Down by Law (MC Shan album)

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Down By Law
Down by Law (MC Shan album) coveart.jpg
Studio album by MC Shan
Released August 8, 1987
Recorded 1986–1987
Genre East Coast hip hop
Length 45:03
Label Cold Chillin'/ Warner Bros. Records
Producer Marley Marl
MC Shan chronology
Down By Law
Born to be Wild
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[1]

Down by Law is the debut album by East Coast hip hop artist MC Shan. Released at the height of the Bridge Wars, a feud between artists started by South Bronx's KRS-One responding to the Queensbridge anthem "The Bridge". The song's swearing was edited out of the album. The album contains the diss track, "Kill That Noise" in response to South Bronx. 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 a contemporary review, The Washington Post stated that the album's "sound is not particularly innovative, Shan creates a wiry visceral groove on such tracks as "Kill That Noise" and "Living in the World of Hip Hop""[2] In 1998, it was listed in The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.[3]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Performer (s)
1 "Jane, Stop This Crazy Thing!" MC Shan
2 "Project Ho" MC Shan
3 "The Bridge" MC Shan
4 "Kill That Noise" (Boogie Down Productions dis) MC Shan
5 "Down by Law" MC Shan
6 "Left Me Lonely" MC Shan, TJ Swan
7 "Another One to Get Jealous Of" MC Shan
8 "MC Space" MC Shan
9 "Living in the World of Hip-Hop" MC Shan
10 "Beat Biter" (L.L. Cool J dis) MC Shan

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
Billboard Top R&B Albums 40


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Jenkins, Mark (January 17, 1988). "Achieving a Bad Rap: Beat Box Artists Talk Trash for Cash Schooly D: 'Saturday Night!' Rap Kool Moe Doe: 'How Ya Like Me Now' Just Ice: 'Kool and Deadly (Justicizms)' M.C. Shan: 'Down by Law'". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C., United States: WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post. p. 111. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved October 17, 2014. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ 100 Best Rap Albums