In 1991 Main Source hit the earth like a comet with their debut album Breaking Atoms. Led by Large Professor (who already had a pretty impressive production resume by that point), the trio by way of Queens made their mark with potent production and witty well-timed rhyming from their cool handed leader. The threesome’s formula would wind up giving hip-hop an undisputed classic album, but soon after, everything fell apart. The backbone of the group, Large Professor would eventually say “fuck those two deejays” and left the group to go on a “self mission” (see his verse on Midnight Marauders‘ “Keep It Rollin'” (Tribe Degrees of Separation: Check)), which left the Canadian born brothers, K-Cut and Sir Scratch missing a large (no pun intended) part of their production team and an emcee. Since Main Source still had a deal with Wild Pitch, Cut and Scratch would eventually recruit another Queens emcee, Mikey D, whose name might not ring a bell with most of you, but in the eighties the dude was revered for his tenacious battle raps (legend has it that the O.G. Melle Mel was one of his victims) and depending on who you ask, LL Cool J (who was once in a group with Mikey back in the earlier eighties) bit some of his rhyme style and swag. This reconstructed version of Main Source, looking to prove the naysayers wrong, would release Fuck What You Think.
K-Cut and Sir Scratch would produce all but one track on Fuck What You Think, with Mikey D holding down microphone duties. The album was released in March of 1994 and produced at least one single, but any potential momentum that Fuck What You Think might have built up would come to a screeching halt later that year, when Main Source 2.0 broke up and the label decided to shelf the album. Fuck What You Think would be re-released in 1998, but by then the rigor mortis had fully set in on Main Source and not even their families were checking for them anymore.
In 2017 the original trio would put their beefs behind them and reunited to perform live on stage for the first time in over 25 years. Proving that time heals all wounds, and is truly, illmatic.
Diary of a Hit Man – Fuck What You Think opens with Mikey D sharing a tale about the hard life of a hit man over a dark K-Cut instrumental. Mikey delivers his entertaining rhymes with a coldness that matches the frigidness of the instrumental, step for step and his story will keep you on the edge of your seat, up until the chilling climax. This one plays like a well-executed short hip-hop novel. Well done, fellas.
Only the Real Survive – This is the only song on Fuck What You Think that Sir Scratch or K-Cut didn’t produce. The production credit goes to L.T. who builds a beautiful backdrop around a loop from Pleasure’s “Thoughts of Old Flames” (that would also later be flipped on Rakim and Big Daddy Kane records, just to name a few). Mikey does a good job of riding the track, as he smoothly spills lines like “Yo, I’m a scholar, not a follower but a leader out to make a dollar, without fasten the white collar.” I don’t know if I like this mellow track sequenced right after the dark bleakness that was the opening song, but it’s still a dope joint in its own right.
What You Need – Its way too early in the album for filler material and that’s exactly what this song feels like. Mikey D sounds sharp on the mic (especially in comparison to his deejays, Sir Scratch and K-Cut, who step from behind the boards and briefly jump on the mic during the song’s final verse), but the stock hook (which kind of sounds like something Extra P would have written) and K-Cut’s instrumental just don’t…cut it.
Merrick Boulevard -This song finds Mikey D paying respect to the Queens’ street that he represents. I wasn’t crazy about Sir Scratch’s mediocre instrumental or Mikey’s rhymes on this one, even though it was kind of amusing to hear him say the exact number (123) of battles he’s been in and won, which if true is pretty impressive.
Down Low – This is a phrase that has taken on different meanings in hip-hop through the years. Mikey D’s not “coming out the closet” but is more so referring to himself as the best kept secret in hip-hop for the previous 15 years. Based on the way he murders this smooth K-Cut instrumental, there may be some truth to that statement. This was sick.
Intermission – We’ve reached the midway point of Fuck What You Think, and K-Cut was kind enough to provide some laid back soothing music while you take your bathroom break or grab something to eat.
Where We’re Coming From – Main Source kicks off the second half of Fuck What You Think with more filler material. Next…
Hellavision – Sir Scratch recycles an instrumental that was originally used for a song recorded for Main Source’s first album, titled “Time” (which didn’t make the final cut for the first issue of Breaking Atoms, but was later released as a bonus cut on the 2006 reissue). Mikey D gets a little conscious as he talks about the ill effects TV has on our society. Mike does a good job getting his point across, and Scratch’s instrumental is solid.
Fuck What You Think – For the title track Mikey D shares the mic with his special guest Shaqueen, while K-Cut and Sir Scratch take another stab at rhyming and it sounds like they may be taking subliminal shots at their former front man, Large Professor…or I could be completely off and just looking to reignite a beef that has been dead for years now. Regardless, K-Cut puts his foot in this nasty instrumental.
Set It Off – Lotto, Shaqueen and a young Jadakiss and Sheek Louch of the Lox (who were going by the Warlocks at the time) join Mikey D on this cipher joint. Everybody involved does a decent job pulling their own weight, but the true star of this song is Sir Scratch’s soulful mid-tempo backdrop.
Scratch & Kut 94 – Fuck What You Think closes with Sir Scratch and K-Cut laying down some dope beats and cutting them up, properly. Nice way to give the deejays/producers some shine and close out the album.
Mikey D’s a solid emcee. He has a dope voice, delivery and can actually spit. He’s just not Large Professor. Speaking of Large Professor, his influence is definitely missed on the production side of Fuck What You Think. K-Cut and Sir Scratch do a pretty decent job holding down Fuck What You Think, but with the heart and soul of the group gone (no disrespect to Mikey D) Fuck What You Think doesn’t hold a candle to the masterpiece that was Breaking Atoms.