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When the film ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ was released in 1992, an EP of music from the film was dropped almost simultaneously.

That EP, cheekily titled ‘White Men Can’t Rap’, featured a couple of exclusive gems, notably Gang Starr’s ‘Now You’re Mine’ and a cut from Main Source called ‘Fakin’ the Funk’. The only single borne of that six-track EP was the Main Source track, released in remixed form on Wild Pitch records the same year.

No surprise, it was head and shoulders above the rest. Opening with those unmistakable harmonies from Main Ingredient’s ‘Magic Shoes’, the intro segues into a crisp beat borrowed from Grady Tate’s frequently sampled ‘Be Black Baby’ from 1969.

Throw in a sprinkle of Kool & The Gang and you’ve got a track that would fit seamlessly onto Main Source’s masterpiece of an album, ‘Breaking Atoms’. Instead, it’s the group’s last hurrah, the final collaboration between K-Cut, Sir Scratch and Large Professor before the latter departed the trio.

It’s fitting that he saves one of his best vocal performances for last, railing at sell-outs with the assistance of his long-term collaborator Neek the Exotic.

Never released before on an official 7”, it’s a track that has lost none of its appeal, and the remix is the definitive version of this classic.

TRACK LISTING

Fakin’ The Funk (Remix)
Fakin’ The Funk (Instrumental)

Main Source

Peace Is Not The Word To Play (Remix) / Peace Is Not The Word To Play (Album Version)

Large Professor being a prodigy on the SP-1200 is well established, but the way he flips parts of MFSB’s ‘TLC’ and Milly and Silly’s obscure ‘Gettin’ Down for Xmas’ with a sprinkling of Lyn Collins here establishes his credentials in the top tier.

Lyrically, it’s a tour de force, with Main Source taking exception with the misuse of the word ‘peace’ by the hip-hop fraternity. With even the most homicidal of gangster rappers dropping it at the end of tracks at the time, time was overdue for some regulation.

The album version makes its point pithily in a single verse, while the remix, included on the flip of this first ever 7” release, expands on the topic with new verses and some new samples too. It’s a welcome reminder of the time when remixes were remixes - not just the identical track with the latest hot rappers joining in.

Most of all, Main Source once again walk the fine line between lyrical lecture and head-nodding banger - the rare example of a track with a point to make that can still fill a dancefloor and get necks snapping.

STAFF COMMENTS

says: Glorious golden age hip hop from Large Pro, Sir Scratch and K-Cut. Though the lyrical message is pointed and on point, it's the sampler sophistry which makes this a classic.

TRACK LISTING

Peace Is Not The Word To Play (Remix)
Peace Is Not The Word To Play (Album Version)

Main Source

Just Hangin' Out / Live At The BBQ

    The dreamy, swoony sounds of Vanessa Kendrick’s timeless ‘90% of Me is You’ is ever-present during this stone-cold classic, while Sister Nancy’s unmistakeable ‘Bam Bam’ lends several elements to the mix. Throw in some Skull Snaps and Sweet Charles and you’ve got the perfect soundtrack for a roll call of Large Professor’s nearest and dearest.

    There are plenty of reasons why so many regard ‘Breaking Atoms’ as an alltime classic album, and the sheer variety of singles lifted from it is chief among them. Large Professor was happy to roam over varied topics at a time when many rappers had a manic focus on one thing. And where better to hang out with friends than at a barbecue? ‘Live at the Barbecue’ is rightly regarded as one of the best posse cuts of all time, and famous for showcasing the debut of one Nasty Nas.

    While he delivers a dope verse full of quotables over drums from Bob James’ oft-plundered ‘Nautilus’, credit is also due to the other guests. Fatal and Akinyele aren’t disgraced in this company, and Large Professor tops it off with a rare verse of pure brag-rap. An undisputed entry in the pantheon of head-nod hip-hop, this is its first official UK release, and another debut on 7”.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: A pair of prime time bumpers from Main Source's mega 'Breakin Atoms', essential in part for 'Live At The BBQ', a sick cypher featuring the first recorded appearance of Nas. Hype.

    TRACK LISTING

    Just Hanging’out (Vocal)
    Live At The Barbecue (Vocal)

    One thing hip-hop has never been great at - and certainly something for which it has zero reputation - is nuanced emotion. Enter Large Professor and ‘Looking at the Front Door’, the group’s first single on Wild Pitch Records and the lead out for their stunning ‘Breaking Atoms’ album. Wrapped around a loop from Donald Byrd’s Blue Note classic ‘Think Twice’, bolstered by the infectious chorus of ‘Chick A Boom’ by The Pazant Brothers and Beaufort Express, it’s a melancholy tale of love gone wrong. It was a brave choice of lead single in the 1990 hip-hop landscape, plucked from an album full of genuine head-nodders and standout tracks. It was also the right choice - a piece of production perfection laced with romantic honesty.

    The B-side also strikes a different tack, a tale of a brother who “doesn’t fight, his brain is his left and right.” Using a solid foundation of drums from Funkadelic’s ‘You’ll Like It Too’ (most famously used on Eric B & Rakim’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’), Large Pro weaves his tale of an ambitious, studious man over an original organ line (by JD Drumsticks) that wouldn’t sound out of place at a hockey rink. The theme is sledgehammer subtle - don’t sell drugs, stay in school - but delivered with the lightness of touch that would be Main Source’s signature. This is the first official UK release, and the first time both sides have been together on a 7”.

    TRACK LISTING

    Looking At The Front Door (Vocal)
    Watching Roger Do His Thing (Vocal)

    Main Source

    Think / Atom

    A year before Wild Pitch Records properly introduced us to the trio of Queens native Large Professor and Toronto’s Sir Scratch and K-Cut, the soon-to-be-legendary group self-released their own debut single. Dropping on Actual Records, the 12” of ‘Think’ and ‘Atom’ was soon a sought after rarity, with scarce originals still fetching upwards of three figures. On it, they only hint at the greatness to come, while simultaneously showing that they’d already mastered the three-minute rap single - this is concise brilliance with no flab whatsoever. Engineered by the late, esteemed Paul C, ‘Think’ is a study in how to turn wellworn samples into something new. The combination of several James Brown snatches, along with bits lifted from Lyn Collins and Jimmy Castor Bunch, could have been tired and almost parodic by 1989, but instead the group weave something interesting from old fabric.

    ‘Atom’ is arguably even better, built around a brace of elements from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s 1967 duet ‘Little Ole Boy, Little Ole Girl’. On it, Large Pro gives the first real hints that he’ll not just be a super-producer, but a committed MC to watch. Mixing threats with humour, positivity with braggadocio, it’s a calling card performance on a track that could have still sat comfortably on 1991’s ‘Breaking Atoms’ album. Heavily bootlegged, this is the first official double-sided 7” release bringing together both these foundational cuts

    TRACK LISTING

    Think
    Atom

    Another hot 7" reissue on a Main Source tip here, hitting us with another classic off the "Breaking Atoms" LP. The trio, consisting of Toronto duo Sir Scratch and K-Kut, and the titular Queens MC and production hero Large Professor (who'd later work with Nas, ATCQ, Eric B & Rakim....)  flip a sweet sample of "High As Apple Pie Slice II" by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, then lay down some golden age lyricism and sharp scratches for the B-boys and fly girls.

    TRACK LISTING

    A1. The Large Professor (vocal)
    B1. The Large Professor (instrumental)


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