I'm the Gangsta / Shootin' on Narcs
(1990, On Top) @ 320
Gangsta Patrick "Too Big" Hall, son of Bar-Kays drummer Willie Hall. His first single and probably the hardest pressed wax from the city of Memphis in the year 1990. I included the remake "I'm Still the Gangsta" from his 1992 release All About Comin' Up so you can compare major and minor production values. From Roni Saarig's Third Coast:
Before Pat was out of high school, he hooked up with a label called Good to Go, but one day he and the label's owner, a hustler named Fat Tony, were driving down Beale Street when a gunshot entered the car, killing Tony.
A guy named Reginald Boyland took over and renamed the label On the Strength. Over the next few years, OTS almost single-handedly put Memphis on the map by releasing records from the city's most significant early acts - the first of which was Gangsta Pat. Growing up the son of a famous musician, Pat traveled with his dad to shows and learned to play drums, keyboards, trumpet and guitar. But he also went through rough times in White Haven and other deteriorating parts of Memphis. Though initially an LL Cool J adherent, Pat changed styles once he heard NWA. As a gangsta rapper, Pat fell in love with the Geto Boys around 1989, when they made a promotional appearance at a local record store. He gave them his tape, and they liked it so much they invited Pat to join them on tour.
You'll recognize lines from the B-side for their later sampling in seminal early Ball & G or 3-6 tracks (Shoot his ass down to the concrete; whose that knockin at the door / narcotics). How much local wax was around to sample? On Paul's earliest leaked tape he makes weird 4-track funk out of Al Kapone's "Once a Thug".