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The Beatnuts

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Biography

An underground Latino crew who moved from being strictly producers to make some action on the other side of the mixing board as well, the Beatnuts first hooked up in the late '80s, with Junkyard Ju-Ju (aka JuJu, born Jerry Tineo) and Psycho Les (born Lester Fernandez) being joined by Fashion (aka Kool Fashion, born Berntony Smalls). After working with the Jungle Brothers, the trio connected with Monie Love on a production job for "Pups Lickin Bone" from her 1990 debut album, Down to Earth. They also worked on remixes for Cypress Hill, Naughty by Nature, da Lench Mob, and Prime Minister Pete Nice, earning their own contract with Combat Records for the 1993 mini-LP Intoxicated Demons. The album's release was held up when Kool Fashion was arrested and jailed for six months on a drug conviction, but the Beatnuts released a self-titled album the following year, on Violator/Relativity. After a hiatus verging on three years, Fashion became a Muslim and left the Beatnuts, releasing his debut solo album, God Connections, with production help from his old bandmates. JuJu and Psycho Les finally returned to release the Beatnuts' third album, Stone Crazy, in 1997. Musical Massacre followed two years later. Take It or Squeeze It, issued in spring 2001, captured the Beatnuts' danceable funk as well as collaborations with Method Man and Fat Man Scoop. The next year, The Originators brought back Al Tariq (that is, Kool Fashion) and delivered another round of bionic beats.

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