Review: Brothers For The Struggle – Straight Outta Cleveland in Full Effect

Straight Outta Cleveland in Full Effect was the debut EP from Brothers For The Struggle which was released on cassette in 1990. Straight Outta Cleveland in Full Effect is one of their lesser known EPs. Not too many people mention Brothers For The Struggle (Brothers 4 The Struggle) when bringing up Cleveland hip hop. Brothers For The Struggle hails from Cleveland, Ohio. (East Cleveland to be exact.) Brothers For The Struggle was the first rap group to put Cleveland on the rap scene next MC Chill, Cochise, and Johnny O.

The whole EP has that early golden age hip hop sound with party themed songs along with politically conscious songs which raised awareness to the community of Cleveland, Ohio. This Brothers For The Struggle EP is where reggae music meets hip hop sounds.

Back in the Day is a reggae infused hip hop song with a dancehall type sound hence the ragga type sound. The beats are fairly upbeat and so is the tempo. You can feel the bounce in the beats as you listen to this song. This song is also known as Ready Rocks. Ready Rocks was mixed by DJ Ace and arranged by Paycheck. Back in the Day is a hip hop/rap tale of Brothers For The Struggle uplifted themselves out of poverty by selling cocaine rocks.

Back in the Day was first local hit for this Cleveland hip hop/rap group in 1990 which soon became a breakout hit. This song was insanely popular to the point where people began stealing copies of their debut EP leading the cassette to become a rarity and a collectible at that. This was an uncommon commodity.

Paycheck and Pratt Attack used to look so bummy and mean when hey went to the recreation center. They looked down and out because they came from poverty and had no money. To be broke everyday made a brother sad. They would purchase alcoholic beverages to drink the pain of poverty away. Not a smart idea. They knew they had to stop.

That is what the following verse means, “anted up and got a forty with the money that we had/we knew sho enuff dat lifestyle had to stop/but da situation changed when we got hip to da rock”

This all changed when Paycheck formed Brothers For The Struggle in 1990 and released Straight Outta Cleveland in Full Effect which became a local hit for the group. People in the city fell in love with the song and EP.

Every hour of the day an ounce of crack cocaine was sold. Sure they sacrificed themselves on the block when it got cold. The cops used to try to play them. Although they were making music, they were still in the business of selling cocaine rocks better known as Ready Rocks. They sold cocaine back in the day.

Brothers For The Struggle lets us know that they are noting to play with on the song Nuthin’ To Play Wit. They had their politics together back then.

Paycheck takes more control on Study Long, Study Wrong by rapping with his dope lyrics. He has a more vocal presence on this song as he does with Back in the Day. Study Long, Study Wrong uses a dope heavy bass line throughout the entire song. The beats follow a dancehall type of rhythm.

I rate this EP 4/5****!

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