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.
Fakin’ The Funk (Remix)
Fakin’ The Funk (Instrumental)
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 COMMENTSsays: 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.
Peace Is Not The Word To Play (Remix)
Peace Is Not The Word To Play (Album Version)
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 COMMENTSsays: 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.
Just Hanging’out (Vocal)
Live At The Barbecue (Vocal)
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”.
Looking At The Front Door (Vocal)
Watching Roger Do His Thing (Vocal)
‘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
A1. The Large Professor (vocal)
B1. The Large Professor (instrumental)
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