Gerald Maxwell Rivera known by his stage name Maxwell, is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. Along with fellow musicians D'Angelo and Erykah Badu, Maxwell has been credited with helping to shape what has been termed the "neo soul" movement that rose to prominence during the late 1990s. Maxwell was born in New York, the son of a Haitian mother and a Puerto Rican father, his mother grew up in a devout Baptist household in Haiti. Maxwell's father died in a plane crash. After receiving a low-cost Casio keyboard from a friend, the Brooklyn, New York-native began composing music at age 17. A fan of what he described as "jheri curl soul", the trademark of early 1980s R&B acts such as Patrice Rushen, S. O. S. Band and Rose Royce, Maxwell began to teach himself to play a variety of instruments. According to him, the R&B of the early 1980s contained "the perfect combination of computerized instrumentation with a live feel", that the genre's dynamics became lost due to the influence of hip hop on R&B.
Despite facing ridicule from classmates for being shy and awkward, he progressed and continued to develop his musical abilities, he adopted the look of a more bohemian style outwardly in his clothing, growing long sideburns and letting his hair grow out wildly and combed in an extreme style, or sometimes putting his hair in long thin braids. Influenced by early-1980s urban R&B, Maxwell progressed and by 1991 he was performing on the New York City club scene. Maxwell was able to gain access to a 24-track recording studio and started to record songs for a demo tape, which he circulated among his friends; the demo engendered interest, his official debut concert performance at Manhattan nightclub Nell's drew a crowd. During the next two years, Maxwell wrote and recorded over three hundred songs and played at small venues throughout New York City. Maxwell's performances continued to draw interest and increase the buzz about him, he was called "the next Prince" by a writer from Vibe magazine who attended one of his shows.
After earning a considerable reputation, Maxwell signed a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1994. He adopted his middle name as a moniker out of respect for his family's privacy. Maxwell began working with songwriter Leon Ware and noted guitarist Wah Wah Watson to record his debut Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite in the mid 1990s. Recording sessions for the album took place in 1994 and 1995 at Electric Lady Studios, RPM Studios, Sorcerer Studios and Chung King Studios in New York City, at CRC Studios in Chicago, Illinois. After production for the album was completed in 1995, the finished product was presented to Columbia Records in Spring of that same year. However, it was shelved for nearly a year, due to issues with Columbia's management, the label's extensive reorganization and record executives' doubts of the album's commercial potential; the album was slow to obtain commercial interest. On April 20, 1996, the album made its chart debut at number 38 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
From August to October 1996, Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite experienced chart growth on both the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Billboard 200, peaking at number eight on the former and at number 36 on the latter. It spent seventy-eight weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, it became a Top 30 hit in the United Kingdom. The album was ranked as one of the year's top-10 best albums by Time, Rolling Stone and USA Today, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Album at the 39th Grammy Awards, losing the award to The Tony Rich Project's Words. The album spawned four singles; the first single released, "... Til the Cops Come Knockin'", debuted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks at number 87 in May 1996. Peaking at number 79, the single spent 12 weeks on the chart; the second single, "Ascension", debuted on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks in August 1996 at number 11 peaking number eight. It spent eighteen weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 36 on September 28, 1996; the third single, "Sumthin' Sumthin'", peaked at number 22 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales.
The album's fourth single, "Suitelady", entered the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay component chart in May 1997, peaking at number 64. Despite only having released only one album, the music video television channel MTV saw his burgeoning popularity and asked him to tape an episode of the concert series MTV Unplugged in New York City; the show was taped live on June 15, 1997, he performed his own songs as well as covers of songs by Kate Bush and Nine Inch Nails. The episode of MTV Unplugged first aired on the network on July 22, 1997". Maxwell's second studio album, was released in early 1998, upon its release it was panned by contemporary music critics; the album received mixed criticism for its more "indulgent sound." With its internal focus and esoteric grooves, the album served as a departure for Maxwell, who did not regret risking his reputation with urban listeners for a more challenging record. The album experienced a critical backlash similar to that of other artists' work that broke their previous releases' successful formulas in favor of more compelling projects, now being termed "neo-soul."
