Here is a magazine advertisement promoting the album with a street date of June 16, 1997.
Rappers Cold 187um, KMG the Illustrator, Go Mack and DJ Total K-Oss are from Pomona, California and are the members of Above the Law. In 1989 the group signed with Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records. A year later in 1990 they released their first album Livin’ Like Hustlers which featured appearances from N.W.A. and production from Dr. Dre.
Here is a magazine ad promoting their first album. There’s a couple interesting taglines we found in the ad such as “Because there is no other choice” & “The rules of this world no longer apply to a nation of outsiders peering in from the fringe. Scratching for their survival… And left to take the rap.”
The track “Murder Rap” actually became a minor hit. The song appeared in the 2008 film Pineapple Express and in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. You can hear it when you tune into the West Coast radio station, Radio Los Santos. Here is the music video by Above The Law performing Murder Rap.