Everyone starts somewhere. actors, rappers, dancer, ect…
Here’s a little background on some of your favorite rapper/actor types and their humble beginnings
put ya handz up: the whooliganz
This is what you might call a super group but not cause they were at all super, more so cause both mc’s went on to much greener pastures. Way before white rappers not in 3rd bass were even remotely respected, the whooliganz dropped with soul assassins stamp of approval. not only were they white, but they were also very young. the group consisted of two men (boys, actually) you may know. the first, is producer alchemist. nowadays he’s every thug mc’s favorite white boy on the beats and , without a doubt, one of the more respected producers in the game today. back then he was the curly haired little guy with the piercingly high voice. the other member you may know in a different way. scott caan is an actor best known for his parts in the “oceans 11” trilogy or as the wild guy in “varsity blues”. rapping under the name “mad skillz” (yes, with a “z”), caan kicked that hardcore shit about snowboarding and being james caans son. just kidding but he did rap and that’s funny enough in itself. on, by the way, the alchemists mc name was “mudfoot”. yeah…pretty awesome.
grassroots LP:the atban klan
way before they were making the worst music on the planet, the group now known at the black eyed peas was on some other shit. back in the mid 90’s, they were known as The Atban Klan. this was pre-fergie (your girl fergie was in failed pop group “Wild orchid” at the time). the group consisted of the three black eyed peas rappers (will.i.am, apl.de.ap and taboo). all things considered they were pretty much a souls of mischief rip off. the one thing they did have on their side was dope beats. highly under rated producers Epic and wolfe produced the whole “Grassroots” album. from beginning to end, the beats on this album are amazing. unfortunately, the rapping is pretty mediocre. anyway, this was supposed to drop on ruthless records, but due to the untimely death of Eazy-e, the album never came out. peep it.
grassroots Lp :the Atban klan
(couldn’t find a youtube clip of this song so i give you this other one instead)
hardcore nights: UTD
Mos def got his start with the group UTD (urban thermo dynamics). the group consisted of mos, his brother DCQ and his sister cee. the group was signed to payday records and released a few 12” records but the full album never dropped (until it’s eventual “re-release” in 2004). this song in particular has always been a favorite of mine. partially cause i like the beat but more so cause mos def raps like akinyele on it. it’s just funny. “stay alert out here before your caps get peeled” is delivered with such growling intensity, it’s hard to imagine that it’s same dude who lit up college dorm rooms everywhere 5 years later with songs about his umi.
Fo sho: the odd squad
good news! devin the dude was always good. unlike alot of the artists i’m covering, devin has nothing to be ashamed about. prior to his solo career, devin was part of “the odd squad”. a three man group that rap-a-lot records put out in 1994. a departure from their label mates , the Odd squad was on some more laid back, fun shit. it’s no surprise considering Devin’s steeze. also notable is that one of the odd squad’s mc’s , rob quest, was blind. i dunno what it was with rap-a-lot but they loved them some challenged people rapping. bushwick bill, rob quest, too much trouble and even too-low (he was a kid but kid rappers are basically retarded anyway). whatever the case, good for them.
that bullshit: casual (but really it was saafir)
when casual dropped his debut album”fear itself”, he was kind enough to give his homeboy saafir a mini song of his own. now, i may be alone in this but i think saafir pretty much bodied the whole album with his one verse. saafir went on to release the slept on album “boxcar sessions” , as well as get his act on in “menace to society” and some r&b videos. unfortunately, the love did not last between casual and saafir , as they had a falling out rumored to be over a girl they both fucked. hey, shit happens. anyway, saafir recorded “pull ya card” as his diss to casual so i threw that in as a bonus.
the rest of the songs:
hardcore nights: UTD
fo sho: The odd squad
put your handz up: the Whooliganz
that bullshit: casual (really saafir)
pull ya card: saafir
this blog was originally written for the TROY Blog a while ago. if you like rare and great hip hop, i cannot think of a better place to check out: