In Case You’ve Been Missing… Onyx
Members: Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr, Sonsee and Big DS
Where You Can Find Them: On TV and on Netflix
What You Might Know Them for and Why You Could Have Care: Here today, gone tomorrow. Just ask Queens-bred Onyx. Signed to Def Jam via Jam Master Jay’s self-titled imprint, the quartet—comprised of Sticky Fingaz, Fredro Starr, Sonsee and Big DS—burst onto the scene with their certified platinum debut, Bacdafucup, in 1993. The LP spawned several riotous standouts, including the second single, “Slam,” which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Throw Ya Gunz,” though not as commercially successful on a crossover standards, remains one of the group’s most memorable songs. Onyx is a tricky outfit in that the crew’s image was gimmicky, but its members were skilled. Sticky Fingaz was always a respected wordsmith. On “Gunz,” the muscle-bound MC opened his verse, rhyming, “I hate your guts and I hope that you die/Sticky Fingaz’s my name and my life is a lie,” before concluding the rhyme with, “I’ma bald head with a knife/I want your money or your life.” The lyrics were eye-opening, but Sticky conveyed more than mere shock value. The rhymes also reflected the mindset of struggling youths with nothing to lose.
With Chyskillz in JMJ at the helm sonically, Bacdafucup offered up head-bussing soundscapes as likely to inspire fights and robberies as they were to motivate pro athletes. “A-tack of da Bal-Hedz” and “Blac Vagina Finda” were just two of many of the album’s fan favorites. Onyx’s hardcore sound made them perfect candidates to be featured on The Judgement Night soundtrack—a collection of collaborations between rap and rock acts. Onyx joined forces with Brooklyn heavy metal group Biohazard for the title track.
Onyx never struck platinum again, but they did have some moments. Their sophomore LP, 1995’s All We Got Iz Uz produced “Last Dayz,” which cracked the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s instrumental was used for a battle scene in Eminem’s 8 Mile years later. Sticky and Fredro both released solo albums and found some success in Hollywood. Sticky starred in Dead Presidents, CSI: Miami, The Shield and in the short-lived Blade: The Series, to name a few. Meanwhile, Fredro starred in Sunset Park, Save the Last Dance and Moesha.
Their third LP, Shut ‘Em Down featured songs with future stars 50 Cent—with whom Sticky later feuded—and DMX. Their follow up, Bacadafucup Part II dropped unnoticed as did their fifth album, Triggernometry. Sadly, Big DS died of complications from cancer in 2003.
Current Status: Onyx hasn’t released a new material in nine years. Sticky and Fredro continue to act, though they’ve now been reduced to TV cameos and straight-to-DVD films. Fredro’s on Twitter, has over 27,000 followers and is pretty active on the social networking site. Sticky and Sonsee, meanwhile, aren’t on Twitter. —Carl Chery (@cchery)