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Blackalicious

Like a few other West Coast rap acts, including the Pharcyde and Jurassic 5, Blackalicious have generally favored what hip-hoppers call the "positive tip"; in other words, their lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent or misogynistic. Like a lot of experimental alternative rappers, Blackalicious can be quirky and eccentric; nonetheless, spirituality is a big part of the group's music. Although Blackalicious weren't formed until the early '90s, their members had known each other since the late '80s. Founding members Gift of Gab (Timothy Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) first met in Sacramento, California, in 1987 when they were students at John F. Kennedy High School. Neither of them was originally from Sacramento; DJ/producer Xcel (who was going by DJ IceSki at the time) was a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, while rapper Gift of Gab was from Los Angeles' suburban San Fernando Valley.

The two went their separate ways after Gift of Gab (also known as Gabby T) graduated from Kennedy High in 1989, but they were reunited in Davis, California, in 1992. By that time, Xcel had become a student at the University of California at Davis and the Gift of Gab had moved to Davis to form Blackalicious with him. UC Davis was where Xcel had started working with a hip-hop crew named SoleSides, whose members included DJ Shadow, Lateef the Truth Speaker, and Lyrics Born. SoleSides Records was the name of the SoleSides Crew's Northern California record company, and in 1994 that label released Blackalicious' debut single, "Swan Lake." Although not a triple-platinum smash, the single was a small underground hit that fared well among alternative rap audiences. The following year, SoleSides Records released a Blackalicious EP titled Melodica. By late 1997 SoleSides Records had transformed into Quannum Records, and in 1999 Quannum put out another Blackalicious EP, A2G.

In 2000 Quannum released the group's full-length debut, Nia (whose title is the Swahili word for purpose). After being together eight years, Blackalicious finally signed with a major label when, in late 2000, the Californians were added by MCA. In April 2002 Quannum/MCA released Blazing Arrow, which boasted guest appearances ranging from vocalist Zack de la Rocha (of Rage Against the Machine) to the Roots' Questlove to veteran soul and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron. After the requisite tour, both Xcel and Gab began developing solo material; Quannum released both Maroons' Ambush (Chief Xcel with Latyrx's Lateef the Truth Speaker) as well as a Gift of Gab solo LP, Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up. The pair returned in 2005 for their third album, The Craft, with a contract in hand from the Anti- label.

Although ten years passed without a Blackalicious album, Gift of Gab made three additional solo albums while Xcel teamed with RV Salters as Burning House. Gift of Gab and Xcel also worked on Imani, Vol. 1 during three of those years and released it as the fourth Blackalicious full-length in 2015. The likes of Lateef, Lyrics Born, Imani Coppola, and Zap Mama made guest appearances. ~ Alex Henderson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Imani Vol. 1

1. Faith (Feat. Amde)

2. Blacka

3. Ashes To Ashes

4. On Fire Tonight (Feat. Myron)

5. Escape

6. The Sun (Feat. Imani Coppola)

7. That Night (Feat. Vursatyl And Jumbo)

8. Inspired By (Feat. Bosko)

9. We Did It Again (Feat. Danielle Dubois)

10. I Like The Way You Talk

11. Twist Of Time

12. The Blowup

13. Love’s Gonna Save The Day (Feat. Fantastic Negrito)

14. Alpha And Omega (Feat. DJ D Sharp, Lateef, Lyrics Born & Monophonics)

15. The Hourglass

16. Imani (Feat. Zap Mama)

x

Track List: The Craft

1. World Of Vibrations

2. Supreme People

3. Rhythm Sticks

4. Powers

5. Your Move

6. Lotus Flower

7. My Pen And Pad

8. Side To Side

9. Automatique

10. The Fall And Rise Of Elliot Brown

11. Black Diamonds And Pearls

12. Give It To You

13. Egosonic War Drums

14. The Craft

x

Track List: Blazing Arrow

1. Introduction: Bow And Fire

2. Blazing Arrow

3. Sky Is Falling

4. First In Flight (feat. Gil Scott-Heron)

5. Green Light: Now Begin

6. 4000 Miles (feat. Chali 2NA Of Jurassic 5 & Lateef The Truth Speaker)

7. Nowhere Fast

8. Paragraph President

9. It's Going Down (feat. Lateef The Truth Speaker & Keke Wyatt)

10. Make You Feel That Way

11. Brain Washers (feat. Ben Harper)

12. Chemical Calisthentics (feat. Cut Chemist Of Jurassic 5)

13. Aural Pleasure (feat. Jaguar Wright)

14. Passion (feat. Rakaa & Babu Of Dilated Peoples)

15. Purest Love

16. Release (feat. Saul Williams & Lyrics Born)

17. Day One

x

Track List: A2G

1. A To G

2. Clockwork

3. Rock The Spot

4. Back To The Essence

5. Deception

6. Making Progress

7. Alphabet Aerobics (The Cut Chemist 2.5 Minute Workout)

x

Track List: Nia

1. Searching

2. The Fabulous Ones

3. Do This My Way

4. Deception

5. A To G

6. Cliff Hanger

7. Shallow Days

8. Ego Trip By Nikki Giovanni

9. You Didn't Know That Though

10. If I May

11. Dream Seasons

12. Trouble (Eve Of Destruction)

13. Smithsonian Institute Of Rhyme

14. As The World Turns

15. Reanimation

16. Beyonder

17. Making Progress

18. Sleep

19. Finding

x

Track List: Imani, Vol. 1 (Instrumentals)

