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Blackalicious Biography

Blackalicious Biography

Blackalicious is a California-based hip hop duo, composed of MC Gift of Gab (born Timothy Parker) and DJ/producer Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley), noted for their intelligent, artistic approach to hip hop music. The pair has released three full-length albums (1999's Nia, 2002's Blazing Arrow and 2005's The Craft) that have won them considerable critical acclaim and a sizable following.

Gift of Gab (then known as Tiny T) and Chief Xcel (then known as IceSki) first met through a mutual friend in 1987 while attending John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento, California. The duo went separate ways after Parker graduated and moved to Los Angeles. However, they kept in touch by phone and were eventually reunited in 1992 in Davis. Chief Xcel, now a student at UC Davis, had started working with a crew named SoleSides, whose members included DJ Shadow, Lateef the Truthspeaker, and Lyrics Born. Parker and Mosley formally settled on the name Blackalicious ("good black music", according to Mosley[citation needed]) in 1992 and released their first vinyl single, "Swan Lake", on SoleSides Records (the SoleSides crew's own record label) in 1994. The song was an underground hit and Blackalicious subsequently released their debut EP, Melodica, in 1995, also on SoleSides Recods.

In late 1997, SoleSides became Quannum Projects and in 1999 Blackalicious released their second EP, A2G, which served as a precursor to their debut full-length album, Nia (1999), released the following year. This was followed by a major label contract with MCA Records and the release of the critically acclaimed album Blazing Arrow (2002), which brought the duo greater commercial success, peaking at #49 on the Billboard 200.

A third full length, entitled The Craft, was released on Epitaph Records imprint ANTI- on September 27, 2005.


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