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Blackalicious Biography

Home > Music > B > Blackalicious > Biography

Birth Place: United States
Years Active: 1992–present
Genres: Alternative Hip Hop, West Coast Hip Hop

Blackalicious is an experimental hip-hop duo from Sacramento, California that consists of rapper Gift of Gab, (Timothy Parker) and DJ/producer Chief Xcel, (Xavier Mosley). The duo is famous for their “tongue-twisting” positive lyrics and complex rhymes. Blackalicious came together in the early 1990s, as Parker and Mosley had known one another while still in high school. The duo met up again when they were in college and began working with the hip-hop crew, SoleSides, which consisted of DJ Shadow, Lateef the Truth Speaker, and Lyrics Born.

The crew was part of SoleSides Records, who put out Blackalicious' debut single “Swan Lake” in 1994. The single became an underground buzz that appealed to traditional, experimental, and alternative rap audiences. 1995 marked the arrival of Blackalicious' EP, “Melodica,” which gained the duo some attention in the rap world. SoleSides Records became Quannum Records, who put out Blackalicious' second EP, “A2G” in 1999.

2000 saw the arrival of the duo's debut album, “Nia,” which brought the band a record deal from MCA Records. The duo's second offering, “Blazing Arrow” arrived in 2002 and featured guest appearances from Zack de la Rocha and Gil Scott-Heron. After the release of their second album, the duo pursued solo projects and released solo albums before reuniting for a third album in 2005, “The Craft,” on the ANTI- label.