- The Album (The Firm album)
The Album Studio album by The Firm Released October 21, 1997 Recorded November 1996–August 1997 Genre Hip hop Length 53:04 Label Aftermath/Interscope Producer Dr. Dre, Trackmasters Nas chronology It Was Written
Foxy Brown chronology Ill Na Na
AZ chronology Doe or Die
Pieces of a Man
Nature chronology The Album
For All Seasons
Singles from The Album
- "Firm Biz"
- "Phone Tap"
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  Entertainment Weekly (B+)  Los Angeles Daily News  RapReviews (5.0/10)  Rhapsody (mixed)  Robert Christgau (B-)  The Source  Vibe (mixed) 
Prior to the formation of The Firm, future members and affiliates of the group were at transitional stages of their careers. Following the acclaim of his landmark debut album Illmatic (1994), Queensbridge-based emcee Nas decided to concentrate his efforts in a mainstream direction. Despite its significant impact on hip hop at the time, Illmatic did not experience the larger sales of most major releases of the day, due in part to Nas' shy personality and withdrawal from promoting the record. Nas began to make appearances on other artists' work, including Kool G Rap's "4,5,6" and "Verbal Intercourse" on Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... (1995), which made him the first non Wu-Tang member to appear on one of their recordings. Nas began to dub himself as Nas Escobar on these guest appearances. Meanwhile, his excessive spending habits had left him with little money, as Nas had to ask for a loan to purchase clothes to wear to the 1995 Source Awards. The success of fellow East Coast act The Notorious B.I.G. at the awards show sent a message to Nas to change his commercial approach, resulting in his hiring of Steve "The Commissioner" Stoute as manager. While Illmatic attained gold status, Stoute convinced Nas to aim his efforts in a more commercial direction for his second album, after which Nas enlisted production team the Trackmasters, who were known for their mainstream success at the time.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn-based female rapper Foxy Brown was brought to the attention of the Trackmasters, who were working on LL Cool J's Mr. Smith (1995). After impressing the production team with an on-stage freestyle rap, she earned a guest appearance on Mr. Smith, contributing a verse to the remix of "I Shot Ya". Throughout 1995 and 1996, Brown appeared on several platinum and gold singles, including Jay-Z's "Ain't No Nigga" and the remix of Toni Braxton's "You're Makin' Me High". Her appearances sparked a recording company bidding war in early 1996, leading to her signing to Def Jam Recordings. The success of "I Shot Ya" prompted her inclusion, along with rappers AZ and Cormega, in collaborating with Nas on the song "Affirmative Action" for his second studio album, It Was Written (1996). The collaboration came in the wake of the critical success of AZ's debut album Doe or Die (1995). He initially garnered attention with his appearance on Nas' "Life's a Bitch" (1993). Cormega, whose rapping career had been put on hold due to his incarceration during the early 1990s, was referenced by Nas on "One Love" (1994), and was released from jail in 1995.
According to critic Steve "Flash" Juon of RapReviews, the title of the album, as well as the group's name, was inspired by John Grisham's 1991 legal thriller-novel The Firm and the 1993 film adaption of the same name. While it was issued under the title The Album, writers and music critics have referred to the album with such titles as The Firm, Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, and Nature Present the Firm: The Album, and The Firm — The Album, or The Firm: The Album.
