Down by Law is the debut album by East Coasthip hop artist MC Shan. Released at the height of the Bridge Wars, a feud between artists from Queensbridge (such as MC Shan) and South Bronx (such as KRS-One), the album contains various diss tracks. The most prodigious of these disses are "Kill That Noise" and "The Bridge," which was later re-created as "Da Bridge 2001" by various Queensbridge-based artists. The album is produced by Marley Marl. It was the only Cold Chillin'/Warner Bros. album that was never initially released on CD by its distributor. The album was not released on that format until 1995, long after the 5-year distribution deal with Warner Bros. Records ended. By this time, Cold Chillin' distributed its material independently, mostly from its back catalog. This CD pressing would only be available for a limited time and went out of print for a few years. It was then re-released in 2001 as MC Shan: the Best of Cold Chillin', which featured all the tracks from Down by Law (except "Another One to Get Jealous Of") with a few additional non-album tracks. This version is now out of print as well. In 2007, it was re-released again by its new owner, Traffic Entertainment, in expanded form as a double-disc set with bonus tracks.
In 1998, it was listed in The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.