According to Medina Green member DCQ (aka Illson, aka Jashiya), the underground rap group consists of "two brothers, two cousins, and one good friend." The group's history begins in 1994 when Mos Def and DCQ were members of Urban Thermo Dynamics, a group that had a deal with the Polygram affiliate Payday London. The deal fell apart after some white-label promos and one official single. Mos Def struck out on his own while DCQ rounded up some family members and started Medina Green, "Medina" being the Asiatic name for Brooklyn and "Green" signifying growth. Mos Def's career took off while DCQ worked on Medina Green.
Mos Def fans first came to hear DCQ when an old Urban Thermo Dynamics track, "My Kung Fu," started making the Internet rounds, often mislabeled as a Medina Green track. The group -- DCQ with family members Lord Ato, Kash Rule, and Jah Born -- made its official debut in 1998 with the 12" Crosstown Beef, released by Rawkus. The track appeared on the 1999 compilation Soundbombing, Vol. 2 compilation, and a year later their track "Full Court Press" landed on the Unbound Project, Vol. 1 compilation, released by Ground Control. The group got a proper debut courtesy of their old friend when Mos Def presented their mixtape You Know the Flex, Vol. 1 in 2004.