On this day in music history: July 13, 1996 - “How Do U Want It” by 2 Pac hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, with the B-side “California Love” peaking at #6 on June 22. 1996, also topping the R&B singles chart for 3 weeks on July 6, 1996. Written by Johnny J. and Tupac Shakur, it is the biggest hit for the prolific rap artist. Featuring K-Ci & JoJo Hailey of Jodeci on background vocals, it is the second single from Tupac’s fourth album “All Eyez On Me”. Co-written and produced by Johnny J (aka Johnny Lee Jackson), the track is based around samples of Quincy Jones’ classic “Body Heat” and Brian McKnight’s “Up Around My Way”. The single release of “How Do U Want It” also includes the original hit version of “California Love” featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman (of Zapp). When the album is released in February of 1996, it features a remixed version of the track. Entering the Hot 100 at #4 on June 29, 1996, it leaps to the top of the chart two weeks later. The single earns Tupac a posthumous Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group in 1997. “How Do U Want It” also appears in the rapper and actor’s last film (though not the soundtrack album) “Gang Related”, released thirteen months after his death in October of 1997. “How Do U Want It” is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
🎶 Lets all bring it in for Wally, Eazy sees uncle Charlie, Little Boo/ God’s got him/ and I’m gonna miss everybody. I only roll with Bone my gang/ look to where they lay/ when playing with destiny plays to deep for me to stay. Lil’ Layzie came to me/ saying if he were to decease well then please/ bury me by my grand-grand/ and we you can/ come follow me. 🎶
Origin: Cleveland, Ohio, Unites States
Genre: Hip Hop, R&B
Years Active: 1991-present
Members: Bizzy Bone, Wish Bone, Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone, and Flesh-N-Bone.
On this day in music history: April 25, 1992 - “Jump” by Kris Kross hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on May 23, 1992. Written and produced by Jermaine Dupri, it will be the debut release and biggest hit for the Atlanta, GA rap duo. In 1990, friends Chris Kelly and Chris Smith are discovered by producer Jermaine Dupri at a shopping mall in their native Atlanta. Dupri is at the mall with the rap duo Silk Tymes Leather who he is producing. The boys come up and ask them for an autograph when the young producer asks if they are a group themselves. When they say they’re not, Dupri is impressed enough with their natural charisma that believes that he can make them stars if he produces a record on them. He keeps in touch with them before beginning record them. Dupri’s father Michael Mauldin, an executive at Columbia Records gives the young duo their name, dubbing them Kris Kross after the look that Dupri has cultivated for them wearing their baggy clothes backwards. They cut a demo that includes the track “Lil Boys In Da Hood”. The song attracts the attention of Ruffhouse Records founder Joe Nicolo, who signs them to the Columbia Records distributed label. Released in early February, the single initially languishes for its first month in stores until it receives an unexpected boost after the duo performs the song on the March 29, 1992 episode of “In Living Color”. Entering the Hot 100 at #61 on April 4, 1992, it rockets to the top of the chart just three weeks later. The huge runaway success of the single driving Kris Kross’ debut album “Totally Krossed Out” to the top of the pop and R&B album charts and to sales of 4x Platinum in the US. The duo record two more albums “Da Bomb” and “Young, Rich & Dangerous” in 1993 and 1996, both of which achieve Gold or Platinum sales. Kris Kross break up shortly after their third album, attempting solo careers. They reunite in early 2013 for a twentieth anniversary concert for their former label So So Def Records, planning a reunion afterward. Sadly, on the eve of the tour, Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly dies of an accidental drug overdose on May 1, 2013, twenty one years and one week after “Jump tops the pop singles chart. He is only thirty four years old at the time of his death. "Jump” is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: August 27, 1990 - “Mama Said Knock You Out”, the fourth album by LL Cool J is released. Produced by Marley Marl, LL Cool J and Bobby “Bobcat” Ervin, it is recorded at Marley’s House Of Hits in Chestnut Ridge, NY, Chung King House Of Metal, Sorcerer Sound, Unique Recording Studios, Greene Street Studios in New York City, and Ocean Way Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA from Late 1989 - Mid 1990. By the end of the 80’s, LL Cool J finds himself at a crossroads in his music career. Having established himself as a rap superstar with his first two albums “Radio” and “Bigger And Deffer”, the tide turns with his third release “Walking With A Panther” in 1989. Though commercially successful, the album meets with a mixed to an outright negative response from many fans, feeling that Cool J has “sold out” in order to achieve mainstream crossover acceptance. Taking the criticism to heart, the rapper enlists the assistance of producer Marley Marl, who had previously remixed the single “Jingling Baby” from the last album (Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante, MC Shan) to produce his next release. The new album’s title track (#1 Rap, #12 R&B, #17 Pop) is inspired by LL’s grandmother Ellen Griffith who tells her grandson to “knock ‘em out, Todd” when he is faced with negative criticism from fans and others in the hip hop community. Proceeded by the single “The Boomin’ System” (#1 Rap, #6 R&B, #48 Pop) in the Summer of 1990, the resulting albums perfect blend of street edginess and radio friendly accessibility is enthusiastically received by the public, not only helping to re-establish the rapper’s street cred, but also widens his fan base. It spins off a total of five singles including “Around The Way Girl” (#1 Rap, #5 R&B, #9 Pop), and “To Da Break Of Dawn” (#17 Rap). “Mama Said Knock You Out” wins LL Cool J a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1992. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2004 with two additional bonus tracks. It also comes with a bonus DVD featuring the music videos for the title track, “Around The Way Girl” and “The Boomin’ System”. Originally issued as a single vinyl LP in 1990, it is remastered and reissued as a double vinyl LP set in 2005 (Europe) and 2007 (US), spreading the hour long plus album over four sides for dramatically improved fidelity. Another deluxe edition of “Mama” is released in 2014, with the first disc featuing the original fourteen song album. Disc two contains fourteen additional bonus tracks including original 12" remixes and the movie soundtrack single “Strictly Business”. Also in 2014, another vinyl reissue pressed as a single LP with a 3D lenticular cover is released, as part of the “Respect The Classics” series. “Mama Said Knock You Out” peaks at number two on the Billboard R&B album chart, number sixteen on the Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.