The idea behind The Only Solution
can only be explained if you know who Cold 187um is. The founder of the gangsta rap group Above The Law
, Cold 187um has had a significant impact behind-the-scenes of some of the biggest names in gangsta rap, including Eazy-E
and Dr. Dre
, and probably created the "G-funk" sound often credited to Dre. THIS album, however, was born out of Insane Clown Posse
's Violent J
being a HUGE FANBOY of Cold 187um and Above The Law. So Psychopathic Records thusly offered him a contract. Cold 187um wasn't sure about the idea, and would only commit to joining forces with this hated record label if they could come up with an idea that he couldn't do on his own label. At some point, someone suggested that he rap about being an assassin over instrumentals jacked from old Psychopathic albums.
And thus was born The Only Solution
, a gangsta rap concept album. Cold 187um performs the entire thing as a storyline. It sounds like a movie without visuals, an idea that seems to conjure up memories of Dr. Octagon
, Deltron 3030
and Prince Paul
's A Prince Among Thieves
, but Cold 187um's lyrical imagery instead visualizes early-90's gangsta rap. What makes this album a little more interesting than most gangsta rap albums is that Cold 187um does the entire thing as a continuous story about a morally ambiguous character.
This approach thus makes a track-by-track analysis useless, since each song is designed to only work within the context of a whole storyline, even though all of the music that Cold 187um is rapping over was recorded with absolutely no relation to each other by different artists, with different approaches to musical style that oddly enough relate perfectly to lyrics that each instrumental had nothing to do with. Some of the original tracks fit perfectly to Cold 187um's new lyrics: "Layn' Low" rips the beat from a Twiztid
song called "So High". Instead of rapping about marijuana, Cold 187um raps about hiding out from the law, gambling and having sex with prostitutes. But the music is laid back and reminiscent of old-school gangsta rap, so it fits perfectly.
A strange one occurs with "L.A.", an upbeat song celebrating Cold 187um's hometown and talking about partying, smoking weed, etc. What beat did he choose for these lyrics? Insane Clown Posse
's "Suicide Hotline", which was bleak and depressing. It's oddly telling and bizarrely lopsided that the same beat was used in completely opposing topics and worked well with both.
Fans of ICP probably won't care for the album and most rap fans will probably dismiss it outright due to the ICP connection. However, there's nothing "Juggalo" about any of the lyrics, so if you're willing to overlook the Psychopathic connection, like gangsta rap and enjoy album-length story concept albums, The Only Solution
is worth a shot, although take into account the fact that this is an album-length story about a guy who is paid to murder people and occasionally takes time to seek revenge against his father's killer. It's not a collection of songs, so you can't randomly throw one of the tracks on and get the context.