– Almost 25 years ago, West Coast hip-hop trio, Tha Alkaholiks dropped 21 & Over, a classic among underground hip-hop fiends.
On August 24, 1993 Tha Alkaholiks, composed of MCs J-Ro and Tash and DJ/producer E-Swift, released their very first project 21 & Over. The album didn’t do particularly well commercially as no single reached the Billboard Hot 100, however it did well on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and was critically acclaimed in the streets. So much so, 21 & Over has been regarded by many as the single best West Coast party album to date.
While the group was known for their party-themed rhymes, Tash and J-Ro are no mediocre lyricists. The MCs provided witty and comical rhymes with outstanding timing and delivery, creating a much-needed balance in the era where West Coast gangster rap was in its prime. Ironically though, Compton native and prominent gangster rapper, King Tee, is who assembled the group.
The production of 21 & Over, without a doubt, has a lot to do with the greatness of this album as well. E-Swift of Tha Alkaholiks, King Tee, Derick “D.Pimp” Williams, and The Lootpack collectively handled the production. Samples from legends like James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Rick James, Run DMC, and Lyn Collins were used as well – just to name a few. And, in case you didn’t know, The Lootpack, is a hip-hop group consisting of Wildchild, DJ Romes, and the crate digga’ himself, Madlib. 21 & Over was where The Lootpack made their first appearance making the album that much more of a landmark project in hip-hop history.
In the long run, Tha Alkaholiks never received the commercial success and exposure that many truly feel that they deserve. However, amongst the cult-like underground hip-hop community they are viewed as Gods in their own right. Furthermore, by releasing such light-hearted content powered by emphatic rhymes and a vibe that often paid homage to the east coast, Tha Alkaholiks have nonetheless been able to penetrate the eardrums of a wide range of fans. From collaborations with Xzibit to Marley Marl to Pharrell to Kurupt to Ol’ Dirty Bastard to Q-Tip – everyone was rocking with Tha Alkaholiks. So while many may not have heard of Tha Alkaholiks, they could very possibly be your favorite rapper’s favorite rap group.
Written By DJ Robinson