In 1999, it won the Soul Train Music Award for Best Male B Album. In a retrospective review for Allmusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote tha
Lawrence "Kris" Parker, better known by his stage names KRS-One, Teacha, is an American rapper and occasional producer from The Bronx, New York. KRS-One rose to prominence as part of the hip hop music group Boogie Down Productions, which he formed with DJ Scott La Rock in the mid-1980s. KRS-One is best known for his top hits, "Sound of da police", "Love's gonna get'cha" and "My Philosophy". Boogie Down Productions are sometimes considered one of the first rap groups to inspire both gangsta rap and conscious rap, they received critical acclaim in their early years. Following the release of the group's debut album, Criminal Minded, La Rock was shot and killed, but KRS-One continued the group as a solo project, he began releasing records under his own name in 1993. KRS-One is politically active, having started the Stop the Violence Movement, after the death of Scott La Rock. Lawrence Parker was raised by a single Bajan mother. Parker left home at 16 to become an MC, coming to live at a homeless shelter in the South Bronx where he was dubbed "Krisna" by residents because of his interest in the Hare Krishna spirituality of some of the antipoverty workers.
By the time he met youth counselor Scott Sterling, he was writing graffiti as KRS-One. Together he and Sterling, a.k.a. DJ Scott La Rock, created Boogie Down Productions, releasing their debut album, Criminal Minded, in 1987. KRS-One began his recording career as one third of the hip hop group Boogie Down Productions, or BDP, alongside DJ Scott La Rock and Derrick "D-Nice" Jones. After being rejected by radio DJs Mr. Magic and Marley Marl, KRS-One would go on to diss the two and those associated with them, sparking what would be known as The Bridge Wars. Additionally, KRS-One had taken offense to "The Bridge", a song by Marley Marl's protege, MC Shan The song could be interpreted as a claim that Queensbridge was the monument of hip-hop, though MC Shan has denied this claim. Still, KRS-One "dissed" the song with the BDP record "South Bronx." Next, a second round of volleys would ensue with Shan's "Kill That Noise" and BDP's "The Bridge Is Over." KRS-One, demonstrating his nickname "The Blastmaster", gave a live performance against MC Shan, many conceded he had won the battle.
Many believe this live performance to be the first MC battle where rappers attack each other, instead of a battle between who can get the crowd more hyped. Parker and Sterling decided to form a rap group together calling themselves "Scott La Rock and the Celebrity Three"; that was short-lived, however, as the two peripheral members quit, leaving Sterling. They decided to call themselves "Boogie Down Productions". "Success is the Word", a 12-inch single produced by David Kenneth Eng and Kenny Beck, was released on indie Fresh/Sleeping Bag Records but did not enjoy commercial success. Boogie Down Productions released their debut album Criminal Minded in 1987; the album, whose cover pictured BDP draped in ammunition and brandishing guns, is credited with setting the template for the burgeoning genres of hardcore and gangsta rap. Scott La Rock was killed in a shooting that year, after attempting to mediate a dispute between teenager and BDP member D-Nice and local hoodlums. During this time KRS-One gained acclaim as one of the first MCs to incorporate Jamaican style into hip-hop, using the Zung gu zung melody made famous by Yellowman in Jamaican dance halls earlier in the decade.
While KRS-One used Zunguzung styles in a more powerful and controversial manner in his song titled "Remix for P is Free", he can still be credited as one of the more influential figures to bridge the gap between Jamaican music and American Hip-Hop. Following the fatal shooting of Scott La Rock in 1987, KRS was determined to continue Boogie Down Productions through the tragedy, releasing the album By All Means Necessary in 1988, he was joined by beatboxer D-Nice, rapper Ramona "Ms. Melodie" Parker, Kris's younger brother DJ Kenny Parker, among others. However, Boogie Down Productions would remain Kris's show, their content would become political through its subsequent releases Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop, Live Hardcore Worldwide and Sex and Violence. KRS-One was the primary initiator behind the H. E. A. L. Compilation and the Stop the Violence Movement; as Parker adopted this "humanist", less defensive approach, he turned away from his "Blastmaster" persona and towards that of "The Teacha", although he has used "Blastmaster" throughout his career.
