14 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Best known for their chart-topping 1993 hit single "Slam," New York City's Onyx got their start in the late '80s in the Queens neighborhood of Jamaica. Discovered by Jam Master Jay, the group (Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr, and Sonny Steeza) had an explosive, hyperactive style, mixing extreme violence with both humor and social commentary. Their first full-length, Bacdafucup, easily went platinum, and they went on to release four more albums over the next 10 years. Their fame would dim in the '00s, but they kept busy with various tours, solo albums, guest appearances, acting careers, and indie compilation projects (two volumes of Cold Case Files). On Wakedafucup, the group's first studio album since 2003's Triggernometry, they sound as good as ever, hooking up with the German production crew Snowgoons, who provide them with a gang of appropriately hardcore beats. Their sound may be too roughneck for today's younger emo-rap fans, but older heads are definitely in for a treat. Guests include Cormega, Papoose, Reks, A$AP Ferg, and Sean Price; don't miss "We Don't F*ckin Care," "The Tunnel," "Dirty Cops," and "Buc Buc."

EDITORS’ NOTES

Best known for their chart-topping 1993 hit single "Slam," New York City's Onyx got their start in the late '80s in the Queens neighborhood of Jamaica. Discovered by Jam Master Jay, the group (Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr, and Sonny Steeza) had an explosive, hyperactive style, mixing extreme violence with both humor and social commentary. Their first full-length, Bacdafucup, easily went platinum, and they went on to release four more albums over the next 10 years. Their fame would dim in the '00s, but they kept busy with various tours, solo albums, guest appearances, acting careers, and indie compilation projects (two volumes of Cold Case Files). On Wakedafucup, the group's first studio album since 2003's Triggernometry, they sound as good as ever, hooking up with the German production crew Snowgoons, who provide them with a gang of appropriately hardcore beats. Their sound may be too roughneck for today's younger emo-rap fans, but older heads are definitely in for a treat. Guests include Cormega, Papoose, Reks, A$AP Ferg, and Sean Price; don't miss "We Don't F*ckin Care," "The Tunnel," "Dirty Cops," and "Buc Buc."

TITLE TIME

About Onyx

A combative and in-the-red style of hardcore rap brought Onyx unlikely crossover success. The Queens-based group formed in 1988 and two years later made their recorded debut on the Profile label. "Ah, and We Do It Like This" presented permanent members Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz, along with Suavé and Big DS, as an eager if comparatively reserved crew. The group subsequently found an admirer in Run-D.M.C.'s Jam Master Jay, who signed the group to his Chaos/Columbia-affiliated JMJ label and co-produced their first album, Bacdafucup (1993). The set was led by the highly energized and anthemic "Slam," one of the year's biggest rap hits and a number four pop hit. Shortly after their commercial impact was made, Onyx courted the metal crowd with a pair of Biohazard collaborations: the "Bionyx" remix of "Slam," and the title track to the motion picture Judgment Night. Certified platinum by the RIAA, Bacdafucup also went on to win Best Rap Album at the 1994 Soul Train Music Awards.

Although All We Got Iz Us (1995) and Shut 'Em Down (1998) both debuted in the Top Ten of Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, Onyx left the major-label system after the latter and went independent with Bacdafucup, Pt. 2 (2002) and Triggernometry (2003). By that point, Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz had embarked on solo careers and also established themselves as in-demand actors, seen in films and television series such as Clockers, Dead Presidents, New York Undercover, Moesha, and The Wire. The duo eventually resumed studio work the following decade with #WAKEDAFUCUP and #TURNDAFUCUP (both 2014), Shotgunz in Hell (released in 2017, a collaboration with the Netherlands' Dope D.O.D.), and Black Rock (2018). ~ Andy Kellman

ORIGIN
New York, NY [Queens]
FORMED
1990

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