Above The Law – City Of Angels ft. Frost (1996, Tommy Boy)
Its easy to see it being E-40’s influence accounting for some of the progression between Pure Pimp Fene-era and the fully developed Suga Free of 1997 (not just the flow even, a lot of the Unorthodox humour he pepper and salts his shit with could be at least partially atributed to 40 Fonzarelli) but I hear some Cold 187um/Big Hutch and Kokane in there too. Them all being from Pomona supports this, I’m not sure if the shots fired at Hutch here helps or harms my case though.
Even noting them possibilities, hes undoubtedly still the same incredibly unique dude who raps exactly like you’d imagine the most persuasive and natural leader of unfortunate daughters that Californias ever produced would rap. I’m sure if most rapper dudes sat and listened to the man hold court for as long as it took for him to chastise some unlucky spouse/employee about the missing items off his grocery list they’d decide they weren’t built for this after all.
Unlike Rakim* or Mystikal** or E-40*** or anyone else with a style that appears to have an absent father, I always got the impression most of the game Suga Free soaked up was from career pimps who came before him (he says “Black Tone” more than every Ugly Duckling old-school gamedrop combined.) and the rappers just gave him a few minor pointers.
I’d feel way happier about Mystikal receiving all this long overdue attention if it wasn’t for the horrible real life shit but man is that dude a one-off rapper.
* Jazz. He played saxophone.
** Eddie Murphy’s James Brown impression.
*** He names a heap of them in this song but who the fuck knows really.