Heard of Main Source? If not, well, if you’re into hip-hop, especially its Golden Age, you’ll want to read Brion Rushton‘s Staff Pick of the Week on Main Source’s Breaking Atoms:
Even though I haven’t heard a single beat from it, I considered waxing poetic and telling you how amazing Revolutions Per Minute is, the first album by Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek) in ten years. That’s just how unassailable their chemistry is. But I was sidetracked when all this First-Day-Of-Summer business got me thinking about barbecues, which then got me thinking about (and eventually listening to) “Live at the Barbeque,” a cut from Breaking Atoms, the debut from unheralded hip-hop greats Main Source.
Released in 1991, Breaking Atoms should have brought Main Source the same notoriety granted to contemporaries De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. Instead it’s that old, woeful music industry tale: a label that’s sketchily run; a distribution system that’s even sketchier; a promising young group growing quickly disillusioned. But the music. Prime ’70s soul and jazz given seamless sampling treatment one moment, unexpected scratching the next. Wordplay that’s sometimes playful and sometimes angry, but all the time assertive and incisive. Check the aforementioned “Live at the Barbeque,” featuring the lyrical spitfire of a 16 year old Nas — completely unknown and completely brash — for further proof. Back in print and perfect for playing at your summer get-togethers. Like, say, your barbecue.