Da BackWudz

The eccentricity and versatility of Da Backwudz's music place them outside the categorical box of crunk music in the 2000s Southern rap scene -- but not that far. Cousins Sho Nuff and Big Marc, real names James Redding and Marcus Thomas respectively, hail from the eastern metro-Atlanta town of Decatur, GA. Their musical origins lie in traditional church gospel and their musically inclined family. They officially formed in 1998, attributing their name to Decatur's plentiful wooded areas and to their spiritual beliefs regarding Africa. The two began making progress once they hooked up with rap producer Milwaukee Black of Major Way Entertainment. Black produced their first radio single, "You Gonna Luv Me," which was noticed by some major labels, including Warner Bros. and Sony. However, in 2004, music and film super-producer Dallas Austin (TLC, Michael Jackson, Madonna), who caught wind of Da Backwudz's music, resurrected his then-defunct label Rowdy Records in order to work with them and subsequently signed the new group. After a few delays, their debut album, Wood Work, was released in April 2006 with guests ranging from Nas to George Clinton. Leading up to its release, Da Backwudz delivered the second single, "I Don't Like the Look of It (Oompa)," which boldly sampled one of the "Oompa Loompa" songs from the 1971 movie Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. ~ Cyril Cordor

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