3rd Bass

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Word To The Third
3rd Bass

3rd Bass was an American hip-hop group that rose to fame in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and was notable for being one of the first successful interracial hip-hop groups. They split up in 1992 and again in 2000 after a failed reunion. The group released two studio albums in their initial career and both of them were certified gold by the RIAA.

MC Serch (Michael Berrin), Prime Minister Pete Nice (Peter J. Nash), and DJ Richie Rich (Richard Lawson) were the three founding members of the group. Richie Rich was a local D.J., while Nice was an English major atColumbia University and hosted a hip hop show on Columbia’s student radio station, WKCR-FM. Serch performed at clubs and block parties, and released a single called “Hey Boy” on independent label Idlers.

Record producer Sam Sever (real name Sam Citrin) convinced Nice and Serch to work together in 1987. First they called themselves 3 the Hard Way, referenced in the song “Words of Wisdom”. But, before recording the whole album they changed their name to 3rd Bass. Sever, Prince Paul, and The Bomb Squad produced their 1989 debut, The Cactus Album, a critically acclaimed LP that went gold and contained a minor hit in “The Gas Face.” The accompanying video, which featured a bevy of humorous cameo appearances that included Gilbert Gottfried, Flavor Flav, Salt-n-Pepa, Kid ‘N Play and EPMD, garnered respectable MTV airplay and the single peaked at #5 on Billboard’s Top Rap Singles, though it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

As reported in many interviews, Serch had tried (unsuccessfully) to join up with fellow New Yorkers the Beastie Boys. Upon signing with Def Jam, 3rd Bass inherited their label’s feud with the Beasties. The Cactus Album was released shortly after the Beastie Boys—riding high on the success of Licensed to Ill—walked out of their contract with the label. In addition to containing multiple potshots directed at M.C. Hammer (referred to as “M.C. Household Tool” in the liner notes), Cactus also attacked the Beastie Boys and their defection to Capitol Records.

3rd Bass’s 1991 follow-up, Derelicts of Dialect, had a new target in fellow white rapper Vanilla Ice, who was the focal point of several tracks on the album, most notably “Pop Goes the Weasel”. The track depicted Ice as a culture thief who watered down the sound of rap in order to pander to a mainstream audience, while depicting 3rd Bass as more respectful of the genre’s traditions. Ice was also criticized for his refusal to credit artists whose music he had sampled for his 1990 smash “Ice Ice Baby.” The video featured punk rock icon Henry Rollins dressed up as Ice, who received a “beatdown” by 3rd Bass at the end.

Fueled by the heavy backlash against Vanilla Ice at the time of its release, “Pop Goes the Weasel” reached #1 on Billboard’s Top Rap Singles chart, gave the group their first and only Top 30 single (peaking at #29 on the Hot 100), and helped propel the album to gold status. The track was described by Allmusic as “much-needed damage control in the hip-hop community,” in part because it featured Caucasian rappers openly distancing themselves from one of their peers.[2] Vanilla Ice answered back with ‘The Wrath’ and ‘Hit ‘em Hard’ which he played at concerts in 1992, though the songs weren’t officially released until 1994.

3rd Bass’s final collaboration was the title track to the soundtrack of the 1992 film Gladiator before the group called it quits. That same year—three years after The Cactus Album—the Beastie Boys retaliated against 3rd Bass on their new release Check Your Head; the track “Professor Booty” contained the lyric “dancing around like you think you’re Janet Jackson,” which was interpreted as a swipe at Serch’s dancing in 3rd Bass’s videos.

 

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3rd Bass

Derelicts of Dialect

3rd Bass’ “Derelicts of Dialect” Album released.

3rd Bass

The Cactus Album

3rd Bass’ “The Cactus Album” on Def Jam Recordings.

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Def Jam 30

SINCE 1984: 3rd Bass On The Arsenio Hall Show

Back in 1991, 3rd Bass made their way to The Arsenio Hall Show. During the visit, they speak on their album, Derelicts of Dialect, the state of Hip-Hop and even do a performance of their single, “Pop Goes The Weasel”. Watch the full video above.

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Def Jam 30

Since 1984: 3rd Bass Released "Derelicts of Dialect" on Def Jam Recordings

On this day, June 18, 1991, 3rd Bass released their second album, “Derelicts of Dialect” on Def Jam Recordings. Can you tell us your favorite track off this album? Let us know in the comment section.

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Def Jam 30

3rd Bass "Derelicts of Dialect" Album

Derelicts of Dialect is Queens-based emcees 3rd Bass’ second LP (following its debut LP and an EP) and final studio album, released on Def Jam Recordings. The album is considered to be a critical success (explicitly not aimed toward a mainstream market), and gained publicity by featuring the surprise mainstream hit “Pop Goes the Weasel,”…

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News

3rd Bass The Cactus Album

The Cactus Album, also known as The Cactus Cee/D, is the debut album by hip-hop trio 3rd Bass, released on Def Jam Recordings on October 23, 1989. The album received positive reviews from the hip hop press, and the group gained some publicity by being arguably the second white group to achieve hip hop credibility,…

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Music Video

"Product Of The Environment"

Watch 3rd Bass’ “Product of the enviorment” video off The Cactus Revisited album.

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Music Video

"Brooklyn-Queens"

Watch 3rd Bass’ video for “Brooklyn-Queens” off The Cactus Revisited.

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Music Video

"Steppin' To The A.M."

Watch 3rd Bass’ video for “Steppin’ To The A.M.” off their “The Cactus Album”.

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Music Video

"The Gas Face"

Watch 3rd Bass’ video for their single “The Gas Face” off The Cactus Album

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