Tha Alkaholiks / The Alkaholiks
The three man crew from Los Angeles, J-Ro, Tash, and E-Swift, known as Tha Alkaholiks return with their third opus, "Likwidation", a strong musical concoction that will leave heads twisted and eardrums blown off. The overproof mixture of tight lyrics and bangin' beats the trio has come to be known for since their 1993 debut with King Tee on "Got It Bad Y'all," to their first two full length offering, "Coast II Coast" and "21 & Over" tha Alkaholiks have established a firm foundation, but it's '97 and though the goal is the same, the game has changed.
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"We wanted to come with a lot of variety on this one," says J-Ro. "We kinda combined the first and second albums, youknowwhatimean? We didn't want to make just battlin' songs or all radio songs. We just wanted to come with a big ass variety of shit," he says, resisting the confines of formulaic beats and rhymes. "After the first two albums our shit didn't commercially blow up and sell 800,000 copies," adds Tash, "so people were expecting us to do something totally different, 'cause a lot of people think success is how many albums you sell. But what we did was ask ourselves, what did people like from the first album? Well, people liked us rappin' over the old school breaks, so we know we have to have some old school breaks. On the second album, everybody liked how the lyrics stepped up, so we had to come with the lyrics. And we wanted to give the people what they wanted," he continues, "what they've come to expect, plus take shit to the next level. We can't go back in time and give people what they got before, 'cause that's a once in a lifetime thing. This third album is a completely different entity."
Besides cultivating new talent and laboring in the lab, in between albums the 'Liks have been very busy. Their company, Likwit Entertainment, is brimming with readiness. They continue to manage and book themselves through the company, preparing for the near future where you'll find Likwit Records in a store near you, exposing the world to some of this exceptional talent they've come into contact with. "It takes so much money to run a Record company," says J-Ro. "We're just tryin' to get it to the point that when you see our name Likwit Crew, Likwit Entertainment, Likwit Records, whatever- you know it's quality," says Tash. Individually they've been striving to do things that make them stronger as a whole. J-Ro brought his love of sports to the radio with a weekly show called, what else, Likwit Sports, which started on the Friday night radio mix show on 92.3 The Beat (Los Angeles). J-Ro would highlight area athletes, interview local high school, college, and pro athletes all atop of Tha Alkaholiks beats. The show was received warmly and he's currently looking to syndicate the show. Presently, Likwit Sports can be found in the industry publication, Hits Magazine. J-Ro also has plans to teach a new class in his neighborhood this summer on the real history of hip-hop as a culture, and give kids the facts as they are. Tash is simultaneously working on his solo album coming some time in '98. E-swift's production skills remain some of the most sought after in the rap music realm, while working on the 'Liks third album, E-swift took time out to help produce label mate Xzibit's solo debut album, "At The Speed of Life", Heltah Skeltah's smash hit single, "Operation Lockdown" and King Tee's previous albums. E-swift puts it best when it comes to talking about his music, "There's no crazy method to my beats, I just feel empty if I'm not makin' music ya' know. As a group, we're just tryin' to take the music and the lyrics to the next level. That's the focus right now."
As fans may note, it's been a minute between albums, two years to be exact. The prolonged layoff can be attributed to nonstop touring. If you didn't see the 'Liks when they came to your town it's not your fault. Besides the regular rap tours, the 'Liks were the only hip hop group on the '96 "Warped Tour," an alternative tour that featured such acts as 311, Orange 9mm, Fishbone, Def Tone, Penny Wise, and No EFX among others. Look for the 'Liks on the '97 version of the "Warped Tour" this summer.
"Likwidation " finds the 'Liks taking care of business as usual. A collection of 14 tracks interspread with a series of skits set in as an AA meeting - Alkaholik style - the album features an impressive combination of irresistible booming beats and loquacious lyrics addressing everything from battling -"Rockin' With The Best", the bio-hazardous warning "Contents Unda Pressure", and the ultimate party jam, "Likwidation" produced by Easy Moe Bee, - to the good time flows and bangin' piano loop of "Hip Hop Drunkies", featuring Wu Tang's Ol' Dirty Bastard, and "Tore Down" featuring Likwit proteges Loot Pack, "Off The Wall" featuring Keith Murray and "Killin' It" featuring Likwit crew member Xzibit (of "Paparazzi" fame). Not to be missed is the scathing "Captain Hook", where the 'Liks smack rap thieves and upstarts alike upside the dome with a sobering cautionary tale, warning about spending too much time partying and posturing rather than taking care of the basic business at hand: beats and rhymes.
Crammed full of the intoxicants that make hip hop junkies spend the night in detox. Likwidation promises to hit and spread like a Molotov cocktail. Be on the lookout: Comin' to a city near you hot like lava, boomin' out of jeeps for peeps coast to coast, Likwidation is bringing a cloud funkier than Chernobyl, and promises to cause a meltdown in your town.
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