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Blackalicious - SOLDOUT Biography
In a hip-hop career that has stretched past a decade, Blackalicious has earned respect the old-fashioned way–rising through honesty, commitment, and artistry. Blackalicious is an American hip hop duo from Sacramento, California made up of rapper Gift of Gab (born Tim Parker) and DJ/producer Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley). They are noted for Gift of Gab’s often “tongue-twisting”, multisyllabic, complex rhymes and Chief Xcel’s “classic” beats.
Like a few other West Coast rap acts, including the Pharcyde andJurassic 5, Blackalicious has generally favored what hip-hoppers call the “positive tip”; in other words, its lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent or misogynous. 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 wasn’t formed until the early ’90s, its 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, CA, 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, CA, in 1992. By that time, Xcel had become a student at the University of California at Davis and the Gift of Gabhad 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’ ?uestlove to veteran soul singerGil 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. By Alex Henderson – All Music Guide.
Kosha Dillz Biography
Kosha Dillz is eclectic array of languages (hebrew spanish and english) and lyrics piled into one awesome performer. There are not many rappers who can claim to be a celebrity video game character in NBA 2k11, Tour with Matisyahu, and Rza of the Wu Tang Clan, and the Yo Gabba Gabba live tour as a "Super Musical Friend."
This past year he performed at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, Paid Dues Festival, Rock The Bells Festival (NJ), and Vans Warped Tour. Dillz is also known for his extensive hustle and DIY talents.
An Official SXSW 2013 artist, he curated his frist event there called OY VEY! which is his party that includes everyone from "rabbis" to "rappers" and "rockers" all under one roof for a big "mish mash." To this date he has thrown them in NY, LA , Chicago and the ATX.
Kosha, or Rami, is currently running a kickstarter campaign until february 4th for his film, Kosha Dillz is Everywhere: The Hustle to Happiness, which will document his travels around the globe as a rapper on the road always away from family and friends.
As a rapper of Israeli-American background, he utilizes his hebrew and spanish fluency to bring together different crowds for more understanding and acceptance. Having gone through incarceration and addiction for much of his younger life, a big part of his passion is bringing people together and helping others. What else would you expect from a A former division 1 wrestler/life-guard/pizza delivery driver/drug-dealer??