On this day, Jan. 12, in hip hop history...

1993: After having released three successful solo albums between 1987 and 1991, Heavy D & the Boyz released their fourth studio album, Blue Funk, on Jan. 12, 1993 through Uptown Records.

Blue Funk saw most of its production done by Tony Dofat, DJ Premier and Pete Rock, as well as Jesse West. The result of said production was a memorable LP that provided a sound unlike their preceding work. The LP included guest appearances by Terri & Monica, 3rd Eye, The Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes, Gang Starr and Rob-O.

Blue Funk landed the No. 40 spot on the Billboard 200 and the No. 7 spot on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album is considered a commercial success and has been officially certified gold by the RIAA.

One of the most significant aspects of Blue Funk is how much grittier this album was compared to the previous three. The project had much more of a street edge to it that had people wondering if it's really Heavy D spitting those rhymes on tracks like "Who's the Man." Other records that stood out were "Blue Funk," "Truthful" and the widely acclaimed posse-cut, "A Buncha N----s," which plays like an old-school cypher, displaying competitive rap at its finest.

The Heavster's turn to streets altered their reputation in hip-hop a bit, but the crew still managed to pick up new fans without alienating their old ones. While Blue Funk steered away from the commercial-ready sound that made Heavy D & The Boyz famous, it was a successful hit with fans.

Uptown Records

See 15 of Hip-Hop's Weirdest Album Titles