Why Onyx’s “Backdafucup” Was A Game-Changer

Very New York, very street, and very gritty.

A recent Tweet gave me—more so than an age check—some insight into how far back some of the younger listener’s insights into Hip Hop goes. While discussing the 19th anniversary of Eminem’s Slim Shady LP, one user tweeted that it was the album that he was forced to hide from his mother.

That instantly reminded me of the album that was the one that I—and others in my bracket—had to hide from our parent, Bacdafucup, the debut effort from South Suicide Queens foursome (now a duo) Onyx.

I was excited for this kid to learn about—and experience—this project for the first time, but more so stopped to reflect on why that album is such a notable standout in my timeline.

1993 was a vastly different time in Hip Hop. It wouldn’t be until later that year when heads would experience Wu-Tang Clan’s game-changing debut, and we’d yet to experience 2Pac and Biggie at their height.

While New York had set the tone in the 80s, many of its most prominent stars had begun to slightly dim beneath the height of ‘Gangsta Rap,’ as led by NWA. The departures of Ice Cube and (eventually) Dre from the group, the rise of Death Row, and the massive commercial success of this new sub-genre gave steam to a new breed of artists that wanted to bite onto the wave. Even some older respected names like RUN DMC (for example) tried to hop on the fad.

There was an alternative genre brewing, with acts such as De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest—and other members that eventually rounded out the Native Tongues—presenting what began as an almost “hippie” movement. They worked to counteract the over-glorified violent undertones that seemed to be not only dominating the airwaves, causing waves of controversy, but painting the black experience in a more negative spotlight than it may have needed.

This was the era. Discovered by RUN DMC’s DJ Jam Master Jay, Onyx—comprised of Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr, Suavé, and the late Big DS—became the hardcore answer to anything the West had to offer; while Dre may have amalgamated other’s experience to create what he called “entertainment,” Onyx was different on many levels.

They felt very, for lack of a better term, authentic. Very New York, very street, and very gritty. Their rough around the edges exterior never seemed to let it’s guard down, which ultimately bolstered their image even more. It was violent, without over-selling it to the point of macabre detachment from reality, like some horror-core acts from that era. It sounded as thought Sticky was a flop away from being the very figure he rapped about.

The Def Jam release of Bacdafucup was filled with no-holds-barred angst, incredible production, and a considerable amount of clear character development. The chemistry was crazy, but Fredro was the firecracker, Suavé was the lyrical third wheel, and Sticky was the shooter.

Sticky Fingaz never seems to make any lists, but day ones can agree that his verse on “Throw Your Gunz” made them instant fans.

Why Onyx’s “Backdafucup” Was A Game-Changer

They had a level of believable grit that translated into sales; ultimately they had some arguably classic releases, and Sticky and Fredro branched out into acting. “Slam” is still one of the biggest tracks of the era, and the album rests on more than one top albums ever list—which counts for something.

They are still active, and recently released a brand new project called Black Rock. However, without the proper context, it’s impossible for anyone who was first introduced to shock-rap by Eminem to understand their impact fully. Discovering this LP for yourself is highly recommended.

You’re welcome.




Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
Related Articles
#IndieSpotlight, Main

World Premiere: Bhadwaiz Drops New Single “My Wave”

“When people hear this for the first time, I want them to take notice of what I’m trying to do and what lane I’m in.”

Ohio-based rapper Bhadwaiz likens himself as someone who brings hope to those around him; a shining example that following your dreams can pay off. “All I really wanna do is ride my wave,” he says confidently. Having generated some buzz on the Ohio scene for a minute, his first release of 2018, “My Wave,” is poised to take him to the next level.

“Straight to the point, I want this song to be the anthem for people who want to do their own thing, their way—and without any doubt,” he says. “This song is a mixture of contemporary and traditional hip-hop. When I say that, I mean the production is similar to what you hear today, but the lyrics are what makes the track stand out.”

