It has been said that Ridin’ Dirty is to the South what Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions… is to New York; namely, a work of such immense and enduring power that no one making hip-hop after its release can completely escape its influence. Easily one of the most unified rap albums ever released, Ridin’ Dirty wastes no space, every song contributing to a cohesive whole. Far from the patchwork assemblages of so many hip-hop efforts, the album follows a single sonic personality — a dark, rich tone with the warmth of soul music — from the first song to the last. Every song is a mini-masterpiece, finely detailing a specific theme or scene. “One Day” is a meditation of death that refuses to resort to sentimentality or conclusion; all we are left with is the slow-motion replay and the plaintive cry of the chorus. The beat on “Murder” is reduced to the skeletal peril of an MC Shan record, showcasing Bun B as he lets loose one of the most blinding sequence of rhymes in rap history. “3 In the Mornin’” translates the atmosphere of a creeping automobile at midnight in a way that photography or film couldn’t touch. The reputation of Ridin’ Dirty will only grow with time; hip-hop has rarely been rendered with so much gravity.