World Premier (Intro)
The Pimps, The Hustlers, The Players
Jack Pot (Skit)
Gotta Get Paid
Throwin Up Highlands
That’s How We Livin
Straight Game Radio (Skit)
In the mid-’90s, a period often regarded as a golden era of hip-hop, Straight Game Entertainment released an EP that would resonate strongly within the Gangsta Rap scene. Titled “Gotta Get Paid,” the album serves as a time capsule of sorts, capturing the raw energy, ethos, and intricate storytelling that defined the genre during this period.
Released in 1996, this U.S.-produced EP kicks off with a brief but impactful “World Premier (Intro),” setting the stage for what’s to come. The project wastes no time in diving into the murky waters of street life, economic hardships, and the hustle to rise above it all. Songs like “The Pimps, The Hustlers, The Players” and “Gotta Get Paid” offer a deep dive into the world of hustling, balancing a gritty narrative with catchy hooks and compelling beats.
What sets this EP apart is its adept interplay between heavy tracks and lighter moments, as evidenced by the interspersed skits like “Jack Pot” and “Hi-Score.” These skits add a layer of narrative coherence and levity to an otherwise intense setlist. Tracks like “Throwin Up Highlands” and “That’s How We Livin” are audacious anthems of neighborhood pride and the struggle to make it, capturing the essence of Gangsta Rap during this era.
The production, helmed by Sycosis, keeps the beats pumping and the mood intense. Mixed by Pat Olguin, the audio quality complements the raw vocal delivery and the intricate lyricism, ensuring that the EP is not just a collection of tracks but a well-coordinated project.
On the technical front, the EP is a Straight Game Entertainment in-house project through and through—from copyrights to phonographic rights, and even manufacturing and distribution. Recorded at Selective Frequencies, the album benefits from a production environment that clearly understands the nuances of the genre.
In summary, “Gotta Get Paid” stands as an iconic piece in the Gangsta Rap subgenre, reflecting the sensibilities of its time while offering timeless narratives and beats that continue to resonate. As a Sacramento, CA-based project, it also serves as a testament to the city’s contribution to the larger hip-hop community. With its poignant storytelling, captivating beats, and skillful production, this EP deserves its place in the annals of hip-hop history.