I'm the god damn reason you in V.I.P
CEO, you don't have to see ID
I'm young, wild, and strapped like Chi-Ali...
There’s some talk about “older” rappers and where they fit into the Hip Hop game, if MCs need to retire in their 30’s and leave it too the young cats. Besides being a stupid idea advanced by anyone, it would rob the game of more than half of the skilled lyricists. But let’s flip it, how young is too young to rap? Here are some of the top “kid” rap groups and rappers from years gone by:
- The Whooliganz- These two white cats never released a full album, and just one 12” single. “Put You Handz Up”
b/w “Hit The Deck” (featuring Everlast.) Aligned with the Soul Assassins at the height of the click’s popularity in 1993, the duo enjoyed minimal success outside of opening at various Cypress Hill/Funkdoobiest/House OF Pain shows. Don’t cry for the two though, one member was Scott Caan
, son of James who went on to star in the Ocean’s Eleven series and other feature films. The other member went on to become one of Hip Hop’s biggest producer, The Alchemist
Shyheim- The Rugged Child was the only youngster affliated with Wu-Tang in the day and he didn’t embarrass himself. Many first heard him on the Big Daddy Kane classic posse cut “Show and Prove” and also the legendary Biggie and Pac freestyle from Madison Square Garden (quick, who was the fourth MC on that joint?) His solo debut was very impressive with urban tales and the on-point “On and On”
that got some run in the Summer of 1995. And yes, that’s him in the TLC “Waterfalls” video. No word if the Huey Freeman character from The Boondocks
is also based on him.
- Da Youngstas- Their initial 12” release “Pass Da Mic”
b/w “Neighborhood Bully” was a classic banger. Listen clearly and you can hear the sample that Gangstarr uses as the hook on “Mass Appeal.” The Philly trio’s 1993 debut CD, Aftermath
was standard mid-90s hard core: heavy hitting, and a bit more lyrically complex, even for their age. The single “Iz U Wit Me” is a highlight, including the always cliché scene of just simple running in the video
. Two years later the trio came with a more polished post-pubescent sound, with heavyweight production from Premier, The Beatnuts, Pete Rock, and Marley Marl. Today one member of the trio, Qu’ran Goodman, has gotten some production shine on various projects.
-Chi Ali- Most of us were first introduced to him on Black Sheep’s “Pass
The 40” in late 1991 as Native Tongues youngest member. By the following Summer, Chi had released his first album, The Fabulous Chi Ali
. It included the kitchsy “Age Aint Nuthin,”
which got some spin on the video shows. But it was the followups, “Funky Lemonade” and “RoadRunner”
which found a suddenly deeper voiced Chi spitting over some remixed hot beats, the former was courtesy of the Beatnuts, some of their first production credits. Unfortunately for Chi, he never released a follow-up and ended up more well-known for his appearance on the TV show “America’s Most Wanted” which eventually lead to arrest and incarceration on murder charges.
-Illegal- Out of all the kiddie groups, these guys may have brought it the hardest. The debuted in late 1993. The Erick Sermon produced track, “Head Or Gut” was definitely the standout, along with "We Getz Busy."
Besides Sermon, other producers included Dallas Austin, Diamond D, Lord Finesse, and Biz Markie. Jamal and Malik’s lyrics had a rougher edge than many of their counterparts, even profanity (gasp!) Soon thereafter, the duo split, but Jamal kept on making hits. His 1995 solo debut, Last Chance, No Breaks
, sees him grow as an MC. Not just out of his kiddie britches, but into a nice lyricist and capable of holding it on hi own. His single off that CD, “Fades Em All”
seemed to be every other MC's favorite freestyle beat of the mid-90s.
-Musical Youth- C’mon, maybe they weren’t exactly Hip Hop…but who can argue with “Pass The Dutchie”
Labels: Hip Hop