Top Authority – Somethin’ To Blaze To is one of those timeless classics that is considered to be a masterpiece album of gangsta rap. This album was many people’s favorite albums from back in the day. The sound of and essence of hardcore gangsta rap can be heard on this album. Tight gangsta lyrics on top of heavy beats and loud thick synths are the sounds you can expect to hear this album. The themes on this album range from murder, drug selling, earning money, to political corruption.
This album captured the essence and atmosphere of Flint, Michigan, US back in 1993 as Top Authority rapped about what was going on in their city at that time. For instance, they rap about the high murder rate of Flint on Another Murda, inner city violence on 93 (Thangs Ain’t How They Should Be), and prostitution on Pussy Ain’t Worth No Cash.
Now Top Authority – Somethin’ To Blaze, The Dayton Family – What’s On My Mind, and The Dayton Family – Dope Dayton Ave set the tone for the city of Flint musically and climate wise. There was a lot of crime going on and drugs being sold during that time due to the social and political climate of the city. Unemployment was difficult to find as there were no jobs in the city.
The album was produced by Dalo and Steve Pitts. Dalo did a bulk of most of the production while Steve Pitts laid down and arranged the synths, beats, and bells. Top Authority released their debut album in 1993. A magical year in music. 1993 was the same year The Dayton Family dropped their full length demo album and their Dope Dayton Ave EP.
Top Authority is compromised of two great storytellers from the 5th Ward neighborhood of Flint, Michigan. These two great storytellers are Flex and Shotgun. Shotgun sounds very much similar to 2pac and Flex’s voice is similar to Scarface of Geto Boys. That is how Flex’s voice is reminiscent of Scarface. Now the sound of Top Authority is similar to Scarface, Geto Boys, and The Notorious BIG. Top Authority will remind you of Scarface as you listen to their debut album.
Their raps show self-awareness as they rap about socio-political issues that affect Flint. Their styles of rap consist of murder rap, sex rap, and hood tales. Their murder raps show self-awareness as they explain what goes on in the city streets of Flint, Michigan.
Somethin’ To Blaze To sold very well in states such as Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Texas. The album was well received in the Great Lakes region (the North) and the South. Their debut album was well received especially down South since that’s where some of gangsta rap was coming from. This album was bumped at red lights during traffic and house parties. You could hardly walk around a street corner in Flint and not hear their debut album being played back in 1993.
Their album was particularly popular with members from the local Gangsta Disciples gang (GD’s) during this time period especially since the 5th Ward neighborhood was Gangsta Disciples territory (GD territory) and that is where Top Authority originated. Top Authority’s origins go back to the corner of Mart Street & Donald Street in the 5th Ward neighborhood on the North Side of Flint.
Sadly this album got lost in the shuffle during the rise of gangsta rap. Fortunately their debut album did reach gold status and charted on the Billboard Charts. Something To Blaze To reached #21 on the Billboard Charts in 1994. Top Authority was slept on back despite have 2 music videos air on The BOX channel and BET. Somethin’ To Blaze To is just as relevant in 2020 as it was in the 90s. Top Authority was slept on and always has been. They were the realest gangsta rap group from Flint next to The Dayton Family.
What’s amazing is that the Something to Blaze To album sold over 400,000 units with hardly any promotion which was unheard of in 1993. This was before the internet became publicly available. The group was on point when they released their debut album. Not only that, Top Authority was one of the first rap groups from Flint, Michigan to release albums with nationwide distribution next to DFC, The Dayton Family, and The Fharmacy.
The album starts with the cold chilling yet eerie opener Another Murda. That makes sense because Another Murda is one of their murder rap. This song is a TA classic and is still relevant today.
Top Authority raps about the high murder rate of Flint, Michigan on Another Murda. Flint, Michigan had reached the highest peak of murders in the year of 1993. The rate for murder was the highest for that year. This song is just as relevant in 2020 as it was in 1993.
According to the FBI, Flint has one of the highest crime rates in Michigan with 5,538 incidents per 100,000 residents. In the 1980s and 1990s, Flint was known the murder capital of the US next to Detroit, Gary, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Baltimore.
The members of Top Authority rap and talk about committing murder during this song. It’s another murder. A 187. Shotgun is the motherfucking Cap Peeler and Flex is Flex The Body Snatcher. Those are the character roles they play during this song.
We are first greeted by loud thunder and rain. Then beats start to kick in and begin playing. We are greeted by a female news report expelling to us details about a murder that took place inside of a Flint home. 2 of the 3 people were found shot to death inside the home. A man shot during an attempted robbery was reported to be in critical condition.
