Eighteen years ago today Gangsta Raptress Mia X released her third album “Mama Drama” on No Limit/Priority records. The album smashes were “What'cha Wanna Do (feat. Charlie Wilson)” and “Imma Shine (feat. O'Dell).” This album became Mia X’s most successful album it reached #9 on Billboard 200 chart. The single "What'cha Wanna Do" had big success, making it to #59 on the Billboard Hot 100. Fat Joe also made an appearance on this album with as well as many more artists.
Album Producers: Master P,Beats By the Pound
Twenty-nine years ago today new jack swinging artist Heavy D and his then hip hop group Heavy D & the Boyz released their debut album “Living Large” on Uptown Records.
Heavy D & the Boyz' debut album, Living Large, finds the group still in a formative stage, but they're already engaging enough to make the record entertaining, if nothing earth-shattering. This being 1987, the production is spare and heavy on the beatbox, with some samples of James Brown and other well-known vintage soul records. As an MC, Heavy D strongly favors swingbeat rhythms at this stage (even saying so at the start of "Here We Go"), and he hasn't yet developed the smooth, resonant delivery that would make his most complex rhymes sound deceptively easy. There isn't as much variety in his subject matter, either -- "The Overweight Lover's in the House," "Chunky but Funky," "Overweighter," and "Mr. Big Stuff" represent a major concentration on the most obvious part of his image, charmingly confident though they are. There are some other cuts geared for the dancefloor, and some freestyle-type lyrics that are well-executed but rather generic. The excitement of landing a recording contract spills over into "Moneyearnin' Mount Vernon" and "I'm Getting Paid," and there's some pleasant filler elsewhere. But overall, Heavy D hadn't yet hit his stride; that would happen the next time out. (Steve Huey)
Living Large reached #10 on Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart and sold over 300,000 copies. This album didn’t have much of a commercial success when it was first released but today it is considered a classic.
Album Producers: DJ Eddie F, Teddy Riley, Marley Marl
Happy 54th Birthday Busy Bee Starski!
First coming on the scene in 1977, New York-based MC Busy Bee has worked with many of hip-hop's founding fathers, including Melle Mel, Afrika Bambaataa, and Kool DJ AJ to name a few. Mostly known for his comedic rhymes, Busy originally gained a large following through MC battles in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and New Jersey (he won the New Music Seminar's MC World Supremacy Belt in 1986). In the early '80s Afrika Bambaataa asked Busy to join his Zulu Nation, where the young MC would DJ for Bambaataa's Zulu Nation parties. In 1982 Busy also appeared in the classic hip-hop film Wild Style, playing none other than an MC. In addition to his DJ work with other artists, Busy has also released his own albums on the Brass, Sugarhill, and Strong City labels. (Steve Kurutz)
Twenty-three years ago on this day NBA Icon Shaquille O'Neal took a step into the rap game when he released his first album “Shaq Diesel” on Jive records. The smashes from the album were “(I know I Got)Skillz,” “I’m Outstanding,” and “Shoot Pass Slam.” Despite mixed reviews the album was a surprising success, the album reached #25 on the Billboard 200 chart and it went platinum less than a year after it was released.
Album Producers: Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Def Jef, Erick Sermon, K-Cut, Meech Wells
It has been 31 years since the release of the movie “Krush Groove”, which is the semi auto-biographical story of Russell Simmons, called Russell Walker (portrayed by Blair Underwood in his screen debut) in the film. Krush Groove mirrors the real life Def Jam label in its early days. It focuses on Run DMC moving into big time. The Fat Boys have their own autobiographical subplot. Kurtis Blow also figures in the plot.
Director: Michael Schultz Producer: Michael Schultz and Doug McHenry
Writer: Ralph Farquhar Company: Warner Bros
Acts: Sheila E., Run-D.M.C., The Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, Blair Underwood, New Edition
It has been twenty-eight years ago to now, since oldschool Oakland rapper Too Short released his second album “Life Is...Too Short.” Life Is...Too Short was released in year 1988 on Jive records and it peaked at #37 on US Billboard 200 chart. This album is currently Too Short’s highest-selling album to date, being certified double platinum by the RIAA for sales of over 2 million copies.
“When Short -- after enjoying a small cult following for a few years in Northern California -- joined a major label with Life Is...Too Short's predecessor, Born to Mack, too many East Coast MCs were inundating hip-hop with clichéd tracks consisting of only James Brown samples and a drum machine. Too Short, however, presented an attractive alternative with highly melodic, danceable tracks that made no secret of his love of '70s funk heroes like Parliament, the Ohio Players, and Cameo.” (Alex Henderson)
Album Producers: Too Short, R. Austin, T. Bohanon, Al Eaton
Happy 47th Birthday Wyclef Jean!
