He defined the hip-house phenomenon in 1989 with "Turn Up the Bass," but Tyree Cooper proved to be an excellent producer throughout house music's first decade, from the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s. He began DJing on Chicago's south side in 1983 and recorded his first single ("I Fear the Night") three years later, for the seminal house label DJ International. In 1987, Cooper detoured from straightahead Chicago house to acid on the club smash "Acid Over." His next single showcased yet another change of direction; although a few singles had previously merged house beats with hip-hop vocals, "Turn Up the Bass" (with the help of rapper Kool Rock Steady) became one of the biggest hip-house hits, just barely missing the British Top Ten in 1989.
His debut album, Tyree's Got a Brand New House, appeared on DJ International one year later; it was re-titled for a British release on ffrr. Two additional singles, "Move Your Body" and "Let the Music Take Control," did well on the British and dance charts, and his second album, Nation of Hip House, appeared in 1991. Though he lost his major-label contract soon after, Tyree continued to record throughout the decade, on labels including Dance Mania, Real Estate and No Nonsense. ~ John Bush