South Central Cartel


LP version. Snow Dog Records present a reissue of South Central Cartel's self-titled debut album, originally released in 1991. Los Angeles's South Central Cartel were pioneers in the West Coast gangsta rap genre, in the same league as Dr. Dre, NWA, Eazy E, Ice Cube, Compton's Most Wanted, Above the Law, Da Lench Mob, Mac Dre, and Kurupt. South Central Cartel (S.C.C.) was one of the first West Coast groups to gain national popularity in the immediate wake of groundbreaking and controversial releases by NWA and Eazy-E, and they're still etched in hip hop's collective memory for pushing the envelope with their unapologetic embrace of gang affiliation, automatic weapons, violent crime, and prison and car culture. South Central Madness is their debut album, originally released on Pump/Quality Records, with subsequent albums released on Def Jam West in a deal between their G.W.K. (Gangsters Wit Knowledge) imprint and the West Coast division of Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons's label. Over a now-classic bed of sample sources (Delfonics, The Temptations, Barry White, Funkadelic, more), with lyrical sample drops of their hip-hop contemporaries (MC Breed, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy, NWA, Geto Boys, Big Daddy Kane), lyricists Havoc, Havik, Prodeje, and Young Prodeje along with singer L.V. (later featured on Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise") deliver a solid bridge from hip-hop's established East Coast chart-dominating status quo toward the West Coast-centric "G-Funk era", Crips vs. Bloods subtexts and the definition of what it meant to be hard. Videos for the singles U Gotta Deal Wit Dis (Gangsta Luv)/Ya Getz Clowned (1991) and Papa Was A Rolling Stone (1992) feature up-tempo Havoc and Prodeje in black baseball caps, shades, and curls that Eazy-E should have trademarked, riding and further extending the ominous Compton MC legacy. "Ya Getz Clowned" actually samples MC Breed's "Ain't No Future In Yo' Frontin'", released just months before, tightening a food chain of club/radio DJ/producer sample/remix culture that was evolving fast in 1991. An interesting and maybe still unresolved footnote is that an unrelated up-and-coming duo from Queensbridge named Mobb Deep with members Havoc and Prodigy who would release their debut Juvenile Hell in 1993.