After five solo albums under the name "Boogie Down Productions," KRS-One decided to set out on his own. On his first solo album, 1993's Return of the Boom Bap, Parker worked together with producers DJ Premier, Kid Capri and Showbiz, the latter providing the catchy-yet-hardcore track "Sound of da Police", his second album, 1995's KRS-One, featured Channel Live on "Free Mumia", a song in which they criticize Black Civil Rights Activist C. Delores Tucker among others. Other prominent guest stars on KRS-One included Busta Rhymes, Das EFX and Fat Joe. In 1991, KRS-One appeared on the alternative rock group R. E. M.'s single "Radio Song", which appeared on the band's album Out of Time, released the same year. In 1992, Bradley Nowell from Sublime featured an acoustic song named "KRS-One" with his voice and DJ's samplers. In 1995, KRS organized a group called Channel
Terrence LeVarr Thornton, better known by his stage name Pusha T, is an American rapper and record executive. He gained major recognition as half of hip hop duo Clipse, alongside his brother No Malice, with whom he founded Re-Up Records. In September 2010, Thornton announced his signing to Kanye West's GOOD Music imprint, under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings. In March 2011, he released a mixtape titled Fear of God. Thornton released his debut solo album, My Name Is My Name, in October 2013. In November 2015, Kanye West appointed Pusha T to take over his role as president of GOOD Music. Pusha T was born Terrence LeVarr Thornton on May 13, 1977, in The Bronx borough of New York City, though the family soon relocated to Virginia Beach, where he and his brother, Gene Thornton, grew up; as teenagers, the brothers both sold drugs, with Gene being kicked out of their parents' house after they discovered what he was doing. In 1992, he and his brother began forming a group known as Clipse. Shortly after forming Clipse, the brothers were introduced to record producer and fellow Virginian Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, who helped them secure a recording contract with Elektra Records in 1997.
Terrence took the stage name Terrar. After being signed to Elektra, they began working on Exclusive Audio Footage. After recording the entire album, they released one single, "The Funeral", commercially unsuccessful and led to the release of the album being cancelled and Clipse being dropped from the label shortly after. After being dropped, Terrar changed his name to Pusha T, despite not being signed to a major label, he made numerous appearances on other artists' songs, appearing on Kelis' 1999 single "Good Stuff" and Nivea's 2001 single "Run Away" thanks to his relationship with The Neptunes, who produced both songs. In early 2001, Pharrell Williams signed the duo to Arista Records through his established Star Trak imprint. Clipse began working on their major label debut, executively produced by The Neptunes, their debut single, Grindin' was released on May 14, 2002, became a summer Top 40 hit, reaching number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 30, 2002. Similar success followed with their second single, When the Last Time, which peaked at #19.
Fueled by two successful singles, Clipse released their commercial debut album Lord Willin' on August 20, 2002, debuting at #1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-hop Album chart and #4 on the Billboard 200 being certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on October 1, 2002. In late 2003, Clipse began recording material for Hell Hath No Fury. However, further work on the album ground to a halt in 2004, when Arista Records's urban artists were absorbed into its sister label Jive Records as part of a larger merger between Sony Music Entertainment and BMG. Due to contractual requirements, Clipse was forced to stay on Jive, while Star Trak and the rest of its roster moved to their new home at Interscope Records. While Clipse resumed work on the album, finished recording it, the duo became frustrated with Jive, as the label was notorious for overlooking hip-hop artists such as Clipse, UGK and Keith Murray in favor of the more pop-oriented acts on its roster, which caused numerous delays in the release of Hell Hath No Fury.
