In a typical American high school, nerds epitomize social ostracism, being picked on ad infinitum. Some of the ridicule and bullying may be targeted towards the gothic and punkish lot, but nerds are reserved for the lion's share of bullying and slushying. Though nerds are never even considered worth their weight in lead during their school years by their peers at large, they usually have the last laugh by ending up in elite academic institutions such as Harvard, Yale and Columbia. Now imagine if one of those lots of nerds realized that they could finally rap about the rap that they took in high school for being different and actually redeem themselves as a popular musical act. Well one six-pack of nerds slaving over their books at the onset of the 1990s in Columbia University emerged to accomplish just that. 2 Skinnee J's is what the mainstream music community has characterized as being a nerdcore hip hop group. Though having officially disbanded in 2003, they have come together for a number of reunion tours subsequently, and you can catch them being their usual nerdy hip hopping selves by booking some 2 Skinnee J's tickets.
The phenomenon of 2 Skinnee J's
was unleashed upon the unsuspecting world of hip hop in 1991, when six Columbia undergrads, quite evidently after wallowing in the vibes of 80s rap, new wave, rock and alternative as well as Star Wars , fantasy, computers, gizmos and other scifi stuff, decided to craft their unique sound. Embracing the mantra of 'anything goes' and slapping it with a barrage of intelligent lyrics whilst charging it all up with a medley of indie rock and alternative rap melodies, 2 Skinnee J's
entailed a lineup that had equally bizarre monkiers. With Joey Viturbo turbo boosting on the guitar and Sammy B blasting on the bass, Andy doing his "Action" on the drums and DJ Casper letting his fingers spirit across the keyboard, Rabbi J-Slim and Special J blessed the entire shebang with their quintessential vocal volleys.
Opting not to sign on to a record label when starting out, 2 Skinnee J's
took to releasing their lean musical creations via cassettes. With their debut album 6 Songs for 5 Bucks coming out in 1993 and the subsequent American Heroes the following year, 2 Skinnee J's
established a heavy touring regimen early on that served to quickly build up their fan base. The band released several cassette demos and CDs either independently or via a record company in the next four years, such as 1995's Return of the New & Improved under AJS Records and 1996's MeadowBlaster/Kleen Kitty as a self-released cassette, as well as being featured on compilations alongside various other artists, such as 1997's Deep 2 .
1998 saw 2 Skinnee J's
release their first mainstream record SuperMercado! under Capricorn Records. Though the band polished up their sound, no doubt due to the label's demands, the album was still evident of the nerdcore hip hop act's edgy beats and hard-hitting rhymes, evoking comparisons between the sound of Public Enemy and that of Cypress Hill.
Following a couple of CD single releases around the turn of the millennium, 2 Skinnee J's
released Volumizer in 2001 under Capricorn Records. The album really spoke volumes of the progression of the creative forces behind it, which though had undergone changes in the lineup over the years, had nonetheless maintained their definitive niche that was a cut above the clique centered world of hip hop. Some of the tracks, such as "Grown Up" and "Lost and Found" resonated the contemporary rock/punk rock sound, striking a chord with Lenny Kravitz and Sugar Ray.
In the past two decades, 2 Skinnee J's
has developed a near cult following, rocking countless venues through more than 1,500 shows all across the US. Whether headlining events or opening for the likes of Incubus, Outkast, Sugar Ray and 311, 2 Skinnee J's
has both entertained crowds with their uplifting music as well as indulged them in a thought provoking experience. So book your 2 Skinnee J's tickets
for witnessing some former social pariahs rap up a storm of charismatic renditions.
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