“I ain’t never scared!”
Say that phrase to any longtime rap fan, and the response will either be “East Side!” if you’re anywhere near New York, “West Side!” if Cali vibes are your wave, “South Side!” for the ATLiens out there or “North Side!” if you’re, well, Drake. All jokes aside though, the term will forever be burned in our collective Hip-Hop conscience thanks to Wayne Hardnett Jr., better known to the world as Atlanta-bred rapper Bone Crusher.
Today we decided to take it back to 2003, as the early ’00s Hip-Hop star released his debut album AttenCHUN! 16 years ago today.
The aforementioned Avery Johnson-produced lead single “Never Scared” is still a staple in locker rooms across the nation as a classic get-hype pregame song — the “Football Remix” was even featured in Madden 2004. It eventually would become a Top 4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (#26), as well as a top 10 hit on the Rap chart at #6. The album has other gems featured on it as well though, including the equally hyphy “Lock & Load” intro, head-thumping “Sound The Horn” and the smooth deep cut “Peaches & Cream” among other tracks. The album, released under So So Def/Arista and produced entirely by Jermaine Dupri, also has a heavy list of heavy hitters featured throughout, including T.I., Killer Mike, David Banner, Goodie Mob and JD on an intro for the obvious standout song. Speaking of “Never Scared” (again), there’s also the fire “Takeover Remix” featuring an all-star roundup that includes Cam’ron, Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes — in that order — representing for the “EAST SIDE!!!”
The album proved to be a major success in 2003, peaking in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 charts at #11 and topping the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart as well. Although many felt that the album was weighed down with too many interludes or that the production started to get repetitive — i.e. an album full of “Never Scared”-sounding b-sides — the album as a whole seamed together perfectly to make for one truly energy-inducing LP.
While AttenCHUN! proved to be Bone Crusher’s only hit album, releasing just two more albums before going silent in 2007, The Source along with everyone who’s ever played Def Jam: Fight for NY will always remember the guy who helped define crunk rap. Salute to the king!
Happy 16th anniversary to AttenCHUN! by Bone Crusher! Stream it today for a good ’03 throwback, and watch the classic music video for “Never scared” below: