From Hunter Point, San Francisco; The RBL Posse (Ruthless By Law) was a trifecta of producers and rhymers that were caught up in the Gangsta Music craze that swept the nation with the likes of Public Enemy, NWA, Too $hort, and B-Legit. With their larger group releases, RBL Posse also produced one of their members first solo records, Hitman’s Solo Creep.
With 14-total tracks, Hitman is the main MC throughout Solo Creep that features production entirely from Black C who delivers on some 808 clicks and bass heavy works that resemble that 1995 masterwork. It is an iconic style that manipulates throughout Solo Creep and delivers instantly on movement heavy displays that rely on the harsh lyrics with the funk samples. Solo Creep is a dark and mysterious underground release that did not see as much shine as previous works by RBL Posse, but it still showed that cutting edge in the way that the San Francisco sound was still a presence in the game.
With the opening of “Mr. Player Hater”, Hitman opens with a rugged, standoffish approach that shifts with the listener to form a subtle stance that invokes mystery behind the headlights of Solo Creep’s movement. It is a captain among a wave of opportunity in the way that the group forms around Hitman and can create this overarching grip of power that relies on the lyrics and the production. “Like Red October, smoke a blunt for the hunt for the body bags. Bring it to the ear, all I got is a cot, nigga, and you got mad…But shut that shit up, pop the trunk for the funk if you wanna dump. Not giving a fuck, just popping in caps and blasting, catch these bucks.”
Explained through a barrage of bass and triplets, Hitman is a commander of the microphone that illustrates a sense of prowess behind his sound. The unfortunate murder of Hitman that would finish his career in 2003 was a theme of his music and of RBL Posse as a whole. Two of the Three members would be murdered at some point in their career and left to the darkness of a world of violence. This violence would be reoccurring throughout Solo Creep as death is one of the main foundations of the records. It is chilling, but overall takes pages of the rhymes to a new forefront with skits and instrumentals that mix the action up.
With “You Betta Come Strapped”, the instrumental is bass heavy and clamps along with these creeping piano chords that feels daunting and downright aggressive. As the chorus of “You Betta Come Strapped Nigga, How you gonna bring a knife to a gun fight” continues to reign as Hitman pumps out his verse and slithers along the instrumentation that sounds ripped straight from a Wes Craven Film.
Solo Creep was one of the records from Hitman and the RBL Posse that became a classic instantly. While it did not crush the charts, there was a loveable sense behind the record and it is designed to hit that golden standard of 90’s hip-hop sound that ages well like a fine wine on the San Francisco Bay.