As delays continued, the group asked for a formal release from its contract. When Jive refused to grant this request, the duo sued the label. In response to this, in 2004, the brothers launched their own record label imprint, Re-Up Records, formed the hip hop group Re-Up Gang, along with fellow rappers Ab-Liva and Sandman. On May 9, 2006, Clipse reached an agreement with Jive to release the album through both Re-Up and Jive. Hell Hath No Fury was released on November 28, 2006. Once again produced by The Neptunes, it debuted at #14 on the Billboard 200 with over 80,000 copies sold in the 1st week. While the album received a great deal of critical acclaim, its sales were less successful than Lord Willin', it spawned two moderately successful singles: "Mr. Me Too" with Pharrell Williams and "Wamp Wamp" with Slim Thug. Clipse's frustrations with Jive were a constant theme of the album, with Pusha T saying "I'm sorry to the fans, but them crackers weren't playing fair at Jive" on the track Mr. Me Too.
The hip hop magazine XXL gave the album a "XXL" rating. At the time only five albums had received that honor. In a May 19, 2007 interview with Eye Weekly, Clipse revealed that they had been released from any contractual obligations with Jive. After this, the duo began discussions with several record labels signing with Columbia Records on October 26, 2007; the follow-up to Hell Hath No Fury, titled Til the Casket Drops, was released on December 8, 2009 via Columbia Records. In a departure from the group's previous works, which only featured production from the Neptunes, the album features production from Sean "Diddy" Combs' production team The Hitmen, DJ Khalil among others; the album did not fare as well commercially as the group's first two albums, peaking at only #41 on the Billboard 200. After releasing their third album, Pusha T and Malice announced Clipse would be going on indefinite hiatus so the brothers could focus on their solo careers. Shortly after this, Pusha T was signed to Kanye West's Good Music label in September 2010, made his first appearances a member of the Good roster on Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, appearing on his hit "Runaway" and premiering the song with him at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010.
He was al
Hip hop music
Hip hop music called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the late 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech, chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, rhythmic beatboxing. While used to refer to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture; the term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music. Hip hop as both a musical genre and a culture was formed during the 1970s when block parties became popular in New York City among African-American youth residing in the Bronx; however hip-hop music did not get recorded for the radio or television to play until 1979 due to poverty during hip-hop's birth and lack of acceptance outside ghetto neighborhoods.
At block parties DJs played percussive breaks of popular songs using two turntables and a DJ mixer to be able to play breaks from two copies of the same record, alternating from one to the other and extending the "break". Hip hop's early evolution occurred as sampling technology and drum machines became available and affordable. Turntablist techniques such as scratching and beatmatching developed along with the breaks and Jamaican toasting, a chanting vocal style, was used over the beats. Rapping developed as a vocal style in which the artist speaks or chants along rhythmically with an instrumental or synthesized beat. Notable artists at this time include DJ Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Fab Five Freddy, Marley Marl, Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Moe Dee, Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, Warp 9, The Fat Boys, Spoonie Gee; the Sugarhill Gang's 1979 song "Rapper's Delight" is regarded to be the first hip hop record to gain widespread popularity in the mainstream. The 1980s marked the diversification of hip hop.
Prior to the 1980s, hip hop music was confined within the United States. However, during the 1980s, it began to spread to music scenes in dozens of countries, many of which mixed hip hop with local styles to create new subgenres. New school hip hop was the second wave of hip hop music, originating in 1983–84 with the early records of Run-D. M. C. and LL Cool J. The Golden age hip hop period was an innovative period between the early 1990s. Notable artists from this era include the Juice Crew, Public Enemy, Eric B. & Rakim, Boogie Down Productions and KRS-One, EPMD, Slick Rick, Beastie Boys, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Ultramagnetic MCs, De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest. Gangsta rap is a subgenre of hip hop that focuses on the violent lifestyles and impoverished conditions of inner-city African-American youth. Schoolly D, N. W. A, Ice-T, Ice Cube, the Geto Boys are key founding artists, known for mixing the political and social commentary of political rap with the criminal elements and crime stories found in gangsta rap.