[Audio excerpt of news video clipping]
Turning to other news this Noon time. Police have identified two of the three people who were found shot to death inside a Flint home last night. And a man was shot during an attempted robbery in Flint yesterday is in critical condition.
Flex raps about how he thought he would never hurt or murder anyone in his verse.
Flex thought he would never ever hurt her. But once again it’s a murder. Flex The Body Snatcher is snatching hoes like a bitch killer. Slicing niggas and hoes apart. He didn’t want to go this far by going the killer route. He had to whip out the fucking chainsaw. There’s a lot of niggas that want to sac up. So he call his nigga Shotgun up in case he needs back up. It’s another murder. A 187.
It’s a murder once again. Shotgun is the motherfucking Cap Peeler killing all fucking punks with his shotgun. Leaving motherfuckers slain with a bullet in their brain.
Shotgun explains how he got his name during his verse. These lyrics here explain in short detail how Shotgun got his name.
It’s a murder once again
Had you heard from The Body Snatcher
I’m glad you called
Cause I’m killing all fucking punks with you
With my shotgun
Cause that’s how I got my name
Leaving motherfuckers slain
With a bullet in their brain
Flex starts dropping bodies like John Gotti and won’t stop until he’s finished. He put his gun barrel on to a person’s chest at point-blank range and put them to rest. Flex watch them die fast and bleed slow. Flex is a 110% percent straight up nigga from Flint. He’s the man you never heard of. By now you should know it’s him.
These lyrics explain how he makes his victims die a slow painful death.
Just in case that nigga have on a vest
I put my gun barrel on his chest
At point-blank range and put him to rest
And watch him die fast
And watch him bleed slow
It’s a murder once again and he is looking for one more person to kill. He is looking for people to murder to stack on the top of the pack of people he robbed. He also robs people in the process of killing them. T.A. is Top Authority leaving them DOA in the plastic sack. Rolling with the nigga clan (FOD aka Faces Of Death from Pierson Hood). Listening to real gangsta rap. Once again Flex is going to commit another murder.
Fuck a driveby. Shotgun will walk through your hood and start shooting people. Dropping motherfuckers like flies. He wears a bullet proof vest on his chest so you can’t harm him. So you better bring an army. Because Shotgun is a cold hearted killer out for blood. Leaving niggas in ditches. Even bitches catching slugs. So step with caution, motherfucker. You won’t stand a chance in the ambulance. Two to the head and now you’re dead, bitch.
One person got caught up at the wrong place at the wrong time. They got their skull split wide open like a cantaloupe. It was just another murder that Shotgun wrote. It’s a murder once again and this shit just won’t end.
That is until he get caught by the Feds. But how can he get caught when police and citizens keep finding the bodies without the fucking heads and no clue that leaves the evidence? No murder weapons. No fingerprints. Just the muddy, bloody pavement. In the city of Flint you’re living in Hell. It’s another 187 again.
Top Authority dissed DOA in these lyrics. “Steady yellin’, calling Kevin/I grabbed my MAC-11, now he’s 187/Dead on the spot/DOA found in the parking lot” That could have been because of the hate against the group DOA received that was going on behind closed doors from The Dayton Family and others. The Dayton Family and Top Authority were real close with each other. They grew up in the same area and ran in the same social circles since Flint is a small town.
Flex The Problem Solver is once again on a murder hunt. To play to win you got to shoot a hunch to kill a bunch. Not like Jeffrey Dahmer. Bullets have no age limit once he squeezes the trigger. The victim was in pain as blood ran from his brain cord. He was in pain, steady running as Flex commits first degree murder.
Flex got to use the 16 rounds on his Glock plus he also had a .44 on him. Flex had police believe this premeditated killing was drug related. His family sure hated because it was premeditated. The news said he was barely bruised. And now prosecutors and law enforcement want to throw Flex in the penitentiary because they say they found him on the murder case once again.
Shotgun is bad for your health. Insane in the fucking brain is what he is. But who’s to blame? Murder’s what he’s living for. Got to make a murder ever day. What makes you think there won’t be another murder once again?
Dalo produced the beats and synths on No Love (9mm Remix). Dalo used thick beats on this song is as that is what would grab listeners attention and get them to listen to the song. Top Authority felt Dalo when he used those beats on this song. The song is still pure fire today.
There is a maxi cassette single with a different version to this song that has a different mix. That single is extremely rare and hard to find. There is also a vinyl single for this song also.
These are the most memorable yet esoteric violent lyrics of this song. Read the lyrics below.
