10 Hip-Hop Reunions
Anger fades but diamonds are forever. Earlier this week, Jay Z and Dame Dash reunited to be photographed at a party after years of acrimonious relations, thus proving that time can heal even the most bitter wounds. Reunions in hip-hop are a beautiful thing. People reconnection after years of fallout is a reminder that we all can change. Here at XXL, we have compiled some of the most memorable reunions in hip-hop history.
Fugees Perform At Chappelle's Block Party
The dissolution of the Fugees was one of the most bitter and personal breakups in music history. After a near decade-long hiatus, the Fugees reunited at Dave Chappelle's Block Party in Brooklyn in 2004. All three members, Pras, Wyclef and Lauryn were there to perform their classics and whispers of a new album began to float in the air. However, promises of new Fugees material evaporated quickly after the group's comeback single, "Be Easy," failed to make much noise and the group fell apart soon, afterward. These days, a reunion seems farther than ever as Lauryn Hill sits in prison after being handed a two-year sentence for tax evasion in 2013.
All Nine Wu-Tang Members Reunite At Rock The Bells
In the years after the release of Wu-Tang Forever, it became an increasingly rare experience to be able to see all nine, original members of Wu-Tang Clan perform together. Legal troubles and group in-fighting prevented the full force of the W from being seen live in public for years. In 2004 at the inaugural Rock the Bells Music Festival in San Bernardino, California, the Wu-Tang Clan reunited on stage for the first time in years. All nine members including a fresh-out-of-jail Ol' Dirty Bastard were able to make the event and performed a medley of their hits for the appreciated crowd. Unfortunately, the performance would go on to be their last with the original group as Ol' Dirty Bastard tragically passed away a few short months, afterward.
Ice Cube & Dr. Dre Reconnect For "Natural Born Killaz"
After Ice Cube left N.W.A in the wake of financial disagreements, a war of words started amongst the former members of the group that led to some of hip-hop's most classic diss songs of the era. After Dr. Dre left the group amidst financial discontent of his own, it opened the dialogue between the former warring members and the result was "Natural Born Killaz," Dre and Cube's collaborative single from the Murder Was The Case soundtrack. The duo would occasionally collaborate over the years since the single but this remains their finest post-N.W.A project together.
N.W.A Releases "Chin Check"
In 1999, the west coast gangster pioneers dropped their first single, "Chin Check," as a group since 1992. Although, Eazy-E had long since passed away from complications due to AIDS, the group's remaining four original members including the group's prodigal son, Ice Cube, as well as a guesting, Snoop Dogg, were featured on the track. Rumors of a new album with Snoop replacing Eazy surfaced but an album never emerged.
Original Geto Boys "resurrect" in 1996
Houston's Geto Boys have a long-storied history of breaking up and forming back together. After the release of the group's seminal album, We Can't Be Stopped, in 1991, trouble started to brew between the group's members and Willie D split from the group to go solo. After the release of 1993's Till Death Do Us Part with the Convict's Big Mike replacing Willie in the group, the group's original members, Bushwick Bill, Scarface and a returning Willie D released The Resurrection in March 1996. Considered one of the group's finest albums together, it spawned songs like "The World is Ghetto" and "Still" which was featured as the soundtrack in a iconic scene from Mike Judge's Office Space a few years later. Although the group would proceded to breakup and reform a few times later, The Resurrection remains one of their greatest outings.
Royce Da 5'9" & Eminem Make Up After Feud
Back in their days as struggling rappers in the Detroit underground scene, Eminem and Royce Da 5'9" were best of friends. They had even formed a group together they dubbed "Bad Meets Evil." As Em's career grew and Royce's seemed to stall, tensions grew and soon Royce started feuding with Em and his group, D12. In the wake of mutual friend's death, Proof, in 2006, the duo patched things up and in 2011, the guys finally released the collaborative EP together that they had promised to do years titled. Entitled Hell: The Sequel, the EP would debut at #1 on the charts and eventually go Gold.
Run-D.M.C Release "Crown Royal" After 8-Year Hiatus
In 2001, Run-D.M.C had not released any new music since their 1993 "comeback" album, Down With The King. However, the trio would reunite to release their final album, Crown Royal, featuring guest appearances from Nas, Prodigy, Kid Rock, Fred Durst, Jagged Edge and Method Man. Unfortunately, the album would be their last as Jam Master Jay was tragically cut down in a fat shooting in a New York studio the next year.
All Five Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Unify After Decade
The story of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony seems to always involve one member or other exiting or re-entering the group. The group finally reunited in 2010 after the release of Flesh-N-Bone from a decade-long prison stint to release their eighth studio album, Uni5: The World's Enemy. Although, group members, Wish Bone and Layzie Bone, would leave a year later, the group is planning a new album featuring all 5 members to be released in the near future.
A Tribe Called Quest Reunites At Rock The Bells 2008
As chronicled in Michael Rapaport's wonderful documentary, Beats, Rhymes & Life, A Tribe Called Quest would go on tour in the summer of 2008 headlining the annual Rock The Bells Tour. It would not go well as in-fighting and personal and professional jealousies would doom the group, again. Fans continue to hold on to hope that the group will work out their issues to make some new music but it seems extremely unlikely at the time.
Dr. Dre joins Game for "The Red Album"
After Interscope chose 50 Cent in his feud with Game, Game was dropped from Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment in the decision's wake. The result was Game's The Doctor's Advocate, one of rap's great musical love letters to an artist's mentor. In 2011, Dr. Dre would appear on Game's The Red Album after a five-year hiatus. While Dre wouldn't produce or perform the album, Dre showed up in many of the album's skits narrating the story on the album.
Sometimes you can go home...