Although they have yet to release a full-length project as a group, the members are frequent collaborators, regularly appearing and contributing to each other's respective solo projects, oftentimes not even crediting one another as a featured artist. Lamar had stated that the group will never face demise due to the solidification of each member's career before they release their debut studio album as a whole. Lamar was the first to release his major label debut, with his album good kid, m.A.A.d city. The album was highly acclaimed and was certified Platinum by the RIAA. Schoolboy Q followed shortly after with his release of Oxymoron, which was released on February 25, 2014 and was also met with critical and commercial success.
The group was formed in 2009, when all of its members were signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, a Carson-based independent record label. The idea of forming a group came from Schoolboy Q, who in his words says because he was "slacking in my music": "I figured if I could be in a group I could just write one verse and I could be good", he added. Schoolboy Q, the last of the four to join the label, admitted to initially being intimidated when he first started going to the studio, but eventually the tenacity of his collaborators rubbed off on him. In 2011, Black Hippy received co-signs from West Coast hip hop legends Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, as well as Tech N9ne who called them "the new N.W.A.", and had hopes of signing the group to his Strange Music imprint.
On December 20, 2012, the lineup for the 2013 Paid Dues hip hop festival was revealed, announcing Black Hippy as the headliners. In April 2013, Black Hippy covered RESPECT. magazine, which hit newsstands on the 30th. In 2013, Black Hippy became the first hip hop group to have all members make XXL's annual Top 10 Freshmen list; with Jay Rock appearing on the 2010 issue, Kendrick Lamar on the 2011 issue and Ab-Soul, alongside Schoolboy Q, appearing on the 2013 issue. Following the highly acclaimed TDE cypher at the 2013 BET Hip Hop Awards, which featured them rapping alongside their label-mate Isaiah Rashad, the group appeared on the cover of the October/November issue of XXL. In December 2013, Black Hippy performed at Power 106 and Footaction's 2013 Cali Christmas event. During a February 2014 interview with Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith and Dave Free, it was revealed that there may be a debut effort from the Black Hippy collective (composed of Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul) released during 2014.