And I’ma tax that ass like the government
Niggas try to run from it
Get gunned from it
Cause death is the punishment
But you can’t run if you can’t hide
1 trigga plus the trigga happy nigga equals homicide
Niggas keep quiet or speak your muthafuckin mind
But whatever you tryin to say bitch you better tell it to my muthafuckin nine
Like a jack
You get your caps peeled back
fucking with an ace
Just thought I’d let you hoes know
I ain’t taking shit in 93
The production on Money is straight fire and is completely dope. What stands out is the bass line. The bass line constantly changes notes and pitch throughout this song. That is because Steve Pitts produced the bass line. Steve Pitts is known for his bass lines and synths.
There is a maxi cassette single with a different version to this song that has a different mix. That single is extremely rare and hard to find. There is also a vinyl single for this song also.
Flex was going dirty, selling 2 for 30 to get some clientele. 400 a quarter ounce is what he was pushing out of his house for sale making $5,000 a night. That was on an off day when everything wasn’t clicking right because he usually clocks 3 to 4 Gs (grand) an hour. Flex was living happily with the money and the power.
He was paying police while they worked for him so he could remain low key and keep out of the public eye. Slangin’ by the dozen with with cousin. His daily cocaine operation in and out of Flint kept Flex’s beeper buzzin’. Flex Riding in his Lexus with tinted windows through Flint. Wearing gear and suits that cost more than what you pay for rent. He was on a nice fat payroll. Cocaine bought him every motherfucking thing and kept his pockets swoll. He never did have a problem because money solved his problems. That was the lifestyle he chose. Don’t shit move but that money.
Verse 1 explains how Flex made his money. He made money by selling an illegal substance called cocaine.
[VERSE 1: FLEX]
I was going dirty, selling 2 for 30
To get some clientele
400 a quarter ounce is what I was pushing out my house for sale
Making $5,000 a night
That was on a off day when everything wasn’t clicking right
Because I usually clock 3 to 4 Gs an hour
And I was living happily (unintelligible) with the money and the power
I had so much I couldn’t be touched by the C-O-P
I was paying them while they worked for me for I could be low key
Slangin’ by the dozen with my cousin
My daily cocaine operation in and out of Flint kept my beeper buzzin’
Flex riding Lexus through Flint
Them windows tint
And wearing gear and suits that cost more than what you pay for rent
Cause I was on a nice fat payroll
Cocaine bought me every motherfucking thing and kept my pocket swoll
I never did have a problem
Cause if a deal was going down M-O-N-E-Y always solved ’em
That was the lifestyle I chose
They used to swear I was on my feet
But I told them hoes I’m on my tippy toes
And they thought that shit was funny
But I would tell them again to their face “don’t shit move but that money”
Making that money in the fast lane. He’ll never go broke selling coke in the dope game. A paid ass nigga on his motherfucking feet. Making Gs, booming keys, keep the fucking 50s off his street. Power is money. Money is power.
Flex calls out the hypocrisy of the slogan “Say No To Drugs” in these lyrics.
Bitch what you make at Mickey Ds in two years, I make a fucking hour
So take your ass and stick a douche in it
Cause I don’t hear you going to stop the sale of drugs
When the government is pushing it
Realizing life when I was younger
Made me wonder what can I do to keep my fucking head from going under
Seeing what my older brother used to do
Running around with his crew
I thought it was cool, I wanted to be down too
Age 16, I’m hanging, slanging on the block
We used to run but it done got to where we popped at the cops
That corner had him out cold. He done got stretched down by the hook with a $100 dollar rocks up his asshole. But now his cash flow is steady flowing. Flex is booming weight. They started off with double-up, ended up into a cake.
Life ain’t shit but a big game. You either roll legit or you roll with the dope game.
Flint was headed for a drought. Colombians started moving out. Shipments stopped coming in. 5-0 started breaking in doing drug busts. Luckily Top Authority saw where Flint was headed and planned beforehand. He was booming so hard they stuck illegal drug signs in his front yard. But Flex is a real nigga. They couldn’t stop him.
The city of Flint was sewed up. The police wanted him locked up cause I was rocking up cocaine and giving out double-ups. Money wasn’t a problem. It was just the FBI was trying to stop him from booming nationwide Because he was on a mission to the road to the riches. Sitting back on the corner block of Mary collecting bank on them bitches.
8 o’clock was the time the deal was going down. Shotgun was going out to me a dealer on the South Side of town all alone. Grabbed the 9 with seventeen rounds just in case. Counted 28 for the cake and Shotgun was on my way. So the deal was made but before they headed out the door.
Shit! He heard a click of a .44 pointed to his head. Shotgun knew he was a dead man. The only thing on his mind was the $28 grand. And this punk motherfucker about to make a clean hit. But that stupid nigga didn’t pull the trigger though. That gave Shot enough time to grab the 9 and let the trigger go. Caught him dead in the face before he got away.