# Title Producer(s) 1 "Intro" Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor 2 "Firm Fiasco" 8 (AZ, Foxy Brown, Nas) Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor 3 "Phone Tap (Intro)" 4 "Phone Tap"1 (AZ, Nas, Nature) Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor 5 "Executive Decision" 13 (AZ, Nas, Nature) Curt Gowdy, Trackmasters 6 "Firm Family" 9 (Nature) (featuring Dr. Dre) Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor 7 "Firm All Stars" 7 (Foxy Brown) (featuring Pretty Boy) Trackmasters 8 "Fuck Somebody Else (Intro)" 9 "Fuck Somebody Else" ² (Foxy Brown) Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor 10 "Hardcore"³ (Foxy Brown, Nas) Trackmasters 11 "Untouchable"10 (featuring Wizard) Dr. Dre, Mel-Man 12 "Five Minutes to Flush (Intro)"4 13 "Five Minutes to Flush"5 (Nature) Dr. Dre, Chris "The Glove" Taylor 14 "Desperados (Intro)" 15 "Desparados"12 (Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ, Nature) (featuring Canibus) Curt Gowdy, Trackmasters 16 "Firm Biz"6 (AZ, Foxy Brown, Nas) (featuring Dawn Robinson) L.E.S. 17 "I'm Leaving"11 (Nature) (featuring Noreaga) Trackmasters 18 "Throw Your Guns" (AZ) (featuring Half-A-Mil) Trackmasters
- Sample credits
- 1 Samples "Petite Fleur" by Chris Barber's Jazz Band
- ² Samples "You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else" by The Jones Girls
- ³ Samples "Your Love (Encore)" by Cheryl Lynn
- 4 Samples "Hard to Handle" by Etta James
- 5 Samples "Five Minutes Of Funk" by Whodini
- 6 Samples "Square Biz" by Teena Marie
- 7 Samples "Turn Off the Lights" by Young Larry
- 8 Samples "A Ma Fille" by Charles Aznavour
- 9 Samples "Come On Sexy Mama" by The Moments
- 10 Samples "Mother Nature" by The Temptations
- 11 Samples "I'm Leaving On a Jet Plane" by John Denver
- 12 Samples "Dune" by Wasis Diop
- 13 Samples "Ô Corse île d'amour" by Tino Rossi
Single information "Firm Biz"
- Released: 1997
"Phone Tap" (promo only)
- Released: 1997
- B-side: "Five Minutes to Flush"
Charts (1997) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart 8 U.S. Billboard 200 1 U.S. Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums 1
Chart procession and succession
You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs by
Billboard 200 number one album
November 8–14, 1997
Harlem World by Mase
- List of number-one albums of 1997 (U.S.)
- List of number-one R&B albums of 1997 (U.S.)
- ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/r317870
- ^ http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,290247,00.html
- ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/SOUND+CHECK.(L.A.+LIFE)-a083891049
- ^ http://www.rapreviews.com/archive/BTTL_firmthealbum.html
- ^ http://www.rhapsody.com/the-firm-2/the-album
- ^ http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?id=2097&name=Nas+Escobar%2C+Foxy+Brown%2C+Az+and+Nature
- ^ http://www.tower.com/album-firm-cd/wapi/106446434
- ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=Ry0EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA169&dq=Revolutions&lr=
- ^ a b c d e f Cowie, Del F. Nas: Battle Ready. Exclaim!. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ a b c d Ill-nana.net: Foxy Brown - Biography. The Foxy Brown Palace. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ Bush, John. Foxy Brown: Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ Birchmeier, Jason. The Firm: Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ Birchmeier, Jason. AZ: Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ Birchmeier, Jason. Cormgea: Biography. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ Juon, Steve. The Firm: "Back to the Lab" series. RapReviews. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ Diehl, Matt. Music Review: The Firm. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ Lang (2006), p. 117.
- ^ Christgau, Robert. CG: Nas Escobar, Foxy Brown, Az and Nature. Robert Christgau. Retrieved on 2009-02-22.
- ^ ego trip (1999), p. 26.
- ^ allmusic ((( The Album > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums ))). Allmusic. Accessed May 24, 2008.
- Ashyia N. Henderson (2001). Contemporary Black Biography. Vol. 30. Gale Group. ISBN 0-787-64621-0.
- John Borgmeyer, Holly Lang (2006). Dr. Dre: A Biography. Edition: illustrated. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-33826-4.
- Jake Brown (2006). Dr. Dre in the Studio. Edition: illustrated. Amber Books Publishing. ISBN 0-976-77355-4.
- Sacha Jenkins, Elliott Wilson, Gabe Alvarez, Brent Rollins (1999). Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists: Book of Rap Lists. Edition: illustrated. Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-24298-0.
- Mickey Hess (2007). Icons of Hip Hop: An Encyclopedia of the Movement, Music, and Culture. Edition: illustrated. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-313-33904-X.
- Todd Boyd (2004). The New H.N.I.C.: The Death of Civil Rights and the Reign of Hip Hop. NYU Press. ISBN 0-814-79896-9.
- The Album at Discogs
- Nas: Battle Ready (see 1997 section)
- Dre. forms label, expands, The Firm
- Foxy single success
- Dre backlash
- AZ bio
- Cormage bio, Diss cormega, strained relationship, album never issued and grudge
- Firm Foundation at NY Daily News
- Pop stardom, Dismissed
- Disband after sales
- Dre bad year, then eminem
- ego trip
- Like Nas, AZ began relying on ...
Studio albums Other albums Singles Featured singles Related articleDiscography Nas Studio albums Compilation albums Collaboration albums Related articles Studio albums Compilation albums/mixtapes Collaboration albumThe Firm: The Album Related articlesDiscography · The Firm
- "Firm Biz"
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