Onyx Drop Their Debut Album Bacdafucup – Today in Hip-Hop
XXL celebrates 50 years of hip-hop with this moment:
March 30, 1993: Thirty years ago, Onyx, with their bald heads, black hoodies and roughneck attitudes, delivered a new image and new sound when they released on this day their debut album, Bacdafucup, on Def Jam Recordings.
Onyx initially formed in 1988, but it wouldn't be until 1992 that the group would sign with Def Jam and start rocking the crowds. The group consisted of Sticky Fingaz (born Kirk Jones), his cousin Fredro Starr (born Fred Lee Scruggs Jr.), Suave (born Tyrone Taylor) and the late Big DS (born Marlon G. Fletcher). Under the tutelage of the late DJ and producer Jam Master Jay, the rap quartet brought a no-holds-barred approach to their repertoire that included weaponry at their disposal. Their first single "Throw Ya Gunz" is an anarchistic flip of hip-hop's famous call-and-response ("Throw ya hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care") that became the group's rallying cry.
However, Onyx brought hip-hop to mosh pits with "Slam," a riotous track filled with agression and machismo that also introduced the group to a whole new legion of fans in the rock world. Their breakthrough single was so popular that Onyx teamed up with heavy metal band Biohazard to release a Bionyx remix of the song.
In a 2018 interview with Vlad TV, Fedro Starr said that "Slam" was inspired by Nirvana's classic 1991 music video, which featured kids slam dancing into each other while the band performed.
"We came up with the whole slam concept first watching Nirvana's video "Smells Like Teen Spirit,'" he explained. "That s**t was poppin' in the 'hood." He continued: "So [we were] watching that show and I'm like, 'Yo what if we brought this energy to hip-hop?' And that's when we came up with 'Slam!'"
"Slam" would reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs tally for the charting week of July 17, 1993 and held the top spot for two weeks. The song would eventually hit platinum status, although Fredo believes the tune sold over five million copies.
Meanwhile, The Recording Industry Association of America certified Bacdafucup platinum on Oct. 25, 1993, seven months after its release.