Who Dat Rapper? 08-28-16
While the 90’s gave birth to some of the best music in human history, there were also some gimmicks and fads that became extremely popular. Enter the child rappers. Michael Bivins blessed us with Another Bad Creation who blasted to superstardom in the early 90’s. Major crews during this time decided to capitalize. Jermaine Dupri founded Kris Kross. Naughty by Nature groomed the phenomenal Da Youngstas. Shyheim was a Wu Representer, Native Tongues scooped up Chi Ali and 2 Low repped Houston’s Rap A Lot.
Illegal “The Untold Truth“
Legendary Dallas Austin wanted a piece of the action so he was instrumental in starting the career’s of Illegal; a rowdy pair of 14 year olds. Jamal was from Philly and Malik from South Carolina. Austin signed them and used his extensive rolodex to call on some of the top hip hop producers at that time, including Erick Sermon, Biz Markie and Diamond D. Their debut “The Untold Truth” (the tape was red) was created and a majority of it featured their disgust at all the other adolescent rappers in the game. If foul mouth pre teens don’t bother you, then this album has some shining moments. My 13 year old self loved it and some of their material stands the test of time.
Illegal “Back In The Day“
“Back in The Day” was a great way to start the evening. It featured both young MC’s (not Young MC) rhyming about their lives before the record deal. A video was released on this one, but featured a funkier west coast sounding beat than the album version. Foul mouth Rudy Ray Moore and Left Eye (RIP) had cameos.
Illegal “Back In The Day”
Illegal “Head or Gut“
“Head or Gut” was Illegal’s first single and they came out the box swinging. Eric Sermon cooked up the music as Illegal started their verbal warfare on Kriss Kross. Malik’s Scarface impersonation at the end was hilarious.
Illegal “Head or Gut”
Illegal “We Getz Busy”
“We Getz Busy” was another solid single. Malik and Jamal continued their onslaught on the other kid rappers. Malik started off with some venom for Chi Ali and Da Youngstas. His most lethal dose was saved for Kris Kriss when he clowned them for not writing their own rhymes.
“Cause I’m a straight up nigga, ain’t nothin’ bout me Kris Kross little rejects
I have the intellect to get respect, I’m gettin’ wreck
Don’t even try to scam, because you’re no threat to me
Can’t rate ya, who rhymes, sellin’ Jermaine’s life stories”
Damn these kids were out for blood. Erick Sermon handled the production this banger which features a rock hard bassline and a simple guitar lick. His patented sing songy lisp rhymes was a dope addition on his final verse.
Illegal “We Getz Busy“
“Stick “Em Up” and “Understand the Flow” were filled with some serious audio adrenaline. The hyper yet simple choruses over a lightening fast beat make me want to get out and run a 19 second 200 yard dash. Diamond D lends his production talents to both “On the M.I.C.” that featured Lord Finesse and A.G. and then adds a verse to “Crumbsnatcher”
Life After “Illegal”
Unfortunately dismal album sales resulted in this being Illegal’s final album together. This certainly didn’t mark the end of their careers. Both wound up rhyming with some of the best to ever do it. Jamal created another moniker for himself; Mally G He hooked up with Erick Sermons Def Squad and released his severely underrated 1995’s ‘Last Change No Breaks‘. “Keep It Real” featured his precise flows over a beautiful Stevie Wonder sample. This is on my list of top 20 songs ever.
Jamal “Keep It Real”
His success led him to do collabs with MC Breed(RIP), Busta Rhymes, Keith Murray, Method Man and a host of other 90’s MC’s. He even rhymed along with B.I.G.(RIP) on Junior M.A.F.I.A.‘s glorious “Realms of Junior Mafia”
Junior M.A.F.I.A. ft Jamal “Realms of Junior Mafia”
Malik also achieved some mild success after Illegal. He had some additions to his name as well. He was now Mr. Malik then Lil Hershey Loc. While his old partner stayed on the East Coast, Malik made his way out west and found him self rhyming alongside Snoop’s Doggy Style. Remember Pump Pump? No that wasn’t a female rapper, that was Malik, fresh out of llegal.
Snoop Dogg ft Lil Malik “Pump Pump”
Malik was also on Warren G’s album and a few Bay area complilations which led to his only single on Rowdy Records, “Malik Goes On” over a smooth Whispers sample. All you young bucks, it’s the same beat as Fresh Prince’s “Miami”. Malik reached the pinnacle of his career when he had a verse on Monica’s smash “Like This Like That”
Monica feat Malik “Like This Like That”
Jamal began honing his production talents post 90’s including crafting gems for Beanie Sigel and Cassidy. Mr Malik finally released his solo album in 05 and invited Jamal on a couple of tracks. They may have both had the opportunity to rhyme with legends, but ‘The Untold Truth” laid the foundation for all of their success in the new millennium.
Related: Check out a previous Who Dat Rapper?