21 & Over (LP)Tha Alkaholiks
The Alkaholiks, like their LA peers Cypress Hill, had three important things going for them – lots of charisma, top-shelf rhyme skills, and a sound that perfectly straddled both East and West Coasts. Their deep funk and hard-as-nails beats and overall production put them in a perfect position to make an impression with fans, no matter where those fans were.
The group boasted a triple threat of MCs – E-Swift (who also produced), Tash and J-Ro – and they packed a strong punch with their 1993 debut, 21 & Over. It will surprise no one from names of the group and the album, but drinking takes up a lot of time here, including classic tracks – which doubled as album singles – like the rolling, ultra-funky “Make Room” and the hilarious “Only When I’m Drunk,” the latter fueled by the classic block-party break “Seven Minutes Of Funk.”
One lesser-known element of the group’s debut was the introduction of the now mythical producer and MC Madlib, who produced the dusty “Mary Jane” and the ridiculously funky, churning “Turn Tha Party Out” (under the name The Loot Pack, with DJ Romes). Both tracks are dope as hell, and perfectly fit the group’s sound, showing that they also had an ear for up-and-coming talent.
An interesting old-school angle on the album is that several tracks feature LA legend King Tee on production and vocals (“Last Call”; “Soda Pop” and “Bullshit”). Tee was an early supporter of the trio who helped to oversee the album for Loud Records after they appeared on his banging 1992 single “Got It Bad Y’all.”
There’s not a bum track in the bunch here, and younger rap fans just getting hip to them will undoubtedly be asking where the Alkaholiks have been all their lives.