An original member of New York's new-school pioneers the Ultramagnetic MC's, "Kool" Keith Thornton is best known as a solo rapper. His signature style is stream-of-consciousness lyrical flow and complex vocals, two skills that earn him a perennial nod from the underground hip-hop community. The average Kool Keith album is peppered with bizarre, disjointed, even delusional or disassociated themes, concepts, and references. Nearly all of his albums incorporate a satirical dislike for more commercialized strains of hip-hop, as well as major record labels.
Lord Finesse is a Hip Hop artist and producer, hailing from The Bronx, New York. In 1989, Finesse, and his former partner DJ Mike Smooth, signed to Wild Pitch Records, home to other popular Hip Hop artists like Gang Starr, Main Source, Chill Rob G, Percee P, and O.C.. In 1990, the duo released their debut album Funky Technician. He was hailed for his strong lyrical ability and clever punchline delivery. The album featured production from future star beat-makers DJ Premier, Diamond D and Showbiz. Finesse became the leader of the popular New York underground crew D.
Members Kool Keith, Ced Gee, TR Love and Moe Love released their debut album Critical Beatdown, produced by Paul C., in 1988 and inspired the world of hip hop with their original sound of unorthodox sampling, polysyllabic rhymes, and bizarre lyrical imagery. Kool Keith went on to work with many other groups and solo projects including The Cenobites, Dr Octagon, Masters Of Illusion and Dr. Dooom Their work has been often sampled, most notably in The Prodigy song "Smack My Bitch Up"
Nice & Smooth is an underground East Coast rap duo from New York, composed of Greg Nice (Greg Mays) and Smooth B (Daryl Barnes). Together, they made several albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s to little popular appeal, though their second album (Ain't a Damn Thing Changed, 1991) was a commercial success that included a minor hit in "Sometimes I Rhyme Slow". "Hip-Hop Junkies", which featured a sample from The Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You" was also a hit, and once performed live on Keenan Ivory Wayans "In Living Color".
Del the Funky Homosapien is an alternative hip-hop artist. Del was born Teren Delvon Jones, August 12, 1972, in Oakland, California. Del was part of his cousin Ice Cube’s backing band Da Lench Mob and made his first solo album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, with support from his cousin in 1991. Critics and fans had mixed opinions about the album, many feeling that Del’s and Cube’s styles weren't an ideal match.
Biz Markie is an East Coast hip hop artist, DJ and world-renowned Human Beat Boxer, best known for humorous singles like "Just a Friend" and "Pickin' Boogers." and his pre-MTV hit "Vapors". He has been labeled The Clown Prince of Hip-Hop. His career began in the 1980s. In 1992, Biz recorded a song called "Alone Again," but Gilbert O'Sullivan claimed the track featured an unauthorized sample of his hit "Alone Again (Naturally)," and served Biz papers. His career was quite damaged from the lawsuit, and Biz ducked out of the harshest glare of the limelight for the remainder of the 1990s.
2 Live Crew is a controversial rap group, largely due to the sexual themes of one album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be (1989). The 2 Live Crew formed as three men in the Air-Force all became stationed in Riverside California in 1983. Inspired by Planet Rock and Pretty Tony records, they put the group together with the intentions of "sustaining the 808 kick drum". They recorded their first release in 1984 which became a staple of Luke Skywalker and The Ghetto Style DJ's in Miami.
The Pharcyde is a West Coast underground/alternative hip hop group. The group was formed in 1991 in South Los Angeles, California, United States, where the group's members grew up. The group was one of the most well known of the first wave of alternative hip-hop acts. The original members of the group are "Slimkid3" (Tre Hardson), "Fatlip" (Derrick Stewart), "Imani" (Emandu Wilcox) and "Bootie Brown" (Romye Robinson). The group is best known for their hit singles "Passing Me By" (which crossed over to alternative rock radio) and "Runnin'", and their debut album Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde.