The chemistry between the Large Professor, Sir Scratch, and K-Cut was sufficiently powerful to make Breaking Atoms an appreciated album upon its release in 1991, as well as a historically valued recording after the breakup of the original crew. The production credits on Breaking Atoms go to the collective Main Source; listening to the album in hindsight, it is difficult to miss the stylistic trademarks (such as the raspy drum kit of the EMU SP1200 and the groove and soul music samples) that typically identify the Large Professor's production. In any case, Breaking Atoms featured original concepts, innovative production, and conscientious lyrics. Some of the stand out tracks include "Just a Friendly Game of Baseball," a well-developed rhyme in which the Large Professor uses a detailed analogy of baseball to describe -- in no subtle way -- the brutality with which police treat young black men. "Just Hangin' Out" employs a wild horn loop underneath a slow and melodic string sample as the Large Professor flows about -- what else -- hangin' out. "Looking at the Front Door" (one of the three commercial singles released from this album) was very popular and was accompanied by a video which helped Main Source to obtain an audience. The two other commercial single releases were "Peace Is Not the Word to Play" and "Live at the Barbeque." Commenting on the excess of violence in American society, "Peace Is Not..." is a brief, uptempo warning against the casual use of the term "peace," especially considering the lack of real peace in the world. The Large Professor's singular verse in this song is supplemented by Sir Scratch and K-Cut's minute-long medley of creative, energetic scratching. "Live at the Barbeque" was another very influential track, serving as the launching pad for the careers of both Akinyele and Nas. A diehard favorite of serious hip-hop fans, "Live at the Barbeque" is a classic posse cut which has not only Nas and Akinyele delivering tight lyrics, but Joe Fatal and the Large Professor also adding to the lyrical stew to make this cut historically famous. The tracks on Breaking Atoms are infused with lucent instrumentation, creative scratching, entertaining bridges, and proficient lyrics, all of which combine to make this a memorable album sure to live in the annals of hip-hop's influential recordings.
AllMusic Review by Qa'id Jacobs