Flex been on the block slanging rocks. Day and night. Up on Mary Street and Delia Street. Street life. You got to have a mind to play that game in order to survive. That’s what’s call street knowledge. If you want that motherfucking money. They say it ain’t a job but it’s a motherfucking job, alright. You work day and night making that money fast and quick.
Top Authority explains to us that sometimes sex is not worth money on Pussy Ain’t Worth No Cash. The prostitute could have a sexually transmitted disease. So you know what they say. Pussy ain’t worth no cash. Take it from TA.
This song is just as relevant in 2020 as it was in 1993. Top Authority made a name for themselves with this particular song. This Top Authority song was slept on by the radio and mainstream media. The relevancy of this song has stood the test of time as this song would still be relevant if released or streamed today. Prostitution still goes on today.
Paying for sex is not always worth money. The prostitute could have a sexually transmitted disease or be acting as an undercover cop in a sting operation to arrest prostitutes or pimps. Or the prostitute could be so ugly or unloveable to point where the sex is not worth the money hence the title of this song. So it’s always to good to avoid prostitution in that case.
Top Authority also explains to us that sometimes getting vagina is not worth money. Sexually transmitted diseases are a reason why pussy ain’t worth no cash.
Flex and Shotgun put the listeners on another level on the song On The Level. They take us to another level of the game with this song the best way they know how. That is how they take us on that other level. The rhymes on this song are a classic. They take you to the level of a gangster.
The most classic line from Flex’s lyrics is “You betta ask somebody/I’m deadly like James Cagney”. You don’t get lyrics like this in rap music anymore since the genre has been so corporatized and watered down. The song is pure quality gangsta shit. The type of shit you won’t hear on the radio.
Pop Him is another one of their murder raps. The song is about committing murder. The song is based on a murder that took place in real life. This is that type of music that will make you want go out and kill people. This is music to plot a murder to.
Ootin cocaine isn’t his thing. That shit don’t phase Flex. Flex is a nigga behind the trigger that was born crazy. Brought up in Flint and making a living on the block. Slangin’ rocks ’til his spot got hot. That’s when and why he had to pop a cop. Good as dead. A bulletproof vest might stop a wound to the chest but not to the head. He’s letting the bodies stack up. That’s what you get when you fuck with Flex. Now you understand why he had to kill someone.
Top Authority explained in rap how things aren’t how they should be and how things were how they should have been the year of 1993 on the song 93 (Thangs Ain’t How They Should Be). This is also another one of their murder raps. The song deals with issues such as inner city violence, murder, gang activity, and politics of course.
This song is relevant in the current climate of today as it was in 1993. In fact this song is still relevant today. It’s now 2020 and things aren’t definitely how they should be. Things have gotten even worse now. Things still ain’t how they should be.
Flint, Michigan had reached the highest peak of murders in the year 1993. The rate for murder was the highest for that year. Inner city violence plagued the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area including Carriage Town, Civic Park, and Doyle-Rider. Gang activity was at an all time high as it was from 1986 to 1991.
According to the FBI, Flint has one of the highest crime rates in Michigan with 5,538 incidents per 100,000 residents. In the 1980s and 1990s, Flint was known the murder capital of the US next to Detroit, Gary, New Orleans, San Antonio, and Baltimore. That’s why
The song was produced by Gerald Valentine and Dalo. 93 (Thangs Ain’t How They Should Be) samples Bernard Wright – Music Is The Key and the beats sample Anotha Level – What’s That Cha Say.
Dalo produced the beats and synths on the title track Somethin’ To Blaze To. Somethin’ To Blaze To is a song to blaze a bowl to and smoke weed to. A perfect song to smoke one to. This song is also the TA Anthem.
The origins of Top Authority are explained in this song. Top Authority’s origins go back to the corner of Mart Street & Donald Street in the 5th Ward neighborhood on the North Side of Flint. The two were just rapping for their homies way back in high school. However they were mainly into sports such as basketball and running at first before they got into rap. Most of their time was spent on the basketball courts of Flint.
While the two discuss and rap about the origins of Top Authority, the also rap about smoking weed. So get out your Newports, Swisher Sweets, and Philly blunts. Blaze one up.
How Much deals with the social and political problems African Americans face in the United States. Such as police brutality, black on black crime, jealousy, drugs, and murder. How much shit can a brother take? That’s the real question in this song.
Top Authority was on point when they recorded How Much because the song was relevant in the past and is still relevant in the present. The song is still relevant today. Black on black crime is something that still goes on today. That is very sad.
