Nine is the stage name of Derrick Keyes (September 19, 1969), an emcee and protégé of DJ Funkmaster Flex from The Bronx, New York. Keyes got his break in late 1993 as a featured guest on Funkmaster Flex and the Ghetto Celebs’ “Six Million Ways to Die”. The verse showcased Nine’s harsh, gravelly flow and the artist signed a deal with the now-defunct Profile Records. He is known for the singles “Whutcha Want?” (1994) and “Any Emcee” (1995)
Keyes originally recorded under the Moniker 9MM (or Nine Double M) before changing his name to simply Nine. He stated, “I didn’t want to be just be named after the gun (9mm).” His stage name refers to his date of birth (9/19/1969), his shoe size, and his lucky number.
Emcee Nas recently referred to 9 Double M on the track “Where are They Now?” from his album Hip Hop Is Dead. He is also referred to on the track “Twinz (Deep Cover ’98)” from Big Pun’s debut album Capital Punishment, where Fat Joe says “Boogie down major like Nine” referring to Nine’s hometown, the Bronx.
Portions of Nine’s “Whutcha Want?” were recently featured in advertisements by US automobile manufacturer Jeep. The ads used the song “Steady Bounce” by KRS-One from his album Strickly for da Breakdancers & Emceez, which used a sample which from Nine’s “Whutcha want?” According to an interview conducted with HalftimeOnline.com, Jeep never sought permission to use the sample and Nine is pursuing legal action.
Nine also acted in an episode of New York Undercover (1997) .
The album “Nine Livez”, produced by Rob Lewis and Tony Stoute, generated several underground hits including “Whutcha Want?”, “Redrum”, “Ova Confident” and “Any Emcee”. The album, considered by many hip-hop aficionados to be a classic underground hip-hop album, is sought after by collectors. Read more
Kevin Brereton (born February 20, 1972), better known by his stage name k-os (/ˈkeɪ.ɒs/; “chaos”), is a Canadian alternative rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer. His given name may also be cited as Kheaven, a spelling he later adopted.
The alias “k-os”, spelled with a lower case “k”, was intended to be less aggressive than the pseudonyms of other rappers whose names were all upper case, such as KRS-One. It is an acronym for “Knowledge of Self”, although in a later interview he said that it originally stood for “Kevin’s Original Sound”. k-os’ music incorporates a wide variety of music genres, including rap, funk, rock, and reggae. The lyrics frequently focus on promoting a “positive message” while at times expressing criticism of mainstream hip hop culture’s obsession with money, fame and glorification of violence. A musician as well as a producer, k-os has written and produced nearly every part of all four of his albums. k-os usually performs with a live band, something that is uncommon in the hip hop genre. He sometimes plays guitar and keyboard both during live performances and in the studio.
k-os received his first musical exposure with the single “Musical Essence”, released in 1993. After the release of his second single “Rise Like the Sun” in 1996, he withdrew from the industry because he was dissatisfied with his musical style. He reappeared briefly in 1999 and released his debut album Exit in 2002. The album received positive reviews but sold relatively few copies. He released his second album Joyful Rebellion in 2004, which received platinum status in Canada. A third album, Atlantis: Hymns for Disco, was released in 2006 and also went platinum. His fourth album, Yes!, was released in 2009. His fifth album BLack on BLonde was released in 2013. He released his sixth album, Can’t Fly Without Gravity in 2015. Read more
A Tribe Called Quest is an American hip-hop group formed in 1985 and originally composed of MC and producer Q-Tip, MC Phife Dawg and DJ and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, MC Jarobi White, left the group in 1991 after the release of their debut album. He continued to contribute to the band sporadically before rejoining for their 2006 reunion. Along with De La Soul, the group was a central part of the Native Tongues, and enjoyed the most commercial success out of all the groups to emerge from that collective. The group released six albums between 1990 and 2016. The band broke up in 1998 after releasing their fifth album. In 2006, the group reunited and toured the United States. In 2016, they released their sixth album, which was still incomplete when Phife Dawg died suddenly in March 2016, and was completed by the other members after his death.
