Among the forerunners of one of rap’s many clashes with different genres, in this case doo-wop. The trio consists of Easy Mo Bee (b. Osten Harvey, brother of producer ‘LG’ Harvey), JR and AB Money, all Brooklyn neighbours, raised under the paternal wing of their local church. JR (b. Darron Strand) decided to put on hold his career in Wall Street for the music business in 1987. There is little to dislike about Rappin’ Is Fundamental and their mix of funky beats with breezy a cappella breaks and doo-wop harmonies, with the possible exception of their rather laborious name. Influenced by vocal harmony groups like the Flamingos, they were certainly among the more sophisticated members of New York’s hip-hop culture. They were keen to differentiate themselves from anything so one-dimensional: ‘We don’t want to be looked on as just rappers. We’re born singers, we’re bona fide dancers and natural rappers. We’re all round entertainers.’ However, they were dropped by A&M Records, after their debut album stiffed, but were still active in 1994, independently releasing ‘Helluva Guy’.
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