Today in Hip-Hop: 8Ball and MJG Drop Debut Album ‘Comin’ Out Hard’
On this day, Aug. 1, in hip-hop history...
On this day, August 1, in hip-hop history...
1993: Two young friends in Memphis drop their debut album after sticking together since they were children, while changing the history of southern rap in the process.
Hip-hop is the most popular type of music in America. As with everything, the genre owes a lot to it's past, with many pioneers putting in the groundwork decades before, when rap hadn't yet taken the world over. Two of those pioneers are 8Ball and MJG, two childhood friends from Memphis. Their first major move into the world of hip-hop was the release of their debut album Comin' Out Hard, which came out on August 1, 1993.
The duo met in middle school in the mid-1980s, but didn't release an official debut album until 1993, when they dropped the previously-aforementioned Comin Out Hard, on the then-upstart local label, Suave House Records. The project was nine tracks in length and a relatively quick listen, coming it at just under 42 minutes. Interestingly enough, 8Ball and MJG pulled double duty, handling all of the lyrics and the production. The gritty, low-quality sound of Comin Out Hard set the tone for southern rap. There is a underlying funk sound to the album, with their hometown's brainchild blues also floating over the album. The two friends exchanged tales of the streets over loops and old-school drums, unknowingly paving their path to becoming southern hip-hop legends.
One of the most popular songs from the album is "Pimps," a track that would go on to help define who 8Ball & MJG were as artists. The song is obviously about the prostitution business, with Ball and MJG breaking down the tricks of the trade. Over a loud bass loop, the two drop verses about how to survive the world of pimping without getting taken advantage of. During his last verse, MJG makes the case that the pimp game simply must exist, a clear example of supply and demand. "It wouldn't be a ho, if it wasn't for the tricks/But I suggest we keep em', so a pimp can keep his bitch," he rhymes, explaining the inner workings of his trade. "It needs to be understood, there wouldn't be one without the other/So why the fuck these folks keep trying to sweat a muthafucka."
The two released later albums like On The Outside Looking In and On Top Of The World and truly started making noise, but it all started with Comin Out Hard. Their debut also made XXL's list of the 20 best rap projects out of Memphis.
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