Gregory Hutchinson, who also goes by Cold 187um and Big Hutch, is among the many gangsta rappers who came out of South Central Los Angeles in the late '80s. Lyrically, the rapper/producer has never been known for his subtlety -- many of Hutch's lyrics are graphic, violent, and disturbing accounts of thug life in L.A.'s inner-city neighborhoods. The Southern Californian is best-known for his association with Above the Law, one of South Central L.A.'s most famous (or infamous) gangsta rap groups. Heavily influenced by N.W.A. and the seminal Ice-T, Hutch formed Above the Law with fellow L.A. residents Go Mack (Authur Goodman), KMG the Illustrator (Kevin Dulley), and Total K-oss (Anthony Stewart) in 1989. That year, the group caught the attention of late N.W.A. member Eazy-E (Eric Wright), who signed ATL to his Ruthless label. Different labels were distributing Ruthless at the time; for N.W.A. and Eazy, Ruthless went through Priority, although Ruthless went through Atlantic for the D.O.C. and J.J. Fad. And in the case of ATL, Ruthless was distributed by Epic. Produced with N.W.A.'s Dr. Dre, ATL's debut album, Livin' Like Hustlers, was released by Ruthless/Epic in early 1990. The strong influence of N.W.A. and Ice-T was evident throughout the album; rapping in the first person, Hutch and his colleagues held nothing back and told listeners just how violent and dangerous the ghetto streets of South Central L.A. could be. Hutch, Ice-T, N.W.A., Houston's Geto Boys, Philadelphia's Schoolly D, and other gangsta rappers who emerged in the '80s weren't the first people to rap about thug life and the social problems of the inner city. But because they rapped in the first person and took listeners inside the minds of thugs, felons, gang members, drug dealers, pimps, players, and hustlers, many listeners found gangsta rap to be more troubling than the third-person message raps that had been coming from New York since the early '80s. When Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., the Fat Boys, and other New York MCs rapped about the problems of the inner city, they stuck to the third person and didn't portray the thugs they were rhyming about; Hutch and other gangsta rappers, however, actually gave listeners a thug's perspective. Hutch, like many other gangsta rappers, has been accused of glorifying and promoting black-on-black crime and he has often countered that he is merely drawing attention to the inner city's problems, not encouraging them. Livin' Like Hustlers was a hit, and in 1993, ATL's second album, Black Mafia Life, was released by Warner Bros. After providing a third album, Uncle Sam's Curse, for Ruthless in 1993, ATL signed with Tommy Boy in 1996 and recorded two albums for that New York label: 1996's Time Will Reveal and 1998's Legends. Then, in 1999, the group moved to Street Solid, the hip-hop/urban division of producer James Warsinske's L.A.-based Solid Entertainment (formerly AVC Entertainment). At Street Solid, Hutch had two careers, he was still a member of ATL but launched a solo career on the side. ATL's Forever Rich Thugs came out on Street Solid in 1999, and Warsinske's label released Hutch's first solo album, Executive Decisions, that same year. Along the way, Hutch has done his share of producing; the rappers he produced in the '90s or early 2000s range from Snoop Doggy Dogg, Eazy-E, MC Ren (formerly of N.W.A.), and South Gate to Kokane and E-40. Most of the rappers Hutch has produced are West Coast gangsta rappers, although he has also worked with the female group H.W.A. (whose X-rated, sexually explicit lyrics have more in common with Lil' Kim or Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew than gangsta rap). ~ Alex Henderson~ Rovi
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... read moreGregory Hutchinson, who also goes by Cold 187um and Big Hutch, is among the many gangsta rappers who came out of South Central Los Angeles in the late '80s. Lyrically, the rapper/producer has never been known for his subtlety -- many of Hutch's lyrics are graphic, violent, and disturbing accounts of...