In the West Coast hip hop style, G-funk dominated mainstream hip hop for several years during the 1990s with artists such as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. East Coast hip hop in the early to mid 1990s was dominated by the Afrocentric jazz rap and alternative hip hop of the Native Tongues posse as well as the hardcore rap of artists such as Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, Onyx. East Coast hip hop had gangsta rap musicians such as Kool G Rap and the Notorious B. I. G.. In the 1990s, hip hop began to diversify with other regional styles emerging, such as Southern rap and Atlanta hip hop. At the same time, hip hop continued to be assimilated into other genres of popular music, examples being neo soul and nu metal. Hip hop became a best-selling genre in the mid-1990s and the top selling music genre by 1999; the popularity of hip hop music continued through the 2000s, with hip hop influences increasingly finding their way into mainstream pop. The United States saw the success of regional styles such as crunk, a Southern genre that emphasized the beats and music more than the lyrics.
Starting in 2005, sales of hip hop music in the United States began to wane. During the mid-2000s, alternative hip hop secured a place in the mainstream, due in part to the crossover success of artists such as OutKast and Kanye West. During the late 2000s and early 2010s, rappers such as Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, B.o. B were the most popular rappers. During the 2010s, rappers such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar all have been popular. Trap, a subgenre of hip hop has been popular during the 2010s with hip hop artists and hip hop music groups such as Migos, Travis Scott, Kodak Black; the creation of the term hip hop is credited to Keith Cowboy, rapper with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. However, Lovebug Starski, Keith Cowboy, DJ Hollywood used the term when the music was still known as disco rap, it is believed that Cowboy created the term while teasing a friend who had just joined the U. S. Army, by scat singing the words "hip/hop/hip/hop" in a way that mimicked the rhythmic cadence of soldiers marching.
Cowboy worked the "hip hop" cadence into a part of his stage performance, used by other artists such as The Sugarhi
A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has varying roles during the recording process, they may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements. A producer may also: Select session musicians to play rhythm section accompaniment parts or solos Co-write Propose changes to the song arrangements Coach the singers and musicians in the studioThe producer supervises the entire process from preproduction, through to the sound recording and mixing stages, and, in some cases, all the way to the audio mastering stage; the producer may perform these roles themselves, or help select the engineer, provide suggestions to the engineer. The producer may pay session musicians and engineers and ensure that the entire project is completed within the record label's budget.
A record producer or music producer has a broad role in overseeing and managing the recording and production of a band or performer's music. A producer has many roles that may include, but are not limited to, gathering ideas for the project, composing the music for the project, selecting songs or session musicians, proposing changes to the song arrangements, coaching the artist and musicians in the studio, controlling the recording sessions, supervising the entire process through audio mixing and, in some cases, to the audio mastering stage. Producers often take on a wider entrepreneurial role, with responsibility for the budget, schedules and negotiations. Writer Chris Deville explains it, "Sometimes a producer functions like a creative consultant — someone who helps a band achieve a certain aesthetic, or who comes up with the perfect violin part to complement the vocal melody, or who insists that a chorus should be a bridge. Other times a producer will build a complete piece of music from the ground up and present the finished product to a vocalist, like Metro Boomin supplying Future with readymade beats or Jack Antonoff letting Taylor Swift add lyrics and melody to an otherwise-finished “Out Of The Woods.”The artist of an album may not be a record producer or music producer for his/her album.
While both contribute creatively, the official credit of "record producer" may depend on the record contract. Christina Aguilera, for example, did not receive record producer credits until many albums into her career. In the 2010s, the producer role is sometimes divided among up to three different individuals: executive producer, vocal producer and music producer. An executive producer oversees project finances, a vocal producers oversees the vocal production, a music producer oversees the creative process of recording and mixings; the music producer is often a competent arranger, musician or songwriter who can bring fresh ideas to a project. As well as making any songwriting and arrangement adjustments, the producer selects and/or collaborates with the mixing engineer, who takes the raw recorded tracks and edits and modifies them with hardware and software tools to create a stereo or surround sound "mix" of all the individual voices sounds and instruments, in turn given further adjustment by a mastering engineer for the various distribution media.
