Black Sheep (group)

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Black Sheep
Black Sheep.jpg
Dres (left) & Mista Lawnge (right)
Background information
Origin Queens/Brooklyn, New York, United States
Years active 1989–1995
2000–present
Labels Mercury/PolyGram Records
Associated acts Showbiz and A.G.
Chi Ali
Native Tongues
The Legion
Zimbabwe Legit
Members Dres
Mista Lawnge

Black Sheep is a hip hop duo from Queens, New York, composed of Andres "Dres" Titus and William "Mista Lawnge" McLean. The duo is from New York but met as teenagers in Sanford, North Carolina, where both of their families relocated.[1] The group was an affiliate of the Native Tongues, which included the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul. After getting together in 1989, Black Sheep debuted in 1991 with the hit song "Flavor of the Month" and later released its first album, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, which gained them praise and recognition in the hip-hop community for the album's unique rhythms and intelligent lyrics. After six years together, Black Sheep disbanded in 1995, but decided to reunite five years later.

Biography[edit]

Initial career and break up (1989–1995)[edit]

Black Sheep was formed in 1989 by Andres "Dres" Titus and William "Mista Lawnge" McLean, who are both from New York but met as teenagers in North Carolina, where both of their families relocated. Black Sheep was the first hip-hop act to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno after the departure of Johnny Carson.

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing charted three times on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1