Video After The Jump
In this episode of "People's Party With Talib Kweli," Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with the legendary hip-hop group:
This crew set a new bar for hardcore hip-hop when they hit the scene in 1993. Here's some of what you'll hear in this one:
• The importance of Big DS to the Onyx legacy.
• Baisley Park as the epicenter of the Queens hip-hop scene.
• Lo Life booster crew affiliations and Polo gear in hip-hop.
• The story of how Onyx linked up with Jam Master Jay.
• The chaotic video shoot for Onyx's 'Throw Ya Gunz'.
• Pulling inspiration from Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.'
• How Chyskillz helped define the Onyx sound on their first album.
• The transition in tone from 'Bacdafucup' to 'All We Got Iz Us'.
• Rapper X1 breathing new life into Onyx on the 'Shut 'Em Down' album.
• Whether Sonny Seeza is still part of the group.
• Starring in the 1993 film 'Strapped' and the TV show 'Moesha'.
• Sticky's digital album movie 'It's About T.I.M.E.'.
• How touring overseas has been so important to the group and its longevity.
• Fredro and Sticky's take on the current state of policing.
• The TV show 'Snowfall'.
• How Onyx got together with the German production team Snowgoons.
• The 2021 Onyx release 'Onyx 4 Life'
4:11 -- Sticky and Fredro state the boroughs of NY they lay claim to. Fredro also gives a shout out to Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead, they talk about Fredro's visit to the Breakfast club and if he's still angry at Charlamagne, as well as discuss Onyx member Big DS and how important he was to the group.
11:18 -- Talib asks Fredro and Sticky about the significance of Baisley Park in Queens. Fredro goes on to detail how Baisley Park was the epicenter of the Queens hip hop scene and Jasmin asks them what kind of energy there was around rapping when they were in high school.
14:37 -- Sticky and Fredro talk about being blood cousins, both being barbers in Queens before rapping, Sticky being a former member of the Lo Life booster crew and Onyx's early single in 1990 '
Ah, And We Do It Like This' as the stepping stone to being signed by Def Jam.
18:07 -- Jasmin asks Fredro and Sticky to illustrate the story of meeting Jam Master Jay at the Jones Beach Greekfest which then led to their signing. They also discuss the legacy of Jam Master Jay as well as the chaotic video shoot for Onyx's 'Throw Ya Gunz'.
26:07 -- Fredro and Sticky explain the inspiration of Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' on their classic 'Slam!' as well as the other emcees at the time that contributed to the vibe of Onyx and they also talk about their producer Chyskillz and how he helped define the Onyx sound.
30:25 -- Sticky and Fredro discuss the transition from the fiery and combative tone of their album 'Bacdafucup' to a more introspective approach on their follow-up 'All We Got Iz Us'. They also talk about how the self-produced album set a different tone.
34:46 -- Talib brings up rapper X1 and his contributions to Onyx's 'Shut 'Em Down' album. Fredro and Sticky detail how he came into the fold, gave the group new life, and and how skillful he was. They also talk about Sonny Seeza with Fredro stating, "he's still a member of the group he just doesn't always show up for work".
40:12 -- Fredro and Sticky are asked about their experience starring in the 1993 Forest Whitaker directed film 'Strapped'. They expand on the countless hip hop cameos, Jam Master Jay producing the score and how authentic the movie was. Fredro also gets into his time working on the show 'Moesha'.
47:53 -- Sticky is asked about his digital album movie 'It's About T.I.M.E.' as well as his 2001 solo debut album '[Black Trash] The Autobiography Of Kirk Jones' and how he thought it was received. They also talk about Onyx's wild appearance in the 'American Rap Stars' documentary.
51:58 -- Fredro and Sticky are asked why they think touring artists have been able to maintain so much longevity. Fredo explains the breath of fresh air he experiences when touring internationally and how much their music is appreciated overseas.
55:34 -- Sticky talks about his approach of writing rhymes that impress himself first, they discuss Onyx's take on the Police, the series 'Snowfall' and John Singleton's vision, as well as how Onyx and the German production crew Snowgoons came together, Fredro starting a podcast focused on sports and the 2021 Onyx release 'Onyx 4 Life'.