Above The Law

Above The Law

Above The Law

Biography

Above the Law is a hip hop group from Pomona, California, founded in 1989 by Cold 187um, KMG the Illustrator, Go Mack, and DJ Total K-Oss.

In 1989, the group signed with Eazy-E's Ruthless Records. While there, it became close associates of the pioneering gangsta rap group N.W.A. Their first album on Ruthless, 1990's Livin' Like Hustlers, featured guest appearances from N.W.A. members and some production from Dr. Dre. Above the Law member Cold187um worked closely with Dre on production and the two had great influence on each other. The songs "Untouchable" and "Murder Rap" became minor hits from the album. "Murder Rap" appeared in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the West Coast fictional radio station, Radio Los Santos as well as the 2008 film Pineapple Express. The song "Freedom of Speech" appeared in the 1990 movie Pump Up the Volume and was also featured on the movie soundtrack album. In September 1990, members of hip hop act Above the Law clashed with Ice Cube and his posse Da Lench Mob during the annual New Music Seminar conference.

The group's First full length album Livin' Like Hustlers came out in 1990. This album, released before Dr. Dre's The Chronic, featured a similar G-Funk sound to that album. Cold187um has claimed that he was the first to pioneer the G-Funk style and Dr. Dre's new sound was largely inspired by his own sound on that album. Dre by this point had left Ruthless Records for Death Row Records. Two years later in 1994 the group released Uncle Sam's Curse, which was their last album on Ruthless Records. It contained the minor hit "Black Superman".

Shortly after Eazy-E's death, the group signed to Tommy Boy Records in 1996. There they released Time Will Reveal in 1996 and Legends In 1999, the group signed to Suge Knight's Death Row Records but left in 2002. The group was a part of the West Coast Rap All-Stars, contributing to "We're All in the Same Gang", a 1990 collaboration of West Coast hip-hop artists that assembled for this song to promote an anti-violence message.

On the morning of July 7, 2012, it was confirmed by multiple sources that emcee KMG the Illustrator had died. Longtime Above the Law affiliate Kokane confirmed the passing of the rapper on his Twitter account on the same day. The cause of his death is unknown at this time. He was 43 years old.

Four of the group's most popular/viral music videos, "Black Superman", "Call it What U Want" feat. Tupac, "V.S.O.P.", and the long form music video, "V.S.O.P. REMIX" were written and directed by Marty Thomas, who was Eazy-E's longtime Ruthless Records film director. Thomas also wrote and directed the controversial and eventually banned "Uncle Sam's Curse" Album television commercials which featured disturbing images of the KKK chasing ATL past a church with burning torches and a white "Uncle Sam" pulling a newborn African-American baby from his Mother's arms. The commercial won several prestigious worldwide awards.

According to Kokane, a new Above the Law album was recorded before the death of KMG. However, no release date has been set.

Discography

Above The Law - Livin’ Like Hustlers

Above The Law - Livin’ Like Hustlers

Ruthless Records, Epic 1989
Above The Law - Vocally Pimpin'

Above The Law - Vocally Pimpin'

Ruthless Records, Epic 1991
Above The Law - Black Mafia Life

Above The Law - Black Mafia Life

Ruthless Records 1992
Above The Law - Uncle Sam's Curse

Above The Law - Uncle Sam's Curse

Ruthless Records 1994
Above The Law - Time Will Reveal

Above The Law - Time Will Reveal

Tommy Boy 1996
Above The Law - Legends

Above The Law - Legends

Tommy Boy 1998
Above The Law - Forever: Rich Thugs, Book One

Above The Law - Forever: Rich Thugs, Book One

Street Solid 1999
Above The Law - Sex, Money And Music

Above The Law - Sex, Money And Music

Beatology Records 2009

Guest Appearances

Kokane - Funk Upon A Rhyme
  • The Aftermath

Kokane - Funk Upon A Rhyme

Ruthless Records 1994
Frost - Smile Now, Die Later
  • Last Days

Frost - Smile Now, Die Later

Ruthless Records, Relativity 1995
Big Syke - Be Yo' Self
  • Satelite Niggaz

Big Syke - Be Yo' Self

Rideonum Records, TNT Recordings 1996
MC Ren - The Villain In Black
  • Bring It On

MC Ren - The Villain In Black

Ruthless Records 1996
Above The Law Presents... Big Hutch aka Cold 187um - Executive Decisions
  • Ways 2 Come Up

Big Hutch aka Cold 187um - Executive Decisions

West World Records, Street Solid 1999
2Pac - Until The End Of Time
  • Words 2 My First Born

2Pac - Until The End Of Time

Interscope Records 2001
Mac & A.K. - Money Rhymes
  • Buckle Up

Mac & A.K. - Money Rhymes

E&K Music Group 2001
Kokane - Gimme All Mine
  • Lay You Down

Kokane - Gimme All Mine

Bud E. Boy Entertainment, Bonzi Records 2010

Compilations

We're All In The Same Gang
  • We're All In The Same Gang

The West Coast Rap All-Stars - We're All In The Same Gang

Warner Bros. Records 1990
The Crow: City Of Angels - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • City Of Angels

Various - The Crow: City Of Angels - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Miramax Records, Hollywood Records 1996
The Lawhouse Experience Vol. 1
  • You Might Get Stuck

Various - The Lawhouse Experience Vol. 1

Street Life Records, Lawhouse Records, Attic 1997
Ruthless Records Tenth Anniversary Compilation - Decade Of Game
  • Untouchable

Various - Ruthless Records Tenth Anniversary Compilation: Decade Of Game

Ruthless Records 1998
The N.W.A. Legacy Volume 1 1988 - 1998
  • The Last Song

Various - The N.W.A Legacy Volume 1 1988 - 1998

Priority Records 1999
Blood & Tears Soundtrack
  • Ride Wit Us

Various - Blood & Tears Soundtrack

Dogday Records 2000
Thug Law - Thug Life Outlawz Chapter 1
  • Satellite Ni**as

Thug Law - Thug Life Outlawz Chapter 1

Rideonum Entertainment Group 2001
Too Gangsta For Radio
  • Everywhere We Go

Various - Too Gangsta For Radio

Death Row Records 2001
Ice T Presents Westside
  • Pimpology 101

Various - Ice T Presents Westside

Obsessive 2002
Frost Presents Somethin' For The Riderz
  • City Of Angels

Various - Frost Presents Somethin' For The Riderz

40 Ounce Records 2003
Various - True Crime: Streets Of L.A.
  • Don't Do The Crime

Various - True Crime: Streets Of L.A.

Koch Records 2003
Beatologist Presents X Games
  • Sex, Money And Music

Various - Beatologist Presents X Games

Beatology Records 2006
N.W.A. And Their Family Tree
  • V.S.O.P.

Various - N.W.A And Their Family Tree

Priority Records, EMI 2008
Various - Sawed Off Records Presents Kalifornia's Most Wanted
  • Satellite Niggaz

Various - Sawed Off Records Presents Kalifornia's Most Wanted

Sawed Off Records 2008
Various - Detox: The Album
  • Smoke

Various - Detox: The Album

Indie Power, LLC 2008
Various - Married To The Game
  • Pawns

Various - Married To The Game

Accel Music 2009