The group is regarded as a pioneer of alternative hip-hop music, having helped to pave the way for many innovative artists. John Bush of AllMusic called them “the most intelligent, artistic rap group during the 1990s,” and Jack White says of the group that “they were miles and miles deeper than most other people in pop music.” The Source gave the group’s debut album a rating of five ‘mics,’ the first time the magazine gave out this rating. In 2005, A Tribe Called Quest received a Special Achievement Award at the Billboard R&B Hip-Hop Awards in Atlanta. In 2007, the group was formally honored at the 4th VH1 Hip-Hop Honors. Read more
Whodini is a hip hop group that was formed in 1981. The Brooklyn, New York-based trio consisted of vocalist and main lyricist Jalil Hutchins; co-vocalist John Fletcher, a.k.a. Ecstasy (who wore a Zorro-style hat as his trademark); and turntable artist DJ Drew Carter, a.k.a. Grandmaster Dee Read more
Salmo, aka Maurizio Pisciottu (born June 29, 1984), is an Italian rapper. His 2016 album Hellvisback placed at the first place on the Italian hit parade. Read more
Aaron Dontez Yates (born November 8, 1971), better known as Tech N9ne (pronounced “Tech Nine”), is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, actor, and entrepreneur. In 1999, he and business partner Travis O’Guin founded the record label Strange Music. He has sold over two million albums and has had his music featured in film, television, and video games. In 2009, he won the Left Field Woodie award at the mtvU Woodie Awards.
His stage name originated from the TEC-9 semi-automatic handgun, a name given to him by rapper Black Walt due to his fast-rhyming Chopper style. Yates later applied a deeper meaning to the name, claiming that it stands for the complete technique of rhyme, with “tech” meaning technique and “nine” representing the number of completion. Read more
Outkast (stylized as OutKast) is an American hip hop duo formed in 1991, in East Point, Atlanta, Georgia, composed of Atlanta-based rappers André “André 3000” Benjamin (formerly known as Dré) and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton. The duo achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success in the 1990s and early 2000s, helping to popularize Southern hip hop while developing distinctive personas and experimenting with diverse genres such as funk, psychedelia, techno, and gospel.
Benjamin and Patton formed the group as high school students in 1991. OutKast released their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik in 1994, which gained popularity after the single “Player’s Ball” reached number one on the Billboard Hot Rap Tracks chart. With successive releases including ATLiens (1996) and Aquemini (1998), the duo further developed their sound, experimenting with a variety of styles and achieving commercial success. In 2000, Outkast released the critically acclaimed Stankonia, which included the singles “Ms. Jackson” and “B.O.B.”
In 2003, the duo released the double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which featured the number one singles “Hey Ya!” and “The Way You Move.” The album would eventually win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. Outkast next released the soundtrack for the 2006 musical film Idlewild, which they also starred in. In 2007, the duo went on hiatus and both members have since pursued solo careers. In 2014, Outkast reunited to celebrate their 20th anniversary by performing at more than 40 festivals worldwide in 2014, beginning at the Coachella Festival in April.
The duo is one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time, having received six Grammy Awards. Between six studio albums and a greatest hits release, Outkast has sold over 25 million records. Meanwhile, they have garnered widespread critical acclaim, with publications such as Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media listing albums such as Aquemini and Stankonia among the best of their era. Read more
Naughty by Nature is a Grammy Award-winning American hip hop trio from East Orange, New Jersey consisting of Treach (Anthony Criss, born December 2, 1970), Vin Rock (Vincent Brown, born September 17, 1970), and DJ Kay Gee (born Keir Lamont Gist, September 15, 1969).
The group formed in East Orange, New Jersey,(colloquially referred to as Illtown in the 1980s) in 1986 as The New Style. The group first appeared on the music scene in 1989, releasing an album called Independent Leaders as The New Style, and the album generated the minor hit “Scuffin’ Those Knees”. After the release of its first album, the group was mentored by fellow New Jersey native Queen Latifah, and subsequently changed its name. Read more
Claude M’Barali better known by his stage name MC Solaar (French pronunciation: [ɛm si sɔˈlaʁ] (born March 5, 1969) is a French hip hop and rap artist with Senegalese and Chadian origins. He is one of France’s most internationally popular and influential hip hop artists.
MC Solaar is known for his complex lyrics, which rely on word play, lyricism, and inquiry. In the English-speaking world, Solaar was signed by London acid jazz label Talkin’ Loud and recorded with British group Urban Species and the late Guru, member of the acclaimed New York duo Gang Starr. He has since released seven studio records and one live album. Read more