Today in Hip Hop History: October 21, 1997
The hip hop super group, The Firm, released their first and only album, The Album, through Dr. Dre‘s Aftermath Entertainment in 1997. The Firm consists of Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ and Nature. In 1996 Nas, Steve Stoute, Dr. Dre and The Trackmasters created the group. Dre then signed The Firm to his Aftermath Entertainment. The Firm Album was produced by Dr. Dre, Trackmasters and Chris “The Glove” Taylor. It featured Dre, Pretty Boy, Wizard, Noreaga, Half a Mill, Dawn Robinson and Canibus.
The Firm Album was a mafioso-themed concept album, as seen in the album cover art. Prior to its release, all of the individual artists were at transitional stages in their careers and looking to the group for mainstream appeal. Unfortunately, the album underwhelmed commercially and critically. Despite the large hype and presumed success due to the individual success of all of the artists, The Firm Album did not live up to the hype.
The album sported more “mainstream” pop-rap sounds and particularly disappointing verses. The Firm Album was the only album that the super group released; they disbanded the following year and each artist pursued their own solo careers. It’s quite unfortunate that the group, at the time, appeared unstoppable on paper, only to have minor success in reality. Regardless, each artist has had success in their own careers, most notably Nas.