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Editors’ Notes

Producer Chief Xcel and rapper Gift of Gab have toured the world and released progressively and sonically smarter albums each time out NIA took nearly six years to make, and its depth and hunger shows on sure shots "The Fabulous Ones," "A2G," and "Shallow Days." The album wrenches its strength from both its subject matter-check the surrealism of "Ego Trip by Nikki Giovanni"-and execution, a testament to the power of independent thought. This album would set an extraordinarily high bar that they would later match on the Quannum family album and Blazing Arrow.


Formed: 1992 in Davis, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Like a few other West Coast rap acts, including the Pharcyde and Jurassic 5, Blackalicious have generally favored what hip-hoppers call the "positive tip"; in other words, their lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent or misogynistic. Like a lot of experimental alternative rappers, Blackalicious can be quirky and eccentric; nonetheless, spirituality is a big part of the group's music. Although Blackalicious weren't formed until the early '90s, their members had known each...
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Nia, Blackalicious
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