On this day, Nov. 21, in hip-hop history...

1995: On Nov. 21, 1995, Gang Starr affiliates Group Home made their full introduction to hip-hop with the debut album Livin' Proof.

Made up of Melachi the Nutcracker and Lil' Dap, the duo had appeared separately and together on Gang Starr records prior to 1995, most notably on Gang Starr's highly-acclaimed Hard to Earn in 1994 on the tracks "Speak Ya Clout" and "Words From the Nutcracker." But Livin' Proof was the first time fans heard the duo take center stage on wax.

Many hip-hop heads flocked to Livin' Proof initially thanks to DJ Premier's pristine production. Premier masterfully sampled tracks from LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Das EFX, Wu-Tang Clan and more to create blended sounds of piano and bass for Dap and Melachi to deliver clear, concise lyrics over. The biggest song off the LP was the Premo-produced "Supa Star." As for guest verses, the duo kept their work within the East Coast family and tapped Jeru the Damaja and Guru.

Critics welcomed Group Home's debut warmly thanks to the gravelly wordplay between the two MCs and the distinct beats of their maestro. Fans responded positively too. The album peaked at No. 34 on Billboard's US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart while "Supa Star" climbed to No. 19 on the Hot Rap Singles chart that year. Four years later, in 1999, the duo's second album, A Tear for the Ghetto, featured minimal production from Premier and the contrast was evident. It was hard for Group Home to recapture the glory of their debut. Nonetheless, Livin' Proof stands as a landmark in East Coast rap 23 years later.

Payday/Polygram Records
Payday/Polygram Records

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