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The Firm (Rap)

The East Coast gangsta rap supergroup the Firm never lived up to its excessive hype and instead became a brief footnote in the careers of its main participants. The foursome included four New York rappers -- Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature -- but was actually the pet project of its producers: Nas Escobar (as he referred to himself at the time), Steve "Commissioner" Stoute, Dr. Dre, and the Trackmasters. On paper, the group seemed nothing short of spectacular: on the vocals Nas and Foxy Brown, two of New York's favorite rappers at the time; on the beats Dre and the Trackmasters, two of the industry's most accomplished producers of the time; and signing the checks Stoute, the man standing alongside Puff Daddy as New York's biggest career-booster. On paper this looked like an invincible team for sure; however, the overconfident, over-reaching attitudes of all involved ironically became the group's downfall.

An early form of the Firm appeared on "Affirmative Action," a standout song from Nas' second album, It Was Written. Foxy Brown, AZ, and Cormega joined Nas for the song -- each taking a verse -- and it became an album highlight as well as a much-talked-about song on the streets. Of course, Cormega got the boot in favor of Nature for reasons that vary depending on who you ask (reportedly because either Stoute or Nas -- or both -- preferred Nature). Up until this incident, Cormega and Nas had been comrades. Following the incident, however, Cormega took his beef to the streets, penning the inflammatory track "F**k Nas and Nature" and letting it circulate through the mix-tape market. Things would never be the same between the two former comrades.

But the Cormega incident had little to do with why the Firm flopped. Rather, it became an instance of overconfidence and over-reaching. All involved with the project hyped it heavily, creating a huge buzz on the streets. Dre and the Trackmasters split the production duties, and Stoute brought in a number of guests to pad the album, most likely hoping to spin off successful careers for several of the newcomers. It didn't work that way, though. Instead, listeners rejected the over-hyped album, unhappy with the excessive guests and skits; they wanted to hear Nas and Foxy Brown, not a bunch of no-names (keep in mind that the outside packaging listed no guests besides the primary participants, though actually there are guests on nearly every song). It, of course, didn't help that none of the singles hit big and that the primary draws -- Nas and Foxy Brown -- seemed like guests themselves on their own album. The album quickly collected dust on record-store shelves, and all involved returned to their solo careers, happy to put the embarrassment behind them. The only person to really mention the fiasco years later was Cormega, who continued to resent being ousted from the group. ~ Jason Birchmeier, Rovi
full bio

Comments

jigs617
Stfu Pandora writer. The Firm didn't deliver the coveted Puffy numbers of those times, but they got you putting this s**t in rotation cuz y'all know it's dope. Don't forget Phone Tap was a classic smash remixed by every r&b artist and their mom's.
Go f**k yourself b**ches! BROKE BACK Marlett sucks!
The killa jams old school let's get it
This is where its at!!!!!!!!!! Booooi!
Real Hip Hop!!!
Yo
Great song!
The firm biz. Holla. Az esco foxy and nature were the s**t f**k the numbers their lyrics are nasty
Good song?
this s**t flopped but i thought it was hott
$ex & word$ R weapon$ could bee used N 2 ways too protect or destroy' love it or hate it
exodus2.dg
Remember downtown..El i z a b e t h , under gothels bridge...str a i g h t 2 staten island!! 90`$All day! Time dnt, Stand dnt stand still..peace 2 Ali I C u brother!! J.KEY SHALOM...
Yea rappers ain't hungry like before,the firm was hungry thats y this album is hot jersey In the house!
98 was on fire..canibu s where you at?
The album had a few hot tracks. I'm Leaving was bananas. So was the track with Canibus. His verse was just sick.
one of the most underrated albums ever!
Dumm Nice! How I rolled in high school
hip hops finest
classic
Good song
Good song
HOT!!!
The whole album and concept was crazy!!!!!
Dope ! Wish i had cop this album
Classic
Love this song
This song is nice
ohh snaps , we can leave opionions??
best rapper of all times NAS
Classic n**ga born n raise from qb that's where AM from
Thts when rap was rap str8 street sht it will never b the same because no one is hungry anymore real talk (Bleed Green) 79
This is awesome! Can someone add the lyrics for this?
ivanb211187
Wwwwwwooooo this track is sick as f**k. Canibus and AZ murdered this s**t.
greyprospect
Real G music
fuk yea proper...big ups, Firm
REAL FROM DAY#1(CLASSI C ) KEEP ON!
yo this was the best colab back it came out! big props to them for making this album hott!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Yo Az and Nas hands down would rock this 2012 rap game Im holding my breathe until they kill s**t word up sun
airbroom
cormega got shafted, getting booted out of the firm made his career go down the pooper. thats sad hes got skill
thats what I was wonderin hiphopgrl77 LOL that is not The Frim LOL
LOl who is that in the pic up there?
vomitblood93
LOL!! For real Jennifer!!!
What's up with the photo?
lol! jimmy page pic...
canibus is a true mc and im bringin it up he murdered ll
Tbh, I think this was just another opportunity for people to criticize Nas. People s**t on It Was Written, an album I loved and thought was a worthy sequel to illmatic. What a lot of people forget is the fact that The Firm was supposed to be a concept album, with the group members each playing a "character" in a hip hop version of an audio movie. It just got overhyped and was full of too much filler. A lot of really good tracks on it, though, imo.
classic album f**k what you heard
pelk73
lol that's Jimmy Page in the pic on the left
wu.masterofc e r e m o n y
My favorite commercial flop of all time. It's a classic; I don't give a f**k what anybody says.
Damn Hector, can I touch you? Maybe your unbelievable street cred and OG knowledge will rub off.

Agreed, the pic is hilarious. only reason I checked this info out.
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