Album: The Vigilante
Label: Rap-A-Lot / A&M Records
This album was one of the first albums released on Rap-A-Lot records along with Def IV's 'Nice And Hard' and Royal Flush's 'Uh Oh'. Raheem is one of the original Geto Boys (Ghetto) but left the group before the 'Making Trouble' album and a little later recorded this classic 'The Vigilante'. The album contains 11 tracks with no skits, 'Dance Floor' which is the first track and has a nice catchy horn for a hook, this was also released as the single for the album and while shooting the video for it Raheems friend N.C. Trahan was shot and killed over the road at a service station. You may recall seeing his name printed on the cover of Geto Boys 'Grip It! On That Other Level' cover.
The next tracks 'Freak To Me' which is about a freaky bitch Raheem knows, and 'I'm Mackin' which has a nice funky beat over medium paced rhymes are alright tracks although don't have the best lyrics (although I'm probably a bit hard as it's '88). Next up is 'Punks Give Me Respect' which is a bit of a reggae track and isn't too bad but the end dragged on with that reggae shit a bit too long. 'Your The Greatest' is a slow love track that reminds me of old LL style which leads me to believe that he was seeing how much pussy Cool James was getting and thought he might try and get a share of what Texas had to offer, or maybe he's actually into that wack slow lovey lovey shit?
Now we get to track 6 where this so far not to bad album gets fuckin' crazy with 'Shotgun' that has a mad guitar intro before busting in with some hard fast lyrics dissin people who sign wack contracts without reading them, the way he jumps into each verse is hard as hell, the only downfall to this track is there are a couple of mad scratch sessions that should have gone on for longer. The title track 'The Vigilante' is next and is another hard track it has a fuckin' incredible beat that changes for the breaks. Next is 'You're On Notice' and along with the previous two are the trio that makes this album. It has a mad beat that sounds a little like the batman theme with sick scratchin' it uses an old bdp beat from 'Criminal Minded' for the break with a Beastie Boys 'Time To Get Ill"' sample over it, it makes the track perfect.
'Peace' is next up and it goes back to the way the album was before the last three tracks started, good but nothing special. It starts with a mid-day movie styled theme before breaking into a rap about the problem of drugs in th hood. 'Say No' sort of continues the drug theme but I'm not really a fan, it's too reggae for me which unless it's being done by a selected few rappers like K Rino or Just Ice I don't really get into it. Although it does have a good funky flow and a nice beat. The last track 'Venom' is an instrumental track with some nice up tempo beats that change through the track.
Over all this is a pretty dope album that picked up a dayton simply for those three def tracks, but even the rest of the album is still good and has some nice production by Karl Stephenson and Rap-A-Lot president James Smith with some co-production by Davy D. After this album he released his second solo album 'The Invincible' and then joined Blac Monks for their second album 'No Mercy' in '98, he has also recorded some later solo stuff since that sound o.k. but thats about it.
It's actually strange how much the South has changed and developed it's own style since this album that has a slight New York sound to it. Raheem is a down south pioneer along with other early Rap-A-Lot artists and the under rated South Park Coalition. With albums that Rap-A-Lot, Big Tyme and the S.P.C. were dropping since the late '80's it's hard to find a reason why it took so long for the south to get the respect they deserve, while America was all east vs west the south was dropping bombs that fell on deaf ears outside the south (maybe not everyone, but alot), I will also add that as happy as I am for the south to be where they are I think that alot of the rappers that are blowing up arn't the rappers that deserve it, Lil' Flip and T.I. that both claim to be king of the south are perfect examples of that and there are also a lot of rappers from the south struggling for originality and just make albums talking about gripping their grain for the hell of it because thats what making money at the moment and is getting exploited (this was not a diss to all the rappers rhyming about that as I love alot of that shit, but you can have too much of the same shit).