On this day, July 4, in hip-hop history…


1995: The hip-hop duo of Knumskull and Yukmouth set to put on for their region with a forward-thinking type of gangsta rap. On Operation Stackola, Luniz incorporated playful and hard-hitting lyrics that were weaved together by smooth funk. It was a crucial West Coast album that was often overlooked.

Luniz had the hip-hop anthem of the ‘90s under their name: “I Got Five On It.” The Bay Area rhymeslingers poured tight rhymes over the blunted production, where they talked about collecting money to cop a big sack. The song blew up quickly and motivated other aspiring MCs to offer remixes of their own. Rather than suffer from the fate of a one-hit wonder, the group pulled together with Operation Stackola. Their debut navigated through the life of Oakland.

Operation Stackola boasted appearances by Shock G (Digital Underground), N.O. Joe (Rap-A-Lot), DJ Darryl (No Limit), E-A-Ski (No Limit), and Terry T (Seagram). The line-up assisted the duo in tackling usual topics such as hustling and chasing money, as well as more serious issues like race relations found on “900 Blame A N*gga.” It ended up being the group’s highest selling album that went Platinum and topped the Billboard 200 for two weeks.

While rap fans haven’t heard much about Luniz now, Operation Stackola will always be a regarded as a Bay Area classic. There’s plenty here to keep hip-hop heads nodding.