Gangs, slangin' rocks, getting locked up, and big-booty hoes; if you were to describe the hardcore hip-hop being released in the early nineties, you would fall short if you failed to mention any of these elements. On the track "What a Way to Go Out," the Souls of Mischief trade verses at lightning speed, meditating on the harsh realities of daily life in 1993 Oakland, CA. The group paints the personages of gangsters, dealers, and mislead youths with a satirical tone emanating from the seriousness and lucidity of the lyrics. Through the missteps of the common archetypes who frequent the Souls' home city, the track warns of their inevitable downfall caused by their stupid decisions. At first listen, it seems as though the group claims to "run blocks" and "stack G's" in earnest. Not until we learn the ways in which the rappers "go out," do we realize that these are not boastful tales of success, but sobering fables of the oft-unkind reality of the world.
On a technical level, this song is impressive. It may be my relentless ADD, or my accumulated preferences over years of music-listening, but the up-tempo beat paired with the Souls' high-timber chorus of voices is truly mesmerizing. There are too many little things about this track that I could ramble about for pages, but my favorite nugget is this: While keeping the same baseline throughout the entirety of the track, each rapper's verse is filled with different horns, riffs, and samples than the previous one. Listen for it. -DJ Buttcrack