Lateef & the Chief

Combine Lateef from Latryx and Chief Xcel from Blackalicious and you've got Lateef & the Chief, the politically and socially conscious rap group that offers "hard music for hard times." Climb up either of the West Coasters' family trees and you'll find a relative in or involved in the Black Panthers. It was this common bond that made the two fast friends when they met in 1992 in the basement studios of KDVS-FM at the University of California, Davis. The two talked and talked about their favorite hip-hop records and decided to work together. The two released a series of singles under the Soulsides name, which evolved into the group/label Quannum. Taking its name from the renegade 18th century African societies that erupted in the slave colonies, the Maroons project started after Blackalicious' NIA album was finished but both members were to be called away for other projects. The Maroons: Ambush debut full-length finally appeared in 2004 on the Quannum Projects label. ~ David Jeffries

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