Wyclef Jean is an Grammy Award winning American-Haitian rapper and song-writer who is widely recognized for his album, ‘The Score’ that became a roaring success. Raised by a preacher father, he initially started his musical career by singing in church choirs. As a young boy, he was forbidden to listen to rap music and whenever he did so, he was severely caned for ‘playing the devil’s music’. Despite being prohibited by his father, Jean formed a band with two of his singer-songwriter friends. Though their first album was received warmly, it was their second album that brought them recognition. But soon, the trio split to venture ‘solo’ and Jean released his debut solo album that made waves in the world of music. This lead to the release of a series of hit singles and he was even invited to collaborate with several musicians and singers. Apart from his musical career, he also hinted his political ambitions by filing his candidature in the 2010 Haitian presidential elections. He is the founder of the ‘Yele Haiti’ organization, known for its charitable works for the poor and victims of natural disasters. He has received many prestigious awards for music and honored for his humanitarian services.
Happy 44th Birthday Eminem!!
Born Marshall Mathers, he became an international sensation after the release of his first single, "My Name Is." He won the Best Rap Album Grammy for three consecutive albums: The Slim Shady LP (1999), The Marshall Mathers LP (2000) and The Eminem Show (2002). He also received the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself," from the 2002 film 8 Mile, which he also starred in. More recently, in 2010, Eminem released the Grammy-winning album Recovery, a highly autobiographical attempt to come to terms with his struggles with addiction and experience with rehabilitation.
He aspired to become a comic book artist until his uncle, Ronald Polkinghorn, introduced him to Ice-T's song "Reckless."
Nineteen years ago on this day old school rapper LL Cool J released his is seventh album Phenomenon under Def Jam/PolyGram label. This album features several R&B influenced tracks and a few hardcore hip hop tracks. Phenomenon gave us hip hop smashes like “Phenomenon”, “4,3,2,1”, “Hot Hot Hot”, “Father” and “Candy.” The album peaked at #7 on the US Billboard 200 chart and went platinum in the United States.
Phenomenon was executive produced by Sean Diddy Combs.
Album Producers: The Hitmen (Including Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Steven "Stevie J" Jordan, & Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence), Track Masters, Daven "Prestige" Vanderpool, L.E.S., Curt Gowdy, Erick Sermon
Happy 46th Birthday MC Lyte!
MC Lyte was one of the first female rappers to point out the sexism and misogyny that often runs rampant in hip-hop, often taking the subject head on lyrically in her songs and helping open the door for such future artists as Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Lyte began rhyming at the age of 12, which eventually led to a single, "I Cram to Understand U," which led to a recording contract with the First Priority label. MC Lyte's debut full-length, Lyte As a Rock, surfaced in 1988, while a follow-up, Eyes on This, followed a year later. Both discs are considered to be the finest of the rapper's career, especially her sophomore effort, which spawned the hit single "Cha Cha Cha" (peaking at number one on the rap charts) and the anti-violence track "Cappucino." Lyte turned to Bell Biv DeVoe's writers and producers Wolf & Epic for her third release overall, 1991's Act Like You Know, a more soul music-based work than its predecessors and in 1993, issued Ain't No Other (the album's popular single, "Ruffneck," earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Single and turned out to be the first gold single ever achieved by a female rap artist).
Bad as I Wanna B By the mid-'90s, Lyte had relocated to a new record label, Elektra/Asylum, issuing such further releases as 1996's Bad As I Wanna B, which featured a duet with Missy Elliott on the track "Cold Rock a Party," and 1998's Seven & Seven, which included further guest appearances by Elliott, as well as Giovanni Salah and LL Cool J, the latter of which produced the track "Play Girls Play." In addition to her own albums, MC Lyte has teamed with other artists from time to time, including Atlanta's Xscape on the Soul Train Award-winning "Keep on Keepin' On" (a track that also appeared on the Sunset Park soundtrack and became Lyte's second gold single), and has tried acting, appearing on several TV shows, including such comedies as Moesha and In the House, plus the crime drama New York Undercover. Lyte has also put aside time to become active in several social projects/organizations, including anti-violence campaigns, Rock the Vote, and AIDS benefits. In 2001, Rhino Records issued the 16-track career overview The Very Best of MC Lyte. Lyte then mounted a comeback in 2003 with Da Undaground Heat, Vol. 1.(allmusic.com)