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"Breakin' Atoms" dropped in 1991 as the debut from Main Source. Often considered to be a classic by Hip Hop critics, it was the first of just two releases from Large Professor, K-Cut, Mikey D and Sir Scratch where the act all come together to bring a record filled with influential Hip Hop material that would shape the sound of the nineties for the genre. With members hailing from both Toronto, Canada and New York city, it has them presenting a Jazz Rap style with the edge that would be manipulated by Nas for his debut, and is noted for his debut rapping appearance.
1. "Snake Eyes"
The album gets underway with this one as we find that we're offered a joint that's designed to give an understanding of their style. We get Large Professor setting it off with a rhyming style reminiscent of Big Daddy Kane and Kool G. Rap's approach during their most prominent period and so it would have appealed to those into that sort of thing and the jazziness of the production gives a little extra edge to things.
2. "Just Hangin' Out"
This is a laid-back tune and finds that it's mainly led by a sample of a Reggae classic in Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam". From there, the track is pushed forward by a rhyming approach that was well on-trend during this 'Golden Age for Hip Hop' when the most lyrically complex artists came to prominence; thus paving the way for the likes of Nas, The Notorious B.I.G and OutKast through the nineties.
3. "Looking At The Front Door"
As the album's lead single, this one was bound to stand out. What you get from this tune is memorable and so draws you in right from the beginning as you get invited through the warming flows from Large Professor backed by some samples that you'd never be able to really pull yourself away from. There's a lot to like about this one, and it does a great job of taking from the raw underground and giving a smooth Jazz Rap edge to it.
4. "Large Professor"
Taking its name from the MC of the group, here we get a rather nice display from him as we see just how intense he can go with things over lots of Cool Jazz sounds. I found that this was a rather powerful one in the middle of the album as by this point you can tell that the rapper has the ability to carry things over his fresh rhymes without effort and although he may have borrowed the direction of it from others, he does it just as well.
5. "Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball"
The first of two versions on the album (the later merely a remix to this), here we're offered a killer track and a tune that stands out as something quite different from the act. This one really flips the script as here we're given a track that uses the extended metaphor of a baseball game in order to carry some politically-charged messages to show that this act has an important additional feature to it.
6. "Scratch & Kut" (Lude)
7. "Peace Is Not The Word To Play"
After being given a nice DJ set, we find that here we're given another heavy tune. This time around we see that Large Professor gets right up over the top of some intense Breakbeats (which were what pretty much all hardcore rappers - from both coasts - we're jumping over in order to do their most powerful tracks). The lyrical structure doesn't seem to be anywhere near as complete as others on the thing, but it is still a valued track on the album.
8. "Vamos A Rapier"
The style of the production is taken back towards the Jazz end of things as The Three Sounds (a sixties and seventies Hard-Bop act) get their soulful piano playing looped through this tune. From there the Large Professor goes for some powerful rhymes which are punctuated through his decision to deliver them with the same authority that the likes of Chuck D and Rakim did at this time when a part of Public Enemy and Eric B & Rakim respectively.
9. "He Got So Much More Soul"
The generic Breakbeats are returned for this one and from it we see that Large Professor jumps over the in just the way that you'd expect (based on just how well his contemporaries were managing it). His lyrics concentrate upon his skills at rapping, thus reflecting his peers, and making it easy to compare them fairly for what they all offer as they attempt to pull off essentially the same thing each time.
10. "Live At The Barbeque"
For Hip Hop fans, this is a very significant track as this was the first appearance from Nas. We see that at the age of 17 (during the time soon before he would record "Illmatic") comign to show exactly what he's got to offer. Nasty Nas sets off this posse cut before others (who went on to see much less success) go on to do the same just without the same spark that would indicate just where he would go in the game.
11. "Watch Roger Do His Thing"
The album ends on this one on a track that has some socially-conscious themes carried with it. I thought that it was an interesting way to close things off as we find that on it this act shows how they don't really support all the types of things that others in the game were about as they promote an alternative lifestyle to what most were about during that time. It's another nice one found on the release.
Although I understand its significance (especially for the career of Nas), I have to say that I didn't quite think that this album was of an amazingly high standard to really get as much cult attention as it has over the years. Don't get things twisted as it is very consistent with high standards throughout, but it still doesn't quite have the spark that others of the time possessed.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Snake Eyes
2 Just Hangin' Out
3 Looking At The Front Door
4 Large Professor
5 Just a Friendly Game Of Baseball
6 Scratch and Kut
7 Peace Is Not The Word To Play
8 Vamos A Rapper
9 He Got So Much Soul
10 Live at the Barbecue
11 Watch Roger Do His Thing
12 Just A Friendly Game of Baseball