“When people hear this for the first time, I want them to take notice of what I’m trying to do and what lane I’m in,” he continues. “I want people to appreciate this track in all aspects, and I know they will. I’m very confident if done right; it will be my breakout track, and I can’t wait for what’s in store after this.“

“My Wave” by Bhadwaiz will be available for purchase through iTunes — or whatever streaming network floats your boat. Check out the exclusive premiere, below.

Continue Reading

Kash Doll Drops New Mixtape ‘Brat Mail’

Detroit native Kash Doll has decided to surprise her fans with a special delivery on her birthday. The rapper releases…

Detroit native Kash Doll has decided to surprise her fans with a special delivery on her birthday. The rapper releases new mixtape, Brat Mail.

Kash started taking music seriously while working in the strip club as an exotic dancer. “I never really danced, Kash Doll tells The Fader. “I used to walk across the stage rapping songs, and they used to just throw me all the money.” She started gaining a buzz from her well-received single covering AV’s “Run Me My Money” and her 2015 mixtape, Keisha vs. Kash Doll. The next year, Drake slid in her DM to ask if she would like to perform at his Detroit stop on his Summer Sixteen tour. And Of course, she said yes. Her 2017 smash hit, “For Everybody” is one of my favorite tracks by the rapper. Inspired by Hype Williams’ film, Belly, Kash raps from a side chick and wife’s point of view which racked up over 10 million views via Youtube.

Kash Doll Drops New Mixtape 'Brat Mail'

The nine-track project features guest appearances from Natasha Mosley and Scrilla. Known for making boss moves and flaunting it in her lyrics, Kash reminds us why she’s up next up in the game. “My neck froze, it’s all ice/Put a ring on it, and name it Mr. Nice/His credit score 800, call him Mr. Right,” she raps on “Dancin.”

Her fans, which she calls “Bratz” couldn’t be more thrilled about new music by Kash.

“Today is not only special because of my birthday, but it’s the day my father passed,” says Kash Doll. “Brat Mail is a collection of songs I’ve teased on my socials that my Bratz have been waiting for.

Listen to Brat Mail below.

“For Everybody” video.

Continue Reading
interview, Main

Manny P Makes Debut With Single/Video “Facts” [Interview]

Manny P is an artist to put on your watchlist for the coming months. In the meantime, check out his latest visual, “Facts.”

Rapper Manny P regards himself as molded by the culture of the world, having lived in Los Angeles, New Jersey, Vermont, London, and currently, the Mecca, New York City. “Music has always been apart of my life … since before I was born,” the Mexican rapper tells AAHH. “My mom did a lot of musical theatre back then, so [I] was backstage immersed in all that while still in the womb.

Currently working on his debut album, Manny has been recording music since High School. “My sound kinda goes anywhere from really abstract, highly personal, to turn up raps,” he says. “I don’t stick to one type of beat/sound. One minute I’m on a dark ass lofi beat rapping the whole shit in a real monotone voice, and the next I’m loud and expressive over something more up-tempo.”

“Different beats give me different energies … they put me in different places in my head,” he continues. “All the pieces come together [though] to make up the full picture.”

Manny cites Pro Era head honcho Joey Bada$$ as the reason He started rapping seriously. “I was chilling with some homies real late one school night, and one of them had thrown on ‘Suspect’ from his first mixtape 1999,” he notes. “I penned my first shit to that beat. The verse still sits at the top of my google doc … like 50 pages ago. Through him I learned about pro era, then beast coast, and all that spiritual third eye indigo shit – I used to be on that.”

He recently dropped his official debut single on all streaming services and doesn’t plan on slowing his pace going forward. “I’m working on a lot of music, getting a live set together so I can start doing some more shows, and eventually I’ll have an album,” he says.

Manny P is an artist to put on your watchlist for the coming months. In the meantime, check out his latest visual, “Facts,” a colourfully trippy, and engaging visual feast to accompany the must-bump single. Manny has a clear delivery, and some surprisingly focused bars for new artist. The instrumental has a soulful undertone, dripping with a late 90s southern tinge that seems to get more infectious with each listen.

