WITH SUPPORT FROM LAGUNITAS BREWING COMPANY
In a hip-hop career that has stretched past a decade, Blackalicious has earned respect the old-fashioned way–rising through honesty, commitment, and artistry. Blackalicious is made up of rapper Gift of Gab (born Tim Parker) and DJ/producer Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley). They are noted for Gift of Gab’s often “tongue-twisting”, multisyllabic, complex rhymes and Chief Xcel’s “classic” beats.
"We're older, we're wiser, we're more mature," MC Gift of Gab (nee Timothy Parker) says of Imani, Vol. 1, Blackalicious'first new album in a decade. "It's better now, because we've grown as people and artists."
"Each one of these records is a chapter in our lives, and we put our complete heart and soul into it," agrees Gab's longtime musical partner, CJ/producer Chief Xcel (aka Xavier Mosley). "We live these records."
Like a few other West Coast rap acts, including the Pharcyde and Jurassic 5, Blackalicious has generally favored the “positive tip”; in other words, its lyrics have often been spiritual and uplifting rather than violent and misogynous. Like a lot of experimental alternative rappers, Blackalicious can be quirky and eccentric; nonetheless, spirituality is a big part of the group’s music.