Published Thu, March 30, 2023 at 1:39 PM EDT
Throw Ya' Gunz
When Onyx released "Throw Ya Gunz" the lead single from their debut album Bacdafucup in 1992, they introduced a new energy, look and attitude to Hip-Hop.
Produced by group member Chyskillz, "Throw Ya' Gunz" contained a sample of Bob James' ever-popular "Nautilus." But it was a short series of piano stabs that had not been sampled before combined with a slowed-down loop of "Synthetic Substitution" that gave the track an energy that was perfect for the aggressive delivery of the MCs.
Onyx was executive produced by Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay and the group released music on his Rush Associated Labels imprint JMJ Records. The video for "Throw Ya' Gunz" featured Onyx backed by an army of camouflaged and hoodied backups, literally kickin' up dust as the bald-headed MCs spit verses and their thugged-out flip of the popular rap segue: "throw ya hands in the air and wave 'em like you just don't care." The video, complete with its moshpit antics, was an official declaration that the bald head invasion was upon us.
When Onyx dropped Bacdafucup in March 1993, they ushered in a new look, sound, and attitude that would influence Hip-Hop in several ways. The album cover alone with its image of the bald-headed quartet was extremely effective in establishing their image as east coast thugs. Complete with guns, mad faces (their logo is actually a mad face) and Timberland boots, there was no doubt what Onyx was about. Even the group's vocabulary would become a permanent part of Hip-Hop vernacular. The word grimy had been used in Hip-Hop, but without a doubt Onyx made it everyday slang. "Shiftee" with its infectious hook, "lowdown gritty and grimy" helped to usher in the term which is still a mainstay in the culture. Produced by Chyskillz and Jam Master Jay, "Shiftee" reached five different Billboard charts, peaking at #2 on the Hot Rap Singles Chart.
"Slam" was the second single from Bacdafucup and group member Fredro Starr proudly proclaimed in last year's Versus against Cypress Hill, "Onyx introduced slam dancing to Hip-Hop." "Slam" is the song that expanded the group's fanbase and introduced them into popular culture. "Slam" has appeared in video games, The Cleveland Show, How High, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as well as several Nike, ESPN and Gatorade commercials. In 1993, a heavy metal remix of Slam featuring the band Biohazard was released. Adding to the thugged-out image of Onyx, Bacdafucup contained skits of bootleggers getting beat down as well as songs like "Stik n Muve" and "Bichasnigaz."
Because of their close affiliation with Jam Master Jay, Onyx worked with and appeared to be highly influential on Run-DMC's delivery and image on their comeback album Down With The King. The group sported bald heads and more aggressive deliveries than they had previously. The video for "Ooh Whatcha Gonna Do" features Onyx and "Get Open" is a collaboration with Onyx. The hook for "Ooh Whatcha Gonna Do" could easily fit on any song from Bacdafucup. The new Onyx-influenced energy was welcomed and gave Run-DMC one of their best post-Raising Hell projects.
Bacdafucup is regarded as a classic that has aged extremely well.