Dungeon Family's Backbone Upholds Concrete Law

Outkast, Goodie Mob guest rapper gets his turn in the spotlight.

Performing on albums from Outkast and the Goodie Mob and then going on tour with them would be a dream come true for most up-and-coming artists. For the

Dungeon Family's Backbone, this very experience prepared him for his debut album,

Concrete Law, which is scheduled for a June 19 release.

The Atlanta rapper, who appeared on "We Luv Deez Hoez," from Outkast's

triple platinum Stankonia album, wasn't in a rush to

release his own collection, which is anchored by the single "5-Deuce,

4-Tre."

"It's nothing that I feel antsy about," says the man also known as Mr. Fat Face 100. Nonetheless, he doesn't mind that it is finally his time in the forefront. "Finally,

somebody has seen that it's time for me to happen," he said. "Not that I'm

a superstar or anything like that, but I definitely have enough musical

talent to carry that title."

Production from usual Dungeon Family suspects Organized Noize and Earthtone

3 propels Concrete Law, which also features beatwork from Lucky Calhoun,

individual members of the Goodie Mob and Mark Twain from the Attic Crew,

among others.

Like much of Goodie Mob's material, Backbone's album focuses on political

commentary informed by the experience of being a young black male raised in

the racially charged South.

"We being black men from the ages of 16 to 25, most of us don't understand that

the game [of life in America] is set up to destroy us, literally," he said.

"If you're going to be out in the streets, like they say when you're little,

look both ways before you cross so you don't get hit. You've got to respect

this game before you get in it. You've got to be cautious and read the

street signs. I want to go into the depths of the community and reach the

youngest of the Gs. I want them to realize that the game is a set-up and

we're losing."

This type of insight may seem out of place for listeners who only gave "We

Luv Deez Hoez" a cursory listen. Backbone points out that his verse didn't

match the potentially derogatory tone of the cut's title.

"There's a little science behind 'We Luv Deez Hoez,'" he said. "If you

listen to the chorus, it's like we're being sarcastic about it. If you

listen to my lyrics, I'm really telling [the girl] how much I appreciate

her. I'm not degrading her at all. I've got a mother, grandmother, a

sister and a wife. You don't have to do all this to be beautiful. You can

do it all naturally."

Born and bred in the S.W.A.T.S. section of Atlanta, Backbone connected with

the other members of the Dungeon Family about 11 years ago. Led by

producers Organized Noize and rap crews Outkast and Goodie Mob, the

Georgia-based collective ushered in the modern day version of Southern

hip-hop with the 1993 release of Outkast's "Player's Ball" single.

Since then, Backbone has worked with Outkast on their third and fourth albums,

as well as with Goodie Mob on their second and third releases. He toured with the

Mob in support of their Still Standing album in 1998, which took him

overseas. Earlier this year, Backbone was a featured performer on the

Outkast-fronted Stank Love Tour.

Even though he is just now releasing his own material, Backbone says he was

just waiting for his turn in the spotlight.

"People always ask me why I didn't come out back in the day," he said. "It

wasn't my decision. It's just all about time and God knew when the time was

right to do this."