The sample used in this song is Patrice Rushen – Remind Me and the beats sample Anotha Level – What’s That Cha Say. Dalo produced the beats and synths.
The song Voices was recorded back when gangsta rap was straight gangsta and not watered down like it is today. So expect them bells, whistles, and synths. The sound and stye is similar to 2Pac. This song is paranoid rap. The two rap about their stories of paranoia.
Flex is about ready to kill a motherfucker tonight. Some bitch just called his name waiting to get blasted on. Somebody’s fucking with Flex again. He has no idea who’s fucking with him. What the fuck is going on? Flex is all alone hearing voice. He can hear them but can’t see them. He is near them.
His mama told him he was paranoid. His mama lost all confidence in him. Flex was all mentally fucked up. She seen her one and only baby going crazy. Then she caught Flex talking to himself. Just in time before he grabbed the 9 millimeter off the shelf. Just as he was about to pull the trigger.
Ready to go to war with anybody, like Saddam. His heart kept clicking and ticking like a time bomb was about to explode. Life was certainly getting confusing. Something had to give. Flex keeps hearing voices when he sleeps saying he is not going to live. Now he is running out of choices. Flex is hearing voices. He’s hearing voices saying, “It’s another murder”.
Shotgun is hearing voices when he is all alone at home. Could it be that nigga I checked for a key? Was it his so-called homie he killed last week? The bitch was a snitch. So Shotgun left him bleeding in the street. He never had that much trust for a friend. His one and only homie was his sawed off .410 pump. Leaving chumps in a dumpster.
Murdering motherfuckers ever since he was a youngster but now that shit’s finally catching up with him. A dead man is what he hears every single night. He hears a dead man talking to him in his sleep. He’s got him waking up in a cold sweat. Cold as fuck and shaking. Shotgun is shaken by all this while hearing voices. He is so deep in a dream.
But he ain’t seen his face yet. So Shotgun goes inside the closet and grabs his gat. Asking, “Who the fuck is that?”. Ready to peel his cap back. When he creeped downstairs, he found nobody was there.
Shotgun is fed up with life all because he is hearing voices in his head. Shotgun is already having visions of suicide. That is what the lyrics “Having visions of a suicide/Going out with a bang/Fed up with life, I just can’t hack it/That life for me it’s penitentiary or a fucking straight jacket/Got me running out of choices/Hearing voices”
He’s hearing voices. The voices in his head tell him to kill and murder. Those voices have got him grabbing for his steel.
Flex wakes up paranoid, soaked in sweat. He though he heard his brother, but when he got up to take a look, he saw nothing but the sheets and covers. Flex gets paranoid with the voices inside of his head. With no money and no food, he is in a bad mood.
He picks up the phone and thinks somebody is calling him. But it’s the same old dial tone. Once again, he is hearing voices.
Shotgun is already on the edge of insanity. All because he is hearing voices in his head. It’s like is living in a world of Hell. You can’t see what he can see. Only a few can. Who’s to blame for the brains of a sick man? Hearing voices in his head had him grabbing for that Uzi. Yeah he’s bigger.
Shotgun goes out and commits homicide because he hears voices in his head telling him to kill someone. Now he has a murder case for shooting someone in the face. It’s no fun being on the run. 5-0 got him surrounded.
The song Never Leave Home Without It is similar to Street Military – Never Play With A Gun and Street Military – Aggravated Rasta. Top Authority tells us to never leave home without a gun. That is the lesson and moral of this song of theirs. This was the type of music that taught you how to survive in a cold cruel dirty world. Never leave home without that steel. That’s that 9 milli.
Outro (Half Deck) serves as the closing track for the album. Dalo produced the outro. “Playing with a half deck” is a colloquialism for someone who is not “all there” in their mind. This is often implied that someone is loosing their mind or has lost their mind. This also implies that the members of Top Authority are insane.
Niggas are getting bucked down for fucking around with them when it’s time for putting in work. It’s a Top Authority thing. So take two to your fucking brain and head. You couldn’t fade it with a bulletproof. So who’s next to get that ass checked and wrecked? The hook kind of says it all in terms of subject matter, mood, and vibe. It’s self explanatory.
Playing with a half deck
I’m playing with a half
I’m playing with a half, with a half deck
I’m playing with a half
So do these lyrics below.
Fucked like sex
Because I’m playing with a half deck
I’m insane so nigga back the fuck back
Lock me up with Jeffrey Dahmer and I’mma show your ass a maniac
Trapped into the system where motherfuckers don’t give a fuck
I ain’t giving a fuck, get that ass bucked and tough luck
I rate this album 5/5*****!!