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Illegal Business?

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iTunes Review

One of the most powerful hip-hop debuts this side of Nas’ Illmatic, Mac Mall’s Illegal Business? is an album powerful enough to successfully capture the character of the Bay Area Hip-Hop scene. Though Mac Mall’s controlled drawl and down home portraits of Oakland ghetto life are clearly derived from Too Short’s freewheeling tales of pleasure and excess, Mac Mall’s lyrics are bolstered by his incisive sense of social injustice and his unerring eye for detail. Tunes like “Young N’ Da Game” go beyond mere reportage to offer insights into the cyclical nature of crime in Oakland, while the complex narrative of “Da Bank Heist” combines Slick Rick’s talent for storytelling with KRS-One’s righteous outrage. As if this were not enough, Illegal Business? features some of the most thrilling production ever to come out of the Bay Area. The virtuosic producer Khayree laces things with a series of sprawling, synth drenched beats that offer a baroque counterpoint to the tight, minimal G-Funk being pioneered by Los Angeles producers like Dr. Dre and DJ Quik.

Customer Reviews

The way the Bay used to be!

Props go out to E40 and his continued presence on the national scene but it was cats like Mac Mall, Mac Dre and JT that put the bay on the map! I love Del and Hiero but this album has some sweet beats thanks to Kayhree. I also have this on cassette, bought it as a Sophomore at Tamalpais High in Mill Valley, CA. It was great then and it's even better now! And being that the tape format is darn near worthless, I had to cop this on iTunes! TVP, DSFL, 594 ---- RETS.ONE

Classic V-Town Slap!!!!

iTunes, Oakland? Nothin but Bay love, but the Crest is in Vallejo. Classic V-Town slump right here. You still hear cars bumpin this album in the V, mine included! Buy it!

I miss these days

why can't rap go back to the good ol days when it was actually lyrical?


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Along with better-known rappers like E-40 and 2Pac, Mac Mall was one of several who helped put the Cali Bay Area on the map in the mid- to late '90s as a hotspot in the rap game. He collaborated with many of the Bay Area's best producers -- Ant Banks, Khayree, Michael Mosley, and Rick Rock -- and helped define the scene's identity, particularly with his most successful album, Untouchable (1996), which featured perhaps his best-known song, "Get Right." His career simmered out quickly, however. He...
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Illegal Business?, Mac Mall
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Customer Ratings