1. Faith (Instrumental)

2. Blacka (Instrumental)

3. Ashes To Ashes (Instrumental)

4. On Fire Tonight (Instrumental)

5. Escape (Instrumental)

6. The Sun (Instrumental)

7. That Night (Instrumental)

8. Inspired By (Instrumental)

9. We Did It Again (Instrumental)

10. I Like The Way You Talk (Instrumental)

11. Twist Of Time (Instrumental)

12. The Blowup (Instrumental)

13. Love's Gonna Save The Day (Instrumental)

14. Alpha And Omega (Instrumental)

15. The Hour Glass (Instrumental)

16. Imani (Instrumental)

Comments

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This song would be perfect if only he didn't say Count of Monte Crisco... What the heck? It's Cristo!
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dcroke.vt
Don't read this. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tommorow will be the best day of your life. Don't stop this is freaky. But if you read this you will get bad luck. Put this on15 songs in 143 minutes. When you are done, press the space bar and your crushes name will appear in big letters on the screen.this is so creepy because it actually works.
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This track touches my soul in such a way that I have to stop what I'm doing to mentally take this in. Awwwe, man, words can not express how this song makes me feel.
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Jams
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Man it makes feel so good hearing Blackaliciou s with this track. Music like this brings me back to a much simpler time.
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dan_mcm
"I know his flow by heart," Daniel Radcliffe.
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Do you wish that it be Taylor made
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Leave a comment…
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Vibin good stuff,from so cal! To Chicago
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����❤️����⭐️ y o u ' r e the reason I still love rap!... Sista from 1989'.... ��Just luv ya style.!!!! & keep the positive preachin' ✌️
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Blackaliciou s is hella dope! Been a fan since I heard swan lake and cheez it terrorist.
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Nice mellow flow
West Coast!!!!
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dope!
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He kinda sounds like Busta Rhymes but very light and humble. So nice
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mosqueramigu e l
v(^_^v)♪♪(v^ _
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: 0
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Wow
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One of my favorite albums of all time, and I usually hate hip hop. Most of it is bullcrap, violent and/or egotystical trash. This and Blazing Arrow are works of complete genious. Thank you Blackaliciou s .
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I can almost rap all of this
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A to G and the alphabet song A to Z
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yeah
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First in flight, cause all we have is withering time Love you Blackalicous
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One of my all time favorite tracks BLACKALICIOU S 4LIFE whats dat track wit the alphabet can't think of da name of it DAM!!!
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One of my favorite rap groups all time. They mostly like the genre in a passion perspective than a money perspective
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I stand corrected. Glad they gave him credit by not putting his name anywhere in the track listing lol.....prob a b l y because his only contribution was yelling the word release 5 times....ha. . . . . . I t was rumored a while back that he was making a hip hop album but he has fallen off the face of the earth for years now...
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Brad Thomas, The track with Zack De La Rocha is Release with Saul Williams & Lyrics Born...
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what track did Zack De La Rocha guest appear on Blazing Arrow???? Guess I'm kinda confused about that one...lol... . o h pandora, love your crazy bio's...
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you know when you get that feeling when you find the right vibe
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love this
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❌❤❌❤ this reminds me of a friend!! Lol
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Nia is Swahili for purpose... I didn't know dat doe
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My sun put me on 2 them
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Love that song!!
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Gotta love Blackaliciou s .
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Dis is dope!!!
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Blackaliciou s . Great beats. ALWAYS.
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robin.ahn
Naming my first born Nia. 'Nuff said.
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solid flow PERIOD...... . . . ; - )
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MAKE ME FEEL THAT WAY
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First time hearing this and love it..
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Haha the name is racist when the two members are both black? Don't think so buddy - Blackaliciou s has been one of the best rap groups for years. Hope they drop a new album sometime soon.. it's been too long
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ooh baby that's smooove....
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emanuel2cool
A. M. A. Z. I. N. G.
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Black and Delicious. What's racist about that?

They are black, and their music is delicious!
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janette13
Racist? Clearly you know nothing about this group.
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@pineapple fury no... not at all
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victor_flore z 2 5
I love Blackaliciou s
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nancyskid76
This s**t Is LOVE to all of the Universe
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these should have been the folks to rap at the whitehouse
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Great hip hop!
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