Breaking Atoms

Main Source

Wild Pitch, 1991

REVIEW BY: Ben Ehrenreich


Main Source will forever be forgotten as an early pioneer of hip-hop. Their monumental debut goes largely unnoticed because, quite frankly, very few people remember who they are.

To wit: Main Source contains MC/Producer Large Professor, who contributed greatly to Illmatic, and two DJs, K-Cut and Sir Scratch. Main Source is largely a Large Professor show, but K-Cut and Sir Scratch provide enough effects to add a very authentic atmosphere to this disc, not to mention their excellent showcase track, “Scratch & Kut”. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Breaking Atoms is an important hip-hop record because it is whole-heartedly positive. Large Professor makes it cool to do the right thing and doesn’t come across as preachy, which can sometimes be KRS-One’s weakness. In “Peace Is Not The Word To Play,” Large Professor lets his peers know that peace “means the absence of all confusion / Not the oozing and bruising.” Large Professor continues to kick knowledge in “Watch Roger Do His Thing” in which he narrates a story about a man who lives a positive life despite the pressures of the ghetto.

In addition to many positive tracks, Breaking Atoms also includes some lyrical assaults. “Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball” contains a metaphor worthy of “I Used To Love H.E.R.”-type recognition, while “Live At The Barbecue” is the highlight of the album and includes an absolutely vicious verse by then-rookie Nas. Both tracks display Large Professor’s superior lyrical ability, especially “Baseball” for its intricate comparison of police treatment of African-Americans and a game of baseball.

Breaking Atoms is almost flawless but falters slightly with the unnecessary extra remix of  "Baseball” and the average “He Got So Much Soul.”

With very few blemishes, Main Source creates an album worthy of acclaim, but with the state hip-hop is currently in, I doubt this collection will be recognized for its contribution to hip-hop in the foreseeable future. This would be a sad fate for such a good disc.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Ben Ehrenreich and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wild Pitch, and is used for informational purposes only.