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Before the rise of Death Row Records in 1993, Eazy-E's Ruthless Records was the premiere label for Southern California gangsta rap. Not every artist who recorded for Ruthless was on the gangsta tip; the D.O.C. wasn't really a gangsta rapper and J.J. Fad specialized in bubblegum pop-rap. But thanks to N.W.A.'s albums and Eazy's solo projects, Ruthless went down in history as a gangsta rap powerhouse. When Eazy died of AIDS in 1995, Ruthless wasn't discontinued -- and Eazy's widow, Tomica Wright, became the executive producer on albums by MC Ren and Bone Thugs N Harmony (among others) in the late '90s. Recorded for Blast Entertainment/Ruthless (distributed by Epic/Sony) in 2001 and released in 2002, this debut album by Los Angeles resident Baby S is quite faithful to Ruthless' history. Street Fractions is typical Southern California gangsta rap; Baby, like so many of his homies in greater Los Angeles, spends much of his time rapping about players, ballers, hustlers, and, of course, "bitches and hoes" (not necessarily in that order). Baby has an unmistakably L.A.-sounding flow along the lines of Eazy-E, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and DJ Quik, and his material (most of it produced by Step) is generally quite derivative. But while Street Fractions is hardly groundbreaking by early-2000s standards, the CD does have its moments. Some of the tunes aren't terribly memorable, but some are catchy enough -- Baby is at his best on slick, well-produced items that include "Didn't Ask 2 Be a Gangsta," "Hitz 4 Days," and the single "I'm Ghetto." And "So S," one of the album's best tracks, offers an interesting fusion of West Coast gangsta rap and Dirty South sensibilities. The uneven Street Fractions won't go down in history as a masterpiece, but again, the CD does have its moments.
Performance CreditsBaby S Primary Artist
King Tee Track Performer
State of Mind Track Performer
DJ Spin scratching
Kokane Track Performer
Jayo Felony Track Performer
Technical CreditsJason Clark Logo
Madeleine Smith Sample Clearance
Tomica Wright Executive Producer
Dino Johnson Engineer
Giulio Costanzo Art Direction
DK All Day Producer