The producer oversees the recording engineer who concentrates on the technical aspects of recording. Noted producer Phil Ek described his role as "the person who creatively guides or directs the process of making a record", like a director would a movie. Indeed, in Bollywood music, the designation is music director; the music producer's job is to create and mold a piece of music. The scope of responsibility may be one or two songs or an artist's entire album – in which case the producer will develop an overall vision for the album and how the various songs may interrelate. At the beginning of record industry, the producer role was technically limited to record, in one shot, artists performing live; the immediate predecessors to record producers were the artists and repertoire executives of the late 1920s and 1930s who oversaw the "pop" product and led session orchestras. That was the case of Ben Selvin at Columbia Records, Nathaniel Shilkret at Victor Records and Bob Haring at Brunswick Records.
By the end of the 1930s, the first professional recording studios not owned by the major companies were established separating the roles of A&R man and producer, although it wouldn't be until the late 1940s when the term "producer" became used in the industry. The role of producers changed progressively over the 1960s due to technology; the development of multitrack recording caused a major change in the recording process. Before multitracking, all the elements of a song had to be performed simultaneously. All of these singers and musicians had to be assembled in a large studio where the performance was recorded. With multitrack recording, the "bed tracks" (rhythm section accompaniment parts such as the bassline and rhythm guitar could be recorded first, the vocals and solos could be added using as many "takes" as necessary, it was no longer necessary to get all the players in the studio at the same time. A pop band could record their backing tracks one week, a horn section could be brought in a week to add horn shots and punches, a string section could be brought in a week after that.
Multitrack recording had another pro
Jason Terrance Phillips, is an American rapper better known by his stage name Jadakiss. He is known for being one third of the New York hip hop group The Lox, as well as being a member of the Ruff Ryders collective and for his solo work, he is signed to both Def Jam Records and his own label, D-Block Records, which he founded with the other members of The Lox. Jadakiss has released four studio albums, with the most recent being Top 5 Dead or Alive on November 20, 2015. Jadakiss began rapping in the early 1990s as a member of The Lox, with the group signing to Puff Daddy's record label Bad Boy Entertainment. After leaving Bad Boy in 2000, the group all signed to Ruff Ryders, where they embarked on solo careers, with Jadakiss releasing his debut solo album Kiss Tha Game Goodbye in 2001. Since the release of his first album in 2001, Jadakiss has gone on to release three more solo studio albums, as well as an album with The Lox and a joint album with Fabolous. In 2007, Jadakiss signed with Jay Z's Roc-A-Fella Records and Def Jam Recordings, who both released his 2010 album The Last Kiss along with Ruff Ryders Entertainment.
Jadakiss was born Jason Terrance Phillips on May 27, 1975, in Yonkers, New York, had an interest in hip hop from an early age. At the age of 12, he began selling drugs, he soon stopped selling drugs and instead began freestyle rapping for money after watching other people do it on the street corner. While freestyling, he met longtime friends Sheek Louch and Styles P. Phillips developed a small underground fanbase and at the age of 12, entered himself into a freestyle competition in Florida where he attracted the attention of the owners of Ruff Ryders Entertainment. Along with Styles and Louch, he formed a group known as The Warlocks, the trio began rapping together, they met Mary J. Blige, impressed with their lyrics, handed their demo to Puff Daddy, who signed the group to his label, Bad Boy Entertainment. Upon signing with Bad Boy, Puff Daddy shortened the groups name from The Warlocks to "The LOX", they made their first appearance on The Main Source's 1994 LP Fuck What You Think on the track "Set it Off."
