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Dred Scott: Breakin' Combs

Album Notes

Personnel: Dred Scott (rap vocals, programming); Adriana Evans (vocals); Da Grinch, Tragedy, Big Domino (rap); Rastine Calhoun (flute, saxophone); Danny Grissett (keyboards); Osama Afifi (bass); JMD (drums); Kevin "Shah Skills" Baker (scratches); Andrew Padgett, Tracy McGreggor (background vocals).

Dred Scott's 1994 debut suffers from two things. Musically, Scott was always a better producer than rapper and the album happened to drop in the midst of hip-hop's golden era, when it seemed like classic albums were released every week. Breakin' Combs was preceded by seminal albums like Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), 93 'Til Infinity, and Midnight Marauders, and then Illmatic and Ready to Die hit the streets months later. Anything less than something stellar got lost in that shuffle. But musically, although Scott's rhymes were a bit simplistic and he is caught borrowing styles from peers -- whether ODB ("Can't Hold It Back") or Sadat X ("Swingin' from the Tree") -- the album is expertly produced and sports the nostalgic vibe of one of, perhaps, hip-hop's greatest eras. ~ Vincent Thomas


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