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Da Youngsta's

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The precocious Philadelphia trio consisting of Tajj, Tarik, and Qu'ran may have been the most talented teen rappers ever to grace a hip-hop stage. However, the untimely release of their March 1992 debut Something 4 Da Youngstas coincided with the preteen pop/rap phenomenon that was Kriss Kross. Da Youngstas' first release showed the trio's incredible promise, especially considering that they penned their own lyrics in stark contrast to the Mack Daddy and the Daddy Mack. The trio's amazingly advanced skills raised the eyebrows of many a hip-hop luminary and their sophomore release, The Aftermath, unleashed an angrier lyrical style combined with a variety of sparkling beats. The all-star production squad included the likes of DJ Premier, Pete Rock, CL Smooth, and the Beatnuts. The track "Wild Child" best represented Da Youngstas newfound brasher leanings, but it was the rough, rhythmic "Crewz Pop" that rewarded the group with a respectful following. The strength of The Aftermath brought praise to Da Youngstas from their much older peers. The trio recorded their third album in three years in 1994, this time on a larger label, Atlantic Records. For No Mercy, the Illy Philly threesome called upon the production talents of Marley Marl and K-Def as they continued to develop their styles. The trio continued to paint grim pictures of urban life through clever wordplay and storytelling, but it was the smoothed out "Hip Hop Ride," an ode to the hip-hop tradition, that turned out to be the most successful cut on the album. After collaborating with Mobb Deep for the single "Bloodshed and War" in 1995, Da Youngstas mostly disappeared from hip-hop radar screens. ~ Michael Di Bella

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Philadelphia, PA

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