Add this joint to your playlists!


Continue Reading

Mixtape Review: Logic – Bobby Tarantino II

Logic has become a superstar in the two years since his last mixtape, and he wants to celebrate. I think you should join him.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Bruce Wayne and Batman. Logic and Bobby Tarantino. To establish an alter ego is no easy task, and the Maryland rapper has done just that with Bobby Tarantino II. The (somewhat) surprise mixtape is the sequel to the well-received project Logic dropped in the summer of 2016, which gave rise to fan favorites such as “Flexicution” and “The Jam.” This time around, Logic did not feel compelled to drag out the hype; he dropped the three singles, which we recently discussed on the site, over the course of a week.

In some respects, the new effort is similar to its predecessor: a tight tracklist, an abundance of bangers, and a self-congratulatory sentiment. Whereas Everybody gave us the super deep, this right here is just the jam. However, despite the isolationist spirit expressed throughout the 12 tracks (‘I don’t trust nobody/Put my homies on the payroll’), Bobby Tarantino II is more collaborative than the original. On “Indica Badu,” laidback yet anthemic, Logic and Wiz Khalifa share their love for pot over a gorgeous instrumental and an Erykah Badu sample. Wiz kills it on his guest verse and Logic kicks it up to a rare falsetto on the hook. 2 Chainz comes through with a verse on “State of Emergency,” a hook-less track with production from DJ Khalil, Tariq Beats, and Vontae Thomas. The synth-heavy instrumental is alien, unsettling, and mesmerizing. “Wassup” features long-time friend Big Sean; although it bangs, it feels a bit monotonous after ten tracks with similar lyrical content.

Critics have long claimed that Logic borrows too much from his contemporaries, and there is no doubt that these accusations will emerge on the internet this week. The pre-chorus on “BoomTrap Protocol,” a densely layered and beautifully assembled track, screams Travis Scott. I have no idea who 6ix sampled on this song, but it sounds dope. The Rodeo rapper and producer clearly influenced “Wizard of Oz” as well. Don’t get me wrong – this track bumps. However, one cannot ignore the melodic use of autotune and Scott’s signature ‘yeah! yeah!’ ad-lib. Finally, as much as I dig it, the beat on “Yuck” immediately brings to mind Drake’s “10 Bands.”

Perhaps the most admirable characteristic of Bobby Tarantino II is the sonic diversity. “Midnight,” a two-part track courtesy of 6ix and Frank Dukes, is uncharted territory for Logic. The first half is a melodic ode to Logic’s resistance of the club lifestyle in which so many of his contemporaries indulge. After the beat switch, Logic puts together another super sticky hook and drops a killer verse dense with clever similes. Then, on “Warm It Up,” he does a complete 180 and throws it back to the sound of his Young Sinatra days. Co-written by Nas, this braggadocious track rides a strong old-school vibe and a banger of a drum beat. It’s a dynamic cut: Logic goes hard on the verses and dials it way back on the hook. “Contra,” despite the trendier beat, brings a similar sentiment. The pre-chorus is catchy as hell and Logic pushes the envelope on the verses with some impressive rhyme schemes.

The introductory skit featuring Rick and Morty establishes a distinction between “album Logic” and “mixtape Logic.” I tend to agree. If you’re looking for the introspective, vulnerable, and critical tone of Everybody, this is not the mixtape for you. And that’s okay. Logic has previously stated that he drops these tapes to hold his fans over until the next album. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fun, sonically diverse project full of banger beats and braggadocious bars, you’re going to enjoy Bobby Tarantino II. Logic has become a superstar in the two years since his last mixtape, and he wants to celebrate. I think you should join him.

Continue Reading
More in Main
Evidence Weathers the Storm, Juggling Personal Life and Rap Career

20 years later, Evidence is still putting out quality Hip Hop.