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"Comin' Out Hard" was released as the debut album for the Memphis Rap duo 8Ball & MJG. Dropping in 1993, it is an early example of Rap from the city an shows them putting forward Southern Rap in general by showing off their influences from the Bounce of Miami, to the Pimp-based tales from out of Oakland and the slow pace of Houston.
2. "9 Little Millimeta Boys"
They kick the album off with something hardcore, and the sort of stuff that shows just how raw the act are as they go off on top of some of the deepest beats. 8Ball gets the first verse and takes control, forcing all attention on himself with the attention-grabbing rhymes that make for strong foundations for the thing. From it we see that MJG gets his swang on and it makes for a complete-sounding introduction as they kick some fly southern Gangsta Rap.
3. "The First Episode"
Keeping the thing flowing nicely for them, on this one we have them flowing out a little something that has them on some rather dark production (showing where the likes of Three 6 Mafia may have been influenced to do that Horrorcore stuff around this time), however in this case this pair come out with some fresh rhymes that all would have liked to hear as they go out with some nice storytelling about their pimp lifestyles.
4. "Armed Robbery"
The first track I heard from the album, this one sees them utilising the 'Mission: Impossible" theme and coming out with a track that has them running through the events of an armed robbery as they try to showcase to the audience exactly who they are and what they represent as artists. It's a fresh one (largely down to the slick production) and the pair display strength in their rapping abilities to put forward such tales.
One of the longest ones from the album, this one wasn't quite as strong as the tracks leading up to it, but I can't say that it was really that weak as a tune. On it we see that here the composition seems to lighten-up, however it seems to make it much more obvious how cold the rhymes of the artists are as they rhymes about just how ruthless they are about doing their pimping job. It's a low-paced one, and reflects the way the music of the area would sound in the years to follow.
6. "Comin' Out Hard"
Here we get the titular track from the album, for me it was a killer track and one that stood-out as one that sounded quite suitable for being a single from the thing. It is a little more tame, however we see that (just as ever) the two of them go out with rhymes that try their hardest to defy this as the typical Gangsta Rap themes manage to seep through into the thing and they make for some more heavy material from them.
7. "Mr. Big"
Here we get a little solo work from 8Ball. It's nice to see that he gets the chance to show just how his stuff differs from the kind of thing that MJG does, on it we have him 'comin' out hard' as ever as he finds the perfect beats (which he had a part in creating himself) and so on top of some smooth pimp biz he comes out with some intense flows that have him tracing his way from a job and McDonalds to performing robberies and being shot and such things which came with that sort of lifestyle.
8. "N****as Like Us"
On this one you get some of the most memorable production from the thing, and I felt that it was a good time to get that sort of thing from it as on it we sees that the two MCs appear to go out with some of their roughest rhymes. We see that 8 goes with the lead verse and MJG supports him as the adlibber at first to great effect as they show how well they work together before the roles reverse and MJG gets the chance to hit those raw rhymes and 8Ball supports him.
9. "Pimp's In The House"
The album ends off with some MJG solo work, on it he shows how the West Coast Gangsta Rap has had a heavy influence on his stuff and so with a little of the LA style supplying this, we get to see how Northern California's pimp culture (especially out of Oakland) has been where the artist found something that reflects the sorts of things seen in his southern city. It's a great way to end a killer release from them.
A near-flawless album, this is an early nineties Southern Rap album that you can't be without. Not really seeing the same levels of acknowledgement as contemporary work from the likes of Goodie MOb, Geto Boys and OutKast, what this pair do is up to that same standard and this album is enough evidence to show all that.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 9 Little Millimeta Boys
3 First Episode
4 Armed Robbery
6 Comin' Out Hard
7 Mr. Big
8 Nigga's Like Us
9 Pimps in the House