Queens, New York rap trio Onyx is gearing up to give fans a double dose of hardcore Hip-Hop, with albums featuring unreleased and new songs.
The first release, titled Cold Case Files, will include previously unreleased material that is comprised of underground singles and lost studio recording sessions from Onyx first three albums.
According to group member Sonny Seeza, efforts were made to maintain the original vibe of the songs featured on the album.
“Some of these songs are so raw that you’re hearing the original mix. We kept it authentic to the period when they were recorded,” Seeza told AllHipHop.com. “Who sane [Fredro Starrs brother] was usually in the studio with us and kept all our classics recordings that never made it onto albums in the Onyx Music vault; so when the time came to select tracks for Cold Case Files, he had tracks that we didn’t even know existed on everything from cassettes, DATS, CDs to 2-inch reels.”
Despite being recorded as far back as 15 years ago, group member Fredro Starr believes the socio-political content found in songs such as “Mad World” still hold up, amid the issues that currently dominate the world.
“America has been in war for 20 years. War has not stopped. When we recorded our first album, my friends were just coming from Desert Storm, Fredro Starr said. “Today we’re still at war, so the lyrics are still current. Sean Bell getting shot in the streets is the same injustice as Yusef Hawkins. Ain’t nothing changed.”
Mentored by Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay, Onyx is best known for hits such as “Throw Ya Gunz,” and “Slam.”
Individually, group members found success as Starr and Sticky Fingaz carved their respective niches in acting with various movie and TV roles.
Although Onyx rugged style of rap could come off as a hindrance in Hollywood, Starr and Sticky Fingaz were adamant about presenting fans with their true musical personas, with songs such as “Wilin’, Wilin’,” “I’ll Murder U” and “See U In Hell Pt. 2.”
“We always got flack for what we said on records, for being too thugged out. I went to one network meeting and there were concerns about our lyrics. It was crazy. It’s just self-expression,” said Starr. “You can’t stop the voice of the ghetto.”
Onyx Cold Case Files, which features appearances from Method Man, Sticky Fingaz’s brother X1 and Gangreen, is slated to hit stores on Aug. 19.
The 16-track Onyx Records/Iceman Music Group/Koch Records release will precede the collectives forthcoming album of new material, Black Rock, as well as a series titled 100 Mad.
“Slam was the song that crossed us over, it was like a Rock-n-Roll record and we never really went down the Rock-N-Roll/Hip-Hop lane before,” Sticky Fingaz added. We always kinda steered away from it and now we’re gonna do a whole album inspired by that sound.”