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Trav's Personal Favorites Part Two: The A.T.e.E.M – A Hero Ain't Nuthin But A Sandwich

by Travis on February 17, 2007

I realize everyone has different tastes, what I may like, the next person might think is garbage, but I’m the one with the blog, so I get to force my opinions and music I like on everyone else, HA! No seriously, I like to think I’ve heard a lot of hip hop in my 20+ years of listening. I have listened to everything from Candyman to X-Clan and just about everything in between. Well my mission with this series is to get some of the unheralded music out there to the masses (the masses being the 1000+ daily visitors this site has). I want to spotlight music, whether it be artists/groups or albums, that got/gets overlooked in the grand scheme of things.

This all leads me to the next selection, a group who only released one album, which gets overlooked all the time, despite some high powered connections that are associated with the album. The A.T.e.E.M consisted Rob Swinga, Hot Diggidy Dog, & FM, the two former you might remember as Chubb Rock’s dancers. Now I know what you are thinking to yourself, “Why the hell do I want to listen to Chubb Rock’s dancers spit? That damn Travis must still be drunk from last night!”, yeah well give this album a chance, and no, I didn’t even drink last night. If you are familiar with Chubbs, you will recognize them from tracks like “Yabbadabbadoo”. I’m not going to lie and say this is some lost classic or that these cats are lyrical geniuses, but in the vein of early 90′s hip hop, this was a fun album that’s just as good as some of the early 90′s stuff that does get it’s props. You even get Chubbs all over the album, such as “Come” and the title track “A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich” and the Big Man even executive produced the project, so you know what kind of flavor this album possess.

The production is handled by the Trackmasterz, the infamous Tone & Poke, but no fret, this is early Trackmasterz stuff, before they jumped on the club tip (Sorry Po). Containing familiar breaks and samples, it gives you that comfortableness that comes with the early 90′s albums, just right throw on at a party or in the headphones on the train. It still comes fresh though, as the Trackmasterz throw their own flavor into the beats that you should be familiar with if you have listened to the some of the old Chubb albums or Tone’s solo albums as Red Hot Lover Tone.

Neither Rob Swinga or Hot Dog are going to when any rhyme battles, but they come off accomplished enough to make the album interesting. Rob Swinga is probably the better of the two, but Hot Dog (who was perhaps the best dancer of all the dancers back in the day) has a certain swagger and charisma that makes me enjoy his verses more. I still love his verse on Black Sheep’s “Pass The 40″. Topics on the album vary from your usual straight up hip hop party joints such as “One, Two, U Don’t Stop” or the single “Yeah” (find the Diamond D remix, it’s better in my opinion), to social commentary such as “Sister Morphine” and “Well of 1,000 Souls”, which kind of unnecessarily slows down the albums. True with any album that Tone was associated with in the early days, there was also some rude and crude sex rhymes that are displayed on “Pass The Pussy” and Tone even makes an appearance on “Let Me Hear You Say Hoe!”.

As much as Chubb Rock was loved, I still find it kind of funny that these cats never got their proper due. It’s nothing that is going to change your view on hip hop music, but it’s just some fun music to pop into the deck when you need to remind yourself why you started listening to hip hop in the first place. The best part though, is this album is still cheap, only a shiny penny on Amazon, which I think is a freaking bargain.

The A.T.e.E.M – A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But A Sandwich (Select Records, 1992)

1. Hero Ain’t Nuttin’ But a Sandwich
2. Pass the Pussy
3. Yeah
4. Interlude
5. Get It On [Original Version]
6. Come on Baby Let’s Swing It
7. Come
8. Sister Morphine
9. Well of 1,000 Souls
10. One, Two, U Don’t Stop
11. All of That
12. Interlude
13. Let Me Hear You Say Hoe!
14. Get It On [Remix]

Someone requested this album and was lucky enough I had it with me so they get it pretty quick. If I was to do “Trav’s Overrated and Boring as Fuck” Albums, this one would be on top of the list. People act like the Indie movement of the late 90′s was the greatest thing ever, and yeah, it did more good than bad, BUT, it also released a lot of incredibly dull and boring music and this is one of them. I know a lot of people find this as an indie classic, but I never got it. It’s just dull to me. None the less here it is, Apani B, Shabaam Shahdeeq, Mr. Complex, & DJ Spinna.

Polyrhythm Addicts – Rhyme Related (Nervous/Wreck, 1999)

  1. Motion 2000
  2. Take Me Home featuring Pharaoh Monch
  3. Not Your Ordinary
  4. Big Phat Boom Intro
  5. Big Phat Boom
  6. No Limit
  7. Nervous Breakdown
  8. Should Have Known Better
  9. Not Your Ordinary -Rhythm Revolution
  10. Seven Steps Behind featuring Kriminul & Joc Max
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