In the ’90s, it’s no secret that there was a greater prominence of the cliques, posses, crews, and clans.Â It was an era in which creative mind-blowing lyrics were the sole option for an artist to earn the props and respect of their peers.Â That said, what’s better than having several lyricists spitting darts in 8 or 16 bar verses, back-to-back-to-back-to… you get the point.Â These weren’t commercial friendly collaborative efforts.Â Â There were no sing-a-long hooks, or kindergarten melodies.
At the time, the hip-hop scene in Pittsburgh wasn’t much different in this regard.Â You had several groups putting their stamp on the local scene.Â The earlyÂ ’90sÂ included Mel Man’s Hardcore Crew, Funky to da Third, PensoulzInAKup, transitioning into the mid ’90s which gave way to the Massive – a crew that later split in two with Strict Flow and RXC.Â These are only a few of the crews that were making waves in the city, as well as nationally, at the time.
This post is dedicated to the artistic musical craftings of RXC, an acronym for Reality Unknown Complex.Â The crew has also been recognized as Classic 1824, 1824 being a numerical symbolism of the letters R-X. Original members of the hip-hop groupÂ include C.I., Shamir Shine, Knowledge Build, Justice, Martial Ife, and Amaretto, while others that have been or continue to be a part are Iasia, Gemstarr, Solar Magnetic, Sha-King (fka Reason), Nabri Savior, Living Proofe, and Gneticz.Â For a greater look into the crew and the Pittsburgh hip-hop scene at this time, refer to Part One of the video interview with C.I. located at the end of this post.
The following are the first three releases to come from the Classic 1824 / RXC camp.Â Future posts will include solo releases from Reason/Sha-King, Nabri Savior, Gneticz, and a variety of obscure radio appearances and freestyle sessions.Â Feedback is appreciated!
Afro-Cinema – Afro-Cinema, Vol. 1 (1997)
Afro-Cinema is C.I. & Shamir Shine
01-Rap Zodiak (Prod. by Sekou Coleman, Co-Prod. by Shamir Shine)
02-3 1/2 Minutes of Fame (Prod. by G-Knowt, Co-Prod. by Sekou Coleman)
03-Panik (Prod. by Shamir Shine, Co-Prod. by Sekou Coleman)
04-Livicated (Prod. by Shamir Shine, Co-Prod. by Outtareach)
Classic 1824 presents RXC – Mesomatrix EP (1999)
02-Gold Leaf (Perf. by Golden Seal [Gemstarr & 120])
03-Isolation (Perf. by Rhesun aka Sha-King)
04-Concentrate (Perf. by Foreign Nationals [Knowledge Build & Solar Magnetic])
05-Afrocinematik (Perf. by Afro-Cinema [C.I. & Shamir Shine])
06-Organic Panic [Perfection] (Perf. by Iasia)
07-Exit the Matrix
Album produced by Shamir Shine
Classic 1824 presents C.I. – Classic Impressions #1 (1999)
01-Meso Walk (Prod. by Shamir Shine)
02-Unforgettable (Prod. by Rampage)
03-2000 Block Party (Live @ Mumia Benefit)
04-Unforgettable (Inst.) (Prod. by Rampage)
More information on Classic 1824 / RXC, including past and recent releases from Sha-King, Living Proofe, and Gneticz, can be found at http://stilltown.blogspot.com
Again, feedback is appreciated!
Peace & Blessings
-Rory | Stilltown