Convicts – Convicts (1991)Standouts: “1-900-Dial-A-Crook” “Fuck School” “I Ain’t Going Back”
The Convicts have tons of juicy stories behind their career. The group, which was composed of Big Mike and Mr. 3-2, crafted the concept of their only album around two convicts who just got out of prison. After the album dropped, Suge was pursuing Big Mike to join Death Row Records, and even put the two up in an apartment in Long Beach. Mike and 3-2 ended up recording a song with Snoop and Warren G, but when Willie D left the Geto Boys and Lil’ J offered the spot to Big Mike, he had to bite.
Some say that Suge and Dre actually got the idea of “Death Row Inmates” from this Convicts album. Others contend that Snoop might have borrowed some of his flows from 3-2. One thing is certain – Convicts is full of stories that spring to life, from the high-octane tension of “Peter Pan” to the brilliant idea of a gangster hot line on “1-900-Dial-A-Crook”, a concept that Jay-Z later lifted for “1-800-Hustler.” “Fuck School” and “Wash Your Ass” are some of the lessons to take away from the educational Convicts, but the album goes to show that skillful execution of an original idea can reverberate for decades through artists of all generations.