I first started making visits out to the North Bay in 1993 after meeting a few writers who lived there. Everyone up there was heavy into the Vallejo sound that was coming out. Heads were bitter over 2Pac's involvement in a 1992 Marin City shooting that left a 6 year old boy dead so Pac got no play. And then you had Hiero coming out big and it seemed like a crossroads for a lot of kids. Do you stay pure and only rock the real, mob style Bay Rap? Or do you get down with this new less threatening sound? One thing everyone seemed to have in common in that neighborhood was the pride in their hometown heroes, 5150. I got a dub and eventually copped the tape. I didn't even know there was a vinyl version of any of these tracks until I stumbled upon this copy a few months back while digging in Santa Rosa.
"Dorothy" is the smooth, club track while "Games People Play" is a soulful, phoned-in-from-county reflection on the trials and tribulations of the dope game. But like most 12"'s, it's all about the B side. Cruising on an ominous bassline that sounds like it was lifted from a rejected Paris beat, "Back on Track" gets hyped with it's hook rippin' Ice-T, KRS and Ice Cube samples. Peep the dope piano solos! Whatever happened to that style? "Illegally Insane" is on some proto-hyphy shit with it's Bomb Squad on that dankweed production. Producer Klark Gable hooked up the boards nice but doesn't seem to be listed anywhere as doing anything post 5150. The group did reunite for 2002's "Back from the Asylum" album but I've never heard it. You could probably buy it with the money you're saving from finding these tracks here instead of buying the 12" off this guy. Speaking of Discogs, apparently this is 5150's second record. Anyone got a copy of that Con Artist 12"? I gotta hear "The Vigilante (Mind Over Matter) (Shit Hittin' The Fan Mix)"! 5150 (Illegally Insane) - Games People Play EP (Arrogant Records, 1992)