BOOT CAMP CLIK

Don’t call it a comeback. Boot Camp Click’s been here for years. In fact, with several revered releases last year, BCC’s presence is being felt more than ever. After Navarre Distribution was able to lure Duck Down Records away from KOCH in Spring of 2005, Duck Down unleashed three masterpieces onto the masses this past year. Sean Price dropped his long awaited Monkey Bars, an LP regarded by many as a classic and one of the year’s strongest independent efforts. Price garnered praise from XXL, Allhiphop.com and The Source Magazine as they all named him as their independent artist/album of the year for 2005, making Sean Price one of the hottest underground MC’s in the game. With Monkey Bars still peaking, Buckshot of Black Moon teamed up with Little Brother’s super Producer 9th Wonder for Chemistry, another critics’ favorite, Scratch Magazine called the album “Hip Hop Gold”. Last but not least, Smif N Wesson dropped their third solo offering, Reloaded, to much fanfare as the album featured heavyweight appearances from Talib Kweli and Dead Prez .

Cemented is BCC’s legacy in the Hip-Hop annals. Spitting hardcore raps over dirty samples, the BCC comprised of Black Moon (Buckshot, DJ Evil Dee and 5ft.), Smif N Wessun (Tek & Steele), Heltah Skeltah (Ruck aka Sean Price and Rock) and OGC, (Louieville Sluggah, Starang Wondah and Top Dog) have epitomized New York Hip-Hop throughout their storied career. Just when the West Coast G Funk was becoming Hip-Hop’s choice sound, Brooklyn’s BCC individual groups lead the East Coast resurgence with a couple of releases, Black Moon’s Enta Da Stage (1993), which sold roughly 350,000 copies and Smif N Wessun’s Da Shinning (1995), which scanned 300,000 copies.

West Coast powerhouse Priority Records was seeking a presence on the East Coast and inked Duck Down Records to a label deal to enlist the services of Boot Camp’s next wave of groups. Heltah Skeltah’s Nocturnal (1996) was released and won the group New Artist of the Year by the Source Magazine, followed by O.G.C.’s debut Da Storm (1997). After unleashing several projects and building anticipation for a collective set, BCC released its debut LP, For The People (March 1997) which went on to sell over 250,000 copies and an impressive 50,000 in it’s first week. The squad later followed with Basic Training: The Best Of Boot Camp Clik (2000) which showcased the groups rich history of under the radar Hits. Included were Black Moon’s “I got You Opin”, “Who Got the Props”, “How Many MC’s”, Smif N Wessun’s “Bucktown” and “Soundbwoy Burial”, Fab 5’s “Leflah”, Heltah Skeltah’s “Operation Lockdown”, and the BCC’s classic collective “Head’s Aint Ready”. The Camp went on to release individual group sophomore projects and in 2001 Independent giant KOCH DISTRIBUTION signed Duck Down to its first pure Distribution deal. Boot Camp quickly assembled to drop their sophomore release The Chosen Few (2002).

The album’s Artwork was created by none other than Marc Ecko himself of ECKO CLOTHING further endorsing the groups popularity amongst trendsetters within the Industry. Production credits included beats from Alchemist, Hi -Tek, Beatminerz, & Bink! Now, after over 3 million albums sold (Boot Camp-related projects) and countless classic releases, BCC is readying The Last Stand (July 18, 2006). The album features all 8 original members including Rock of Heltah Skeltah who was absent on The Chosen Few. With Da Beatminerz behind the boards as usual, the set also features outside production from some of the game’s most consistent producers. The stellar line-up, which features 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Ill Mind and Marco Polo among others, is a testament to BCC’s relevance in the immediate Hip-Hop landscape. Slated for a July 18 release, the CD will coincide with a supportive 35-city nationwide tour which will take the crew to major markets like New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle among other cities. But don’t view this as the crew’s last release, far from it. Retirement is not an option.

 

Artist Bio on Wikipedia

 

Anthony Cruz (born March 9, 1972, in Brooklyn), better known as AZ is a Grammy-nominated American rapper of Dominican & African American descent. He is known for being a long time and frequent rhyme partner of Nas, and also a member of hip-hop group The Firm alongside Nas, Foxy Brown, Cormega and Nature.

In a countdown of the 10 Most Underappreciated Rappers—Most Underrated Rappers of All Time, the editors of About.com listed AZ as #1 on the list.[1] He was also included on About.com's list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time (1987–2007), where he was described as "arguably the most underrated lyricist ever."[2]

 

AZ first became known by appearing on Nas' landmark 1994 album Illmatic on the song "Life's a Bitch", as well as featuring vocals on the opening track The Genesis. He was the only guest feature to appear on that album. AZ signed with EMI, and soon released his debut album Doe Or Die in 1995 to critical acclaim, but meager commercial success. The album's lead single, "Sugar Hill", became AZ's only major commercial success as a solo artist, reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and achieving Gold status. AZ's EMI contract was transferred to sister label Noo Trybe Records/Virgin Records when the EMI Label Group was shut down. In 1997, he and Nas appeared in a Sprite commercial. Also in 1997 the group The Firm with AZ, Nas, Nature, and Foxy Brown released their only album as a group, The Album. The album featured production from well known producers such as Dr. Dre and the Trackmasters and generated much hype, but was generally viewed as a disappointment. The group disbanded after just this one album. In 1998 AZ released his second solo album, Pieces of a Man. The album fared well but did not chart quite as well as his debut and did not feature a crossover single like "Sugar Hill".

After this album's release, AZ signed with Motown/Universal Records and released 9 Lives.[3] In 2002, he released Aziatic. A single from the album, "The Essence," (featuring Nas) was nominated for the 2003 Grammy Awards for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.[3]

In 2004 AZ was planning on releasing his would-be 4th studio album, Final Call, however, it was eventually scrapped due to heavy leaking and released as Final Call (The Lost Tapes) in 2008.[3] He released his 4th and 5th studio albums A.W.O.L. and The Format in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Then Undeniable and Legendary were released in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

 

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