One to da two, da three, da four, dem dirty Red Dogs done hit the door…
So yeah, the thing that Outkast started? It wasn’t a fluke.
Goodie Mob, the quartet of Khujo, Big Gipp, T-Mo, and Cee-Lo (yeah, that dude…and that dude) helped to cement the South as the new hotness when they stormed the scene in 1995, with Atlanta as the crown jewel, and they did it so smoothly, soulfully, and thoughtfully with their sublime debut, Soul Food, it had to have been a plan. And it kinda was, because as part of the Dungeon Family collective they were close with Andre and Big Boi and shared the same production crew (the remarkably dope and now legendary crew Organized Noize), and their music was on similar wavelengths. But Goodie Mob? They took you deep into their world, and while scores and scores of rappers struggle to paint you a picture of how hectic just living can be for them, Soul Food was, and still is, on a whole different level. The album simmers. It’s slow, dark, cerebral, a frighteningly real listen as the group paints a palpable scene of their daily lives trying to survive in the roughest hoods of ATL, talking about drugs, violence, police, gangs and more. But what they really nail on this album is a sense of humanity and lost innocence, as the record is packed with poignant moments that focus on family, prayer, finding inner peace, nostalgia for the past, and making the most out of life. There’s a reason why that cover has the group with their heads bowed at the dining table…they gotta cherish every moment before it gets snatched away.
The record is stacked with great listens, but that hazy, methodical hook from “Dirty South” has been on my mind all day. Accompanied by Big Boi and Dungeon Family affiliate Cool Breeze they rhyme about the drug hustle, with the “Red Dogs” from the hook being the ATL police department’s anti-drug unit. This one, right down to the muted beat, is slick, persuasive, and damned dangerous. It’s a strong showing.