The early to mid-'90s offered hip-hop heads so many incredible releases that a vast load of great albums went straight over people's heads. One of those forgotten gems that I decided to focus on today is the debut album from Money Earnin' Mount Vernon rhymer A.D.O.R. - "The Concrete". This joint was originally released in 1994 on Atlantic Records with executive producer DJ Eddie F. The artist had started rhyming at an early age and by the time he enrolled from high school he had befriended people like Pete Rock, Heavy D and Sean Combs. The latter helped A.D.O.R. shop his demo to various labels while Eddie F took on the role as manager.After Atlantic Records showed their interest they quickly signed a one-album deal in 1992.
Being that both A.D.O.R. and Eddie F already knew a lot of amazing producers and rappers, "The Concrete" ended up a family affair while featuring some of the best beat maestros in the industry. The first single, "Let it All Hang Out" is vintage '92 Pete Rock with its blasting saxophones and grooving bass and is nothing short of a bonafide classic. Elsewhere on the LP, K-Def backs up A's verbal fire with the masterpiece "One For the Trouble", which later became the sample source for Fatboy Slim's remix of DJ Wildchild's "Renegade Master". Notable is also the fact that five of the albums fifteen tracks were produced by D.I.T.C.'s Diamond D. The beat virtuoso is in fine form here with deep bass, thick boom bap drums and glaring horns on personal favorites like "The Kid is Crazy", "Heart & Soul" and "Day 2 Day" (appearing in two equally fat versions). As far as vocals goes, A.D.O.R. does a great job of holding down these heavy backdrops all by himself, proving that he's a more than capable emcee. He got a ill voice, pretty high-pitched, that blends well with the deep and jazzy sample laced soundscapes.
Needless to say the LP didn't take off in the way one would imagine the label exec's and the artist himself had hoped for. Nevertheless, since his debut he has released quite a few albums on (what I guess is) his own imprint, True Reign Records. They all feature some heavy music, often including one or two Diamond D cuts, but he has yet to reach the high level of superior beats and rhymes heard on "The Concrete" again. If you've missed out on this heatrock before, make sure to grab it below as it is now out-of-print.
01. "Intro: The Penetration"
02. "One For the Trouble" [prod. by K-Def]
03. "Life Flow" [prod. by Ron 'Amen-Ra' Lawrence]
04. "Ill @ Will" [prod. by Spunk Bigga]
05. "Day 2 Day" [prod. by Diamond D]
06. "Interlude: Off The Top"
07. "Let It All Hang Out" [prod. by Pete Rock]
08. "Interlude: The Voice"
09. "Keep It Real" [prod. by & Ft. Diamond D + Ft. K. Terrible]
10. "From The Concrete" [prod. by Ski]
11. "The Kid Is Crazy" [prod. by Diamond D]
12. "Here Comes Da Wreck" [prod. by FM]
13. "Heart And Soul" [prod. by Diamond D]
14. "Day 2 Day" [Diamond D's Mecca Mix]
15. "The Last Word" [Interlude]
16. "One For The Trouble" [Sam Sneed Remix]
17. "Let It All Hang Out" [Instrumental]
A.D.O.R. - "THE CONCRETE"
A.D.O.R. - "THE CONCRETE"