Over the years, Southern rap has come to be associated mostly with hit-factory labels like No Limit and Cash Money, or in its early days Miami bass music. In general, it's never been afforded much critical respect, but that started to change in the '90s, when Atlanta established itself as the home of intelligent, progressive Southern hip-hop. Despite some excellent predecessors, Goodie Mob's debut album, Soul Food, is arguably the city's first true classic, building on the social conscience of Arrested Development and the street smarts and distinctive production of OutKast. In fact, the production team behind the latter's Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, Organized Noize, is also present here, and really hit their stride with a groundbreaking signature sound that reimagines a multitude of Southern musical traditions. Soul Food is built on spare, funky drum programs, Southern-fried guitar picking in the Stax/Volt vein, occasional stabs of blues harmonica, and strong gospel overtones in the piano licks and meditative keyboards. There's an even stronger spiritual flavor in the group's lyrics, based on a conviction that religion has been the saving grace of African-American culture as it's endured centuries of oppression. The album even opens with lead rapper Cee-Lo singing an original spiritual called "Free." Goodie Mob is firmly grounded in reality, though -- they rail against a system stacked against poverty-stricken blacks, and are more than willing to defend themselves in a harsh environment, as on the gritty street tales "Dirty South," the eerie single "Cell Therapy," and "The Coming." The meat of the album, however, lies in its more reflective moments: the philosophical "Thought Process"; "Sesame Street," a reminiscence on growing up poor and black; "Guess Who," one of hip-hop's greatest mama tributes ever; and the warm title track, which is about exactly what it says. If soul food was aptly named for its spiritual nourishment, the same is true of this underappreciated gem.
Performance CreditsGoodie Mob Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Family Tree Background Vocals
Dean Gant Keyboards
Carlos Glover Keyboards
Joi Background Vocals
Tommy Martin Guitar
Organized Noize Drums
Colin Wolfe Guitar
Martin Terry Acoustic Guitar
4.0 Background Vocals
Rick Wade Vocals
Cee Lo Green Vocals,Background Vocals
Cool Breeze Vocals,Background Vocals
Brandon Bennett Background Vocals
Big Boi Vocals
Big Gipp Vocals
Sleepy Brown Background Vocals
Marlene Rice Strings,Violin,Viola
Technical CreditsPigmeat Markham Composer
Leon Russell Composer
Marc Benno Composer
Organized Noize Sound Effects,Producer,Executive Producer
Neil Pogue Engineer
L.A. Reid Executive Producer
Bernasky Wall Engineer
Tim Harrigan Engineer
Anthony Harrison Art Direction
Mixzo drum programming
Bill Boatman Composer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Soul Food based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
I'm one that loves rap that has a message and this definitely fulfills that. I bought this album in the winter of 95 when it first came out and I loved this album. Recently, I bought this album again and it is in my car cd player as I type this. Excellent buy.
Without Soul Food, there would be no Dirty South. With that said, it is imperrative that anyone into hip hop listen to this record. It is undoubtedly one of the most overlooked albums in the history of hip hop. Of course the first single ''Cell Therapy'' blew up out of this world, but the album doesn't stop there. Other tracks such as ''Sesame Street'', ''Live at the O.M.N.I'' and the title track will blow your mind!
The most amazing album I have ever purchased. It changed my view of rap totally. It is very political and touches many topics. I bought this when it first came out in the winter of 95. I had to recently repurchase the cd because of the wear and tear mine had taken over the years. Even the second time it was still in my cd player for weeks.