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 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 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.
In March 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. In April 2013, Black Hippy covered RESPECT. magazine, which hit newsstands on the 30th. Also in April 2013, it was reported that Kendrick Lamar added dates to his good kid m.A.A.d city concert tour, revealing his upcoming US dates will feature all four members of the Black Hippy crew. On May 23, 2013, in anticipation of their tour together, Black Hippy released a remix to Atlanta-based rapper Rocko's 2013 single "U.O.E.N.O.".