Dungeon Family Was At Full Strength On This Outkast, Goodie Mob & Cool Breeze Collabo
At the end of the 1990s, the Dungeon Family’s meteoric rise was fully in stride. Outkast had three platinum, critically-acclaimed albums. Goodie Mob was close behind, with two gold LPs of a similar pedigree, and late ’99’s World Party closely in tow.
Labels wanted in on the magic happening in the Dungeon studios, and LaFace Records suddenly had stiff competition. Acts such as Joi, Sleepy Brown and Witchdoctor began permeating the industry, with albums of varying success. Parental Advisory, one of the eldest groups in the Organize Noize family tree also pushed onward. However, just as Goodie was heard on ‘Kast, labels and newfound fans were looking for the newest act to follow with that drawl, that style, and that message cooler than a polar bear’s toenails.
Following appearances on Soul Food, ATLiens, and Still Standing, Cool Breeze was poised to be the next Family member into the spotlight. Signed to D.F.’s A&M/Interscope Records deal, the fast-rapping MC was backed by the same infrastructure as Dr. Dre, Eve, and Kurupt—leaders within the industry. East Point’s Greatest Hit featured involvement from Tha Dogg Pound member, as well as 8Ball. Notably though, the LP featured Organized Noize and Mr. DJ behind the boards—the same creatives who transformed the rest of D.F. from local talents to Rap stars.
Sixteen years later, Cool Breeze may have one of the diamonds in the rough, concerning the Dungeon Family tree. East Point’s Greatest Hit showed a straightforward lyricist with a dynamic message, and a palpable desire to heard. Nothing on the LP pushes the envelope further than “Watch For The Hook.” With a beat that lived up to its name, the squad showed out for Freddie Calhoun (not to be confused with Slimm Calhoun, another D.F. offshoot). Arguably, Outkast and Goodie Mob eclipse Cool Breeze on the song, but so was the trend for breaking new acts at the turn of the millennium.
The Reservoir Dogs-inspired video features a completely unified Dungeon Family, with deeply quotable Andre 3000 bars, some of Cee-Lo’s most nimble rapping, and Big Gipp kicking street knowledge. The instrumental that would be the go-to vehicle for so many ’99 freestyles and “Rap City” sound-beds was the perfect complement to the Atlanta, Georgia super-collective.
Although “Watch For The Hook” made its rounds, East Point’s Greatest Hit did not live up to its name. On places without his clique, Cool Breeze proved to be a strong rookie MC, deserving of the role on previous great albums. However, akin to Cappadonna, The Lady Of Rage, or G-Dep, it may have been bad timing, despite skill and a once white-hot movement.
As the mystique surrounding Outkast, Goodie, and the rest of the Dungeon Fam brews heavily into the 2010s, this is a moment worth remembering.
Besides the household names (Outkast, Goodie Mob, Future, Killer Mike) who is your favorite artist within D.F.?