They began writing and performing on hit songs with fellow Bad Boy artists, including Puff Daddy's "It's All About the Benjamins" and "I Got the Power", Mase's "24 Hrs. to Live", Mariah Carey's "Honey", Mary J. Blige's "Can't Get You Off My Mind" and Notorious B. I. G.'s "Last Day". The group developed a close relationship with B. I. G. during which time Jadakiss was taken under his wing. The LOX's first hit song was a tribute to The Notorious B. I. G. in the wake of his 1997 death, titled "We'll Always Love Big Poppa". The song was chosen as the B-side to Puff Daddy's smash hit B. I. G. Tribute song "I'll Be Missing You", received widespread commercial success, achieving multi-platinum status from the Recording Industry Association of America; the success and reception of the song opened the door for them to write more of their own songs, in 1998, the LOX released their debut studio album, Power & Respect. The album was both a commercial and critical success, peaking at number 3 on the Billboard 200 and number 1 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, went on to achieve platinum status.
Though the record was successful, The Lox grew unhappy with Bad Boy Records and Puffy's glossy, radio friendly production, feeling it conflicted with their grimier street aesthetic. Following the release of their debut album, the group left the label to sign with Ruff Ryders Entertainment, they released their second album, We Are The Streets in 2000, through Ruff Ryders. The album was once again a success, peaking at number 5 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the US Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart, it featured production from Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, spawned one single, Ryde or Die, Bitch featuring fellow Ruff Ryders artist Eve. Jadakiss began embarking on a solo career in 2001, his debut album, Kiss Tha Game Goodbye, was released in August on the Ruff Ryders/Interscope label; the album featured popular guests and producers such as DJ Premier, The Alchemist, DMX, Snoop Dogg and Swizz Beatz, was commercially successful, going on to be certified gold by the RIAA and selling over 200,000 copies during its first week of release.
Despite commercial success, the album received negative reception from critics who criticised the album for being repetitive and uninspired. Jadakiss has acknowledged the criticism as valid, saying the record was done less out of inspiration but rather out of contractual obligations to Bad Boy; the album produced three singles, "We Gonna Make It" featuring Styles P, "Knock Yourself Out" and "Put Ya Hands Up". Jadakiss followed this album with Kiss of Death, released in June 2004, it features guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, The Lox, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Nate Dogg, DJ Quik and more. His song "Why?", featuring Anthony Hamilton and produced by Havoc of Mobb Deep, became one of the year's biggest hits, spawning a remix featuring Styles P, Common and Nas. "Why?" remains Jadakiss' biggest hit, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song garnered controversy for a line in which Jadakiss claims that he believes George W. Bush planned the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Another single from the record, "U Make Me Wanna," featuring Mariah Carey peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The album was both a commercial and critical success, receiving better reviews than his previous album and debuted at number 1 on both the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums charts. In late 2007, Jadakiss signed to Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records, a move Jay had been trying to arrange for a long time; the move came on the heels of increased D-Block/Roc
Tha Dogg Pound
Tha Dogg Pound is an American hip hop duo formed in 1992, made up of West Coast rappers Kurupt and Daz Dillinger. They were key to the label's success; the duo made their first appearance on Dr. Dre's acclaimed debut album The Chronic, appearing on several songs, they appeared on Snoop Dogg's debut album Doggystyle, the Death Row soundtracks Murder Was the Case and Above the Rim. Their debut album Dogg Food was released in 1995, it was another addition to the controversy of hardcore hip hop due to the sexual and violent lyrics and went on to sell two million albums. Kurupt and Daz went on to release solo albums starting in 1998, they both left the crumbling Death Row Records in 1999. Daz left due to long-lasting internal struggles on the label after friend and labelmate Tupac Shakur's murder in 1996. Kurupt started Antra Records, while Daz and Soopafly started D. P. G. Recordz. In 2002 a feud arose between the two when Kurupt decided to sign back with Death Row Records, upsetting everyone involved with the group.
