Today's hip-hop history includes the birth an NYC radio legend, a classic Bill Bellamy film and Atmosphere's debut marks the beginning the end for one the members.
1968 -Funkmaster Flex is Born.
Aston George Taylor Jr. better known as Funkmaster Flex was born on this day in 1968. Hate him or love him, the Hot 97 DJ has been a staple in hip-hop for over 20 years. Signing to Loud Records in the mid-90s, Flex released four 60 Minutes Funk mixtapes that went gold according to the RIAA. In 1998, he along with his Hit Squad crew that included Cipha Sounds, DJ Enuff, Mark Ronson and Mister Cee released their self-titled debut album featuring appearances by Canibus, Papoose and more. He also collaborated with Def Jam Recordings in 1999 to drop The Tunnel album, that had guest appearances from Jay-Z, DMX, LL Cool J. When he wasn't dropping legendary mixtapes, or dropping bombs on Hot 97, the DJ turned his love for cars into several shows on Spike TV, ESPN and MTV2.
His infamous David Letterman "Funkmaster Flex Night" drop came about from the late night talk show host mocking Rosie Prez when she was a guest on his show. “I was so flustered that day,” Perez told Rolling Stone. “He would always take advantage that — and rightfully so, because it made good television. You never knew what was gonna come out the man’s mouth, so that was part my nervousness, too.”
Once Perez started discussing directing Lisette Melendez’s “Goody Goody" video, she began to discuss how hard it was to get a ticket to Flex's night at the NYC nightclub, Palladium. “David Letterman made fun me,” Perez recalled. “When I said, ‘Yeah!’ I wasn’t joking or playing dumb. I’m like, ‘Yeah, it is hard to get a ticket! He is that good! Everybody wants to get in there! You go and you’ll have to wait on the line.’ I didn’t have to wait on the line, thank goodness, but you know.”
Travie McCoy is Born.
13 years after Flex was born, Gym Class Heros' frontman Travie McCoy was born. After the release the group's critically acclaimed third album, As Cruel as School Children, the group released 2008's The Quilt before Travie began to pursue a solo career.
"Since the inception Gym Class in 1997, every member has had another musical outlet, if not three or four," McCoy said after rumors circulated about the group breaking up. "This is just another one those."
1991 – Overcast! Marks a New Beginning For Atmosphere.
The debut album by Minneapolis duo Atmosphere was released on this day in 1991. The cult classic is the only Atmosphere album to feature Spawn, as he departed from the group shortly after the album's release. "So, here’s the thing — Spawn moved. I don’t know how to; in fact, I don’t even want to tell his story. He has a story to tell and someday I really would love for him to tell it, so I don’t even want to tell it," Slug told HipHopDX.
"I think Spawn saw something and maybe he didn’t realize it consciously, but he made some moves for his life that I think were the best possible moves for him. So it put me in a situation where I had to figure out, 'Well, what the f**k am I gonna do now?' And that’s kinda why I tapped Eyedea, like, 'Hey, if you come with me and do my backups, be my hype man, I’ll highlight you, I’ll be your hype man too.' Between the two us, we went out and f**King, we just went out to just have fun, but we really accidentally ended up murdering people, you know?"
By the time the group's sophomore album Headshots Se7en was released in 1999, Spawn was replaced by Ant, and the duo has been nonstop ever since.
1997- Def Jam and Bill Bellamy Teach Us How to Be a Player
Directed by Lionel C. Martin, and written by Mark Brown and Demetria Johnson, Def Jam's How to Be a Player stars Bill Bellamy as Drayton "Dray" Jackson, a playboy who has two goals in life: Have sex with as many women as possible and not to get caught by his girlfriend Lisa (Lark Voorhies).
While out making rounds before his family's cookout, Dray's sister Jenny, (Natalie Desselle-Reid) and her friend Katrina (Mari Morrow) come up with an elaborate plot to get Dray busted, they invite all his girlfriends to the family cookout.
The film grossed over $5 million its opening weekend, adding another win to the Def Jam brand.
2008- Lloyd Teaches Lessons in Love
Lloyd's Lessons in Love was the follow up to his critically acclaimed sophomore album Street Love. Receiving mixed reviews from both fans and critics, the album went on to be a success thanks to the single "Girls Around the World" featuring longtime collaborator, Lil Wayne.
Following the album's release, Lloyd went through two significant changes in his life. He left Irv Gotti's The Inc. label to go independent, and his grandfather, who he gives credit to for his career passed away. "He was my greatest inspiration and my biggest fan ever since I was a kid," Lloyd told Singersroom in 2009. "He believed in his grandson. Just to be able to do something in memory him and dedicate an act love to someone is an incredible advantage. I think that if anything, it makes me want to go harder, knowing that if he were here, he’d be going just as hard for me."
2008 -Nappy Roots Drop The Humdinger
After three years delays, Nappy Roots finally released their third album The Humdinger. There were several changes to the group before this album was released, they were newly independent and R. Prophet had departed from the group to chase a solo career.
The album peaked at No. 73 on the Billboard 200, and No. 11 on the Independent Albums chart.
2008- The Outlawz Say We Want In
The Outlawz's fifth studio album We Want In: The Street LP was released on this day in 2008. The group, best known for their affiliation with the late Tupac used the project to prove they deserve the same respect as T.I., Swizz Beatz and others in the rap game. They exchanged the traditional West Coast flow for a more southern flow and sound, but it failed to connect with fans.