42. Uncle Sam’s Curse, Above The Law
Pomona group Above The Law signed to Ruthless Records in 1989, affording them proximity to N.W.A. at their peak. Dre hadn’t yet dabbled in G-Funk, so when Above The Law’s debut album Livin’ Like Hustlers dropped with a heavy dose of the G-Funk sound, it was considered the first of it’s kind. Producer Cold 187um studied under Dre and the two apparently learned things from one another at Ruthless, but the ABL producer has often gone on record to set things straight—he invented G-Funk, not Dre.
Uncle Sam’s Curse comes at the tail end of the group’s career, before KMG the Illustrator passed away and Cold 187um was imprisoned. “Black Superman” was a small hit (later hijacked by French Montana and Max B to perfection), but songs like “Set Free” and the magnificent “Gangsta Madness” prove that the crew still had it even after they’d peaked.