His awaited Death Row release Against Tha Grain had been postponed several times while Kurupt was on the label being released in August 2005, after he was off. In January 2005, Daz made another solo album release titled Tha Dogg Pound Gangsta LP. Tha Dogg Pound got back together as a group and released Dillinger & Young Gotti II in November 2005. In 2006 Snoop Dogg decided to get involved and the three released their official reunion album Cali Iz Active. An extended family, referred to as D. P. G. C. is made up of Tha Dogg Pound, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Warren G, Wayniac & Trip Loc, Big C-Style, Bad Azz, Lil' ½ Dead, RBX, Lil' C-Style, Tha Eastsidaz, many more. Tha Dogg Pound Gangstaz are featured on each other's albums and projects. Before The Chronic album came out, Kurupt & Daz were solo artists, however having heard the chemistry the two had whilst recording the album, Dr. Dre suggested they make a group; the two went on to feature on various features and soundtracks as Tha Dogg Pound. Between 1993-1994, the group assisted Hammer on his The Funky Headhunter album, along with Suge Knight and the Whole 9.
In 1995, they released their debut album Dogg Food under Death Row Records. The album went on to reach 2x platinum status, it was quite a success. "Let's Play House" was the biggest hit, breaking into the Top 50 of the Hot 100, while "New York, New York" was an MTV favorite. In the October that followed, towards the end of the same year, Tupac Shakur had been bailed out of jail by Death Row's Suge Knight in exchange for releasing his following four albums on Death Row Records. In 1996, Tha Dogg Pound were featured on 2Pac's acclaimed Death Row Records debut album All Eyez on Me with Kurupt featured in "Got My Mind Made Up" and "Check Out Time" and Daz Dillinger producing the hit songs "2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted", "Ambitionz Az A Ridah", "I Ain't Mad At Cha" among other tracks which solidified his status as a talented and successful producer. In early September of the same year, Shakur was murdered in Nevada. Kurupt and Daz were affected by this and struggled to release anything after Shakur's passing.
7 years in a 2003 interview, Daz stated that he now believed Suge Knight was responsible for Shakur's murder. They remained active thereafter, rapping on Snoop's Tha Doggfather in 1996. Tha Dogg Pound was an integral part of the Death Row Records empire, which cast a tall shadow over rap music in the early to mid-'90s. In 1997 Kurupt remained in Tha Dogg Pound. Kurupt released two solo albums in 1999 that had Daz Dillinger and the rest of DPG on them. However, in 1998 Daz was making noise of his own over at Death Row and released his only Death Row album which went gold. Afterwards he made his own label called Mobstyle Muzik, in which he had his first taste of the independent scene. Mobstyle's first release Poppa Snoop Presents Mobstyle Muzik Volume 1 failed and Daz returned to Death Row, he started up DPG Recordz along with Christopher "Big C-Style" Bowden through Death Row Records. Daz eventually parted ways with Death Row in late 1999 and released his first independent album R. A. W. in 2000. That was followed by the D.
P. G. Album from Tha Dogg Pound entitled Young Gotti. After Tha Dogg Pound's full departure from Death Row, Suge Knight claimed ownership of the name "Tha Dogg Pound" and any tracks recorded prior to them leaving. To avoid a legal battle at the time Daz changed their marketing name to D. P. G. Short for Dogg Pound Gangstaz. In 2001, Suge Knight released a Dogg Pound album entitled "2002" which consisted of unreleased Dogg Pound tracks. Daz has been quoted as saying this album was "bullshit", claimed to have raided Death Row Records vaults during one of Suge Knight's incarcerations and stole back as many DPG songs as he could find. Most of which were Soopafly's featured on his 2001 solo album Dat Whoopty Woop. Over the years Tha Dogg Pound had beef with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, due to Death Row Records being embroiled in a feud with Eazy-E's Ruthless Records. Tha Dogg Pound made a diss towards The Bone Thugs, on the song "Dogg Pound Gangstaz", with Kurupt's line "Ain't got no love for no hoes in harmony."
In response Layzie Bone shot back on the track "Shotz to tha Double Glock" with the line "Dogg Pound hoes it's on." "Krayzie Bone says "Gotta