Black Sheep

Dres and Mista Lawnge, photo from Wikipedia.
Black Sheep was a hip hop group born in Queens, New York in the year of 1991. Black Sheep was part of the Native Tongues posse along with many other popular Queens acts of the day, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, etc. The Native Tongues were a great group to be part of many significant acts grew out of their affiliation with them and Black Sheep was no different. Black Sheep’s first album scored eight singles of varying popularity and was quite successful on its own. This could no have happened without their fellow posse members assistance. As one member of Native Tongues had a successful album it brought along the other albums and things would snowball from there.

Black Sheep has two primary members, Dres the MC and Mista Lawnge the DJ. Although Lawnge was the DJ he also MC’d on many of the tracks with most tracks containing the two primary members and many contributors. Unfortunately for Black Sheep fans shortly after the release of their first album “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” Dres and Lawnge got in a fight and the group’s future was uncertain. They managed to release a second album “Non-Fiction” three years later in 1994 but the magic was gone and they broke up soon after it’s release. Then about ten years later they reunited and put out a third album “8WM/Novakane” but again this album lacked the magic of the first and again they broke up soon after.

Really Black sheep only has a single album of worth but a fantastic album it is. Over twenty tracks of catchy original tunes with spot on MC’ing and the freshest sampling to be found on any rap album since. Real top notch stuff. A great example of this is track twenty off the album “For Doz that Slept” it’s pure scratch track and genius in it’s simplicity. Normally on a twenty plus track album you don’t expect to hear anything of note past track 12 or so but not with this gem. Then there’s the second track on the album “U Mean I’m Not” which is totally making fun of NWA, very funny stuff. It’s a shame things went the way they did because these two were really onto a unique hip hop sound.

1) A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing [1991]
2) Non-Fiction [1994]
3) 8WM/Novakane [2006]

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