NahRight posted this back in July, and when I came across it I remember basically putting it on loop over and over; was reminded by the internets earlier today to track down those early 90s Mob Style releases, and that in turn reminded me of this video, which came out in ’91.
Back in the 80s there was a triage of Harlem crack kingpins named Alpo, Rich Porter (“Yo, rest in peace to Rich and Ron, money what they was about yo/ The twins was from queens but got crazy cream with Alpo”) and AZ (from whom the Firm/Illmatic/solo rapper took his name). The movie Paid in Full, which came out in ’02, was based on the story of the rise and fall of these figures.
Thing is, the REAL AZ (“Azie”) was also a rapper, and released a couple albums with Mob style & solo. I’ve only heard a few tracks here and there, and this shit hasn’t been rereleased or anything…but then there is this video on YouTube which is pretty amazing. You’ll recognize the beat – there’s that track on Cuban Linx which is basically a tribute to this song. Its a pretty significant historical piece I think, and despite AZie’s sorta off-the-beat flow, its a really strong song too.
Read about Azie’s background and his time coming up in the 80s, including the incredibly story of when he was betrayed and shot, here. And StreetsOnBeats did an informative post on Mob Style last October, which you can read here, including the story of the events described in “Whats Goin On Black.”