Breaking Atoms
Breaking Atoms.jpg
Studio album by Main Source


23 July 1991


May 1990 - March 1991


Homeboy Studio, Power Play Studios and Libra Digital
(New York City)


Hip hop, jazz rap, East Coast hip hop




Wild Pitch Records / EMI


Main Source, Pete Rock

Main Source chronology


Fuck What You Think (1994)

Breaking Atoms is the debut studio album by American hip hop group Main Source, released in July 23, 1991 on Wild Pitch Records. Production for the album was handled by the group, and recording took place during May 1990 and March 1991 at Homeboy Studio, Power Play Studios and Libra Digital in New York City. Recorded during the golden age of hip hopBreaking Atoms is distinguished stylistically by its incorporation of jazz and soul music samples. The album has been highly regarded by music writers due mostly to its production, with its heavy and original use of sampling influencing hip hop producers for a considerable portion of the 1990s.

Breaking Atoms has been widely regarded by writers and music critics as a significantly influential album and has been noted for debuting rapper Nas, who appears on the posse cut "Live at the Barbeque". His contribution to the song was sampled on "The Genesis", the introductory track to his 1994 debut album Illmatic. Although often recognised as one of the most important records in hip hop history, the album went out of print due to the demise of Wild Pitch Records in 1997, but has since been reissued by Fontana Distribution in 2008.

Track listing[edit | edit source]

All songs produced by Main Source, except for "Vamos a Rapiar", produced by Main Source and co-produced by Pete Rock.

No. Title Performer(s) Time
1. "Snake Eyes" Large Professor 3:30
2. "Just Hangin' Out" Large Professor 4:10
3. "Looking at the Front Door" Large Professor 4:10
4. "Large Professor" Large Professor 3:08
5. "Just a Friendly Game of Baseball" Large Professor 3:22
6. "Scratch & Kut" - 2:57
7. "Peace Is Not the Word to Play" Large Professor 3:07
8. "Vamos a Rapiar" Large Professor 3:59
9. "He Got So Much Soul (He Don't Need No Music)" Large Professor 3:34
10. "Live at the Barbeque" Nas, Joe Fatal, Akinyele, Large Professor 4:35
11. "Watch Roger Do His Thing" Large Professor 4:22
12. "Just a Friendly Game of Baseball (Remix)" Large Professor 4:02


  • Bass performed by Anton Pukshansky.
  • Track 11 features keyboards performed by Robert "J.D. Drumsticks" Stevenson.

Samples[edit | edit source]

Snake Eyes

  • "Getting Nasty" by Ike Turner and The Kings of Rhythm
  • "Watermelon Man" by Johnnie Taylor

Just Hangin' Out

  • "Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy
  • "90% of Me Is You" by Vanessa Kendrick
  • "I Turn My Back on Love" by Skull Snaps

Looking At the Front Door

  • "You're Getting a Little Too Smart" by The Detroit Emeralds
  • "Think Twice" by Donald Byrd
  • "Chick A Boom" by The Pazant Brothers and The Beaufort Express

Large Professor

  • "The Champ" by The Mohawks
  • "High as Apple Pie-Slice II (Long Version)" by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

Just a Friendly Game of Baseball

  • "Pot Belly" by Lou Donaldson
  • "Mongoose" by Elephant's Memory

Scratch & Kut

  • "Feel Like Making Love" by Bob James
  • "N.T." by Kool & the Gang

Peace Is Not the Word to Play

  • "T.L.C. (Tender Lovin' Care)" by MFSB

Vamos a Rapiar

  • "Repeat After Me" by The Three Sounds

He Got So Much Soul (He Don't Need No Music)

  • "Hey Joyce" by Lou Courtney

Live at the Barbeque

  • "The Man Tries Running His Usual Game but..." by Melvin Van Peebles feat. Earth, Wind & Fire
  • "In the Land of Milk and Honey" by Vicki Anderson
  • "Nautilus" by Bob James

Watch Roger Do His Thing

  • "You'll Like It Too" by Funkadelic
  • "Sing a Simple Song" by Sly & the Family Stone

Just a Friendly Game of Baseball (Remix)

  • "Didn't I Fool You" by Ruby Andrews
  • "It's Your Rock" by Fantasy Three
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