Above The Law – Livin’ Like Hustlers

Above The Law released their first studio album “Livin’ Like Hustlers” on February 22, 1990.  It was produced by Dr DreAbove The Love and was co-produced by Eazy-E.  The album was an extension of NWA and brought another westcoast “gangsta rap” to the masses.

The album starts with a bang with “Murder Rap” that sound like Chuck D and Flavor Flav are going to bust a rhyme, but it’s Cold 187 that shows off some dope lyrical skills with,

“I feel action speaks louder than words and verbs
And adjectives, I live the life, the given gift
Not who’s first, second or third
Not he said or she said, or what you heard, nerd
Cause when you live like that, your life is mangled
In other words your life is all tangled
Up, I’m not a sucker, always go for mine
Powerlord that’s hard from the start, and we will always (climb)
To the top as I seek and achieve
Sometimes that’s even higher than the others believe
I’m not a doctor on a board, I don’t have a degree
Not arrogant, egotistical, I’m the epitomy
Re-take, recline, keep suckers in line
Transform into another world as I recite these rhymes
187, he’s as hard as it comes
And I don’t have to brag about the size of my gun, son”

On “Untouchable” both KM.G and Cold 187um take the mic to represent but again its the Cold one that shines on this track with rhymes like,

First let me explain that I’m a hustler
Now here’s an example of what a hustler must do
In this lifetime you got two things
Bad and good, and ain’t nothin in between
Now I’ma break down a little slogan
So you can figure out the path that I’m strollin
Some say it’s hard, some say it’s dirty
Some say it’s all sex, money and murder
Now me myself, see, I’m a hustler
And I rather be that than a new jack buster
I’m always known for doin somethin
Cause I’m always in the mix when the shit start jumpin
At a club and at a house
If a sucker disrespect, I get upset
Now I’ma make my plan to get with it
I’ma hit, and seek, and destroy it
Now what could I really be sayin?
That all set aside, that I don’t be playin
187’s a killer, even iller
And I’m also a thriller

When ATL slows it down (Livin Like Hustlers and Another Execution), they make you stop and listen to everything Cold 187 has to say!  On “Another Execution“, Cold 187 tells us a ghetto story about the time he went to the movies.

“See it was seven o’clock
and the sun had just set
the crew rolled up and said it time to jet
I was kinda hesitatin’ cause it was nothing to do
but we always find something to get into
Total K-Oss broke out he said lets go to the movies
he was paying so I wasn’t being choosy
jumped in the ride and proceeded to go
“yo what are we goin’ to see?”
“yo man I don’t know”
but when we got there it was a quarter to nine
to see the main flick it was a long ass line
paid to get in and not a second before
a sucka looked me up and down at the front door
now I shined on and walked on in
but he kept on staring again and again
I walked up and said “what’s up”
he said: “not you”
I turned around and then I looked at my crew
because I know he didn’t say what I thought he said
and if he did
I’m gonna have his head on a platter
the sucka scared out
when we got ill
the brother who tried to front he got his caps pealed
and his homies they got mad
but they soon broke out
because of what we had”

The gem of the album is “The Last Song” which is also…wait for it…the last song on the album.  It features KM.G, Cold 187um, Dr Dre, MC Ren and Eazy E.  This tour-de-france needs to be played over and over again.  Every rapper shines on this track and wreck shop westcoast style!  The only one missing is Ice Cube, but that’s when he had made his exit to go solo.

This is definitely a westcoast classic that never gets old.  Straight Outta Compton, Doggy Style, Ni**ggaz4Life and  The Chronic all produced by Dr Dre and all classics.  You can easily add Livin’ Like Hustlers to that list!

-Al E.

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  1. One of the most underrated albums in Hip Hop, I won’t even limited to the West Coast. Just smooth kickin lyrics

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