Young Black Teenagers

Despite their name, the Young Black Teenagers (YBT) weren't ethnically black at all -- four of them were white, and another of Puerto Rican descent. The concept struck some in the hip-hop community as ridiculous and even offensive, but the group was sincerely attempting to pay tribute to the black culture they loved and identified with. What's more, they had the backing of Public Enemy and their production team, the Bomb Squad; in fact, YBT was the first act signed to Hank Shocklee's Sound of Urban Listeners label, founded in 1990. Young Black Teenagers were composed of MCs Knowledgable Child, First Born, ATA, and Tommy Never (the first three of whom all had DJ experience), plus full-time DJ Skribble. Knowledgable Child had previously worked as a live DJ alongside members of PE, which was instrumental in landing the group a record deal. They debuted in 1991 with an eponymous album, which spun off several singles, including "Nobody Knows Kelli" (a humorous tribute to Married With Children), "Proud to Be Black," and "To My Donna" (which roasted Madonna for lifting the PE track "Security of the First World" as the basis for "Justify My Love"). YBT next moved up to MCA and released their biggest hit, "Tap the Bottle," which appeared on their 1993 sophomore effort, Dead Enz Kids Doin' Lifetime Bidz. However, a falling out with the PE camp left the group in the lurch, and they eventually disbanded. DJ Skribble went on to greater fame in the late '90s as an MTV in-house DJ, appearing on a number of network productions while continuing to DJ at clubs around New York. ~ Steve Huey

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