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Bacdafucup

Onyx

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Album Review

At the time that Bacdafucup hit the record racks and airwaves, Onyx seemed to be inventing a genre all their own: heavy metal rap. Of course, on closer inspection, it is not at all surprising stylistically, given their link to Def Jam and Run DMC, the record company and crew that introduced heavy guitar riffs into hip-hop. Onyx, though, seemed far more threateningly hardcore than Run DMC ever were, and each song on their debut album seems like a quick-triggered, menacing chip set squarely on the shoulders of MCs Big DS, Suavé, Fredro, and Sticky Fingaz. That the entire album from beginning to end circumvents almost any backlash by being so brilliantly catchy as well, is a sterling tribute to how strong a quartet Onyx truly is on this first effort. The group gives the impression that they wanted to spotlight the sort of cartoonish, directionless anger that existed in a lot of hardcore rap, and then funnel that sort of energy into songs full of singalong choruses and joyous, chanted hooks that lend a certain feeling of camaraderie to the whole album. The release is mostly co-produced by Run DMC's Jam Master Jay and newcomer Chyskillz, and its music has a tense, wired edge that amplifies the vividness of the threatening lyrics. Sonically, it has a hardcore East Coast/New York City cast, full of throbbing bass and screeching siren-like effects. The grimy urban vibe is matched by Onyx's narrative thuggery, discharged straight from the streets like pumped-up news dispatches and predating the roughneck rap trend by several years. It's hard to imagine, given the gritty content of the album, that Onyx was aiming for airplay with Bacdafucup; nevertheless, almost in spite of itself, it was so good that it earned just that.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Queens, New York, NY

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

Onyx's shouting, in-your-face brand of high-volume rapping proved to be more at home in the slam pit than on the dancefloor and brought the rap quartet instant chart success. Originally formed in Queens, NY, during 1990, the members of Onyx (Fredro Starr, Sticky Fingaz, Big DS, and DJ Suave Sonny Caeser) met while working as barbers. The band honed their rhyming skills and act by performing at local clubs, which eventually gained the attention of Run-D.M.C.'s Jam Master Jay, who signed the group...
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Bacdafucup, Onyx
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