Friday, November 11, 2005

Review: Above The Law - Livin' Like Hustlers

Artist: Above The Law
Album: Livin' Like Hustlers
Year: 1990
Label: Ruthless Records

Hailing from Pomona, East Los Angeles, Above The Law came into the scene in '90 on Eazy's Ruthless Records and released the album "Livin Like Hustlers" the original members were Cold 187um (A.K.A. Big Hutch), KMG the illustrator, Go Mack and DJ Total K-oss. Although Go Mack only stuck around for this, the "Vocally Pimpin" EP in '91 and the "Black Mafia Life" LP in '93 before leaving the group. Anyway it's the debut i'm reviewing and no matter how many times I've heard this I still love it, filled with funky, jazz styled hard hip hop beats produced by Dr Dre, Lay Law and A.T.L all the beats are perfect from the get go to the end.

The first track is "Murder Rap" and could be my personal favourite due to the nice cuts and samples through the track from the days when the "DJ" was more than a stage prop. The next tracks are "Untouchable", "Livin' Like Hustlers" and "Another Execution" all these tracks are crazy as fuck beat wise and lyrically. The main thing you notice from an A.T.L. track is the originallity in their voices. When track 6 hits with "Just Kickin' Lyrics" I'm left dissapointed comparred to the previous tracks. The next few are pretty much the same due to the slower tempos of them, they're all good tracks but the standards were pretty high up to these. They probably should have mixed them up a little better.The final track "The Last Song" featuring Eazy, Ren and Dre as the posse track, the track is mad but it's not as good as "The Grand Finale" from the Doc's "No One Can Do It Better"album.

Overall the album starts off alot better than it ends although even those last tracks in the right mood are nice tracks with sick production. It only contains 10 tracks which even back then was a couple shy of standard but I would rather quality over alot of skit filled quantity like whats being released these days, and Livin' Like Hustlers is definately quality.

The final album A.T.L. released on Ruthless was "Uncle Sam's Curse" in '94, then after Eazy's death they moved to Tommy Boy and released two average albums in "Time Will Reveal" ('96) and "Legends" ('98) and then they started their own label "West World" and released "Forever-Rich Thugs"('99) and Big Hutch's two solo albums "Executive Decision" ('99) and "Live From The Ghetto"('04).

I know Hutch started producing a bit of stuff for Suge at Death Row and think there may be an album called "Diary Of A Drug Dealer" released on the label, coincidentally, a couple of the members have since had trouble with the law regarding drugs, Anthony "Total K-Oss" Stewart was arrested in Riverside CA on February 15 2001after police serched his ute and Corona appartment and found one of the biggest seizures in the cities history. Police seized over $250,000 worth of rock cocaine and guns that got a child endangerment charge slapped on him due to his girlfriend two kids living there he was facing about 9 years and in 2002 Cold 187um A.K.A. Big Hutch (Gregory Hutchinson) was arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic almost 1,000 pound of marijuana. A police sting opperation that caught a few guys that Hutch sort of new were arrested and told police that Hutch had been financing the opperation, Hutch denied it after turning himself in to the cops before starting his sentence.

Above The Law - Untouchable

Rating: 4 Dayton's Out Of 5


bill said...

To the guy whos in charge of this blog, can you tell me what the story is behind a line in one of Ice Cubes songs...In We had to tear this mf up Ice Cube says "Lunch, punch, hawaiin lyinNiggas ain't buyin Ya story bore me" What was the story behind that, did they have beef?

thanks, also xcellent site!
Perth, Western Australia

bill said...

sorry - beef with boo yaa possibly?

TexasHeater said...

Man I used to love that ATL. I remember I had bought a maxi single of "living like a hustler" and it had a remix of the song "untouchable" that was one of my favorite songs, but I lost it years and years ago. Does any one have the remix or know what I'm talking about??? I have that video on VHS too from an episode of YO!!! MTV Raps. Classic shit man.

BULLANT said...

First up, Cheers for checking out the blog,no one's actually in charge although EMVEE hooks up most of the graphics (banner etc).
As for the Cube Line I don't think it's a BOO-YAA diss(I don't think he'll have the balls)and BOO-YAA's beef was with Dre for beating Michell'e up who ran to the samoans for help.The track is all about the riots and he's talking about officer Wynd the line is the continuation of "Now he ain't nothin but food for the maggots" Wynds probably Hawaiin,and the "Niggas ain't buyin,ya story bore me" is about the bull shit story Wynd told in court. Thats just my opinion any way??


bill said...

thanks bullant

possible to have an article on Boo Yaa and any beef anyones had with them?

once again thanks

RevMallard said...

If you're looking for that video I just saw it on they have video section with some random videos and the remix to Untouchable happens to be one of them.

TexasHeater said...

Good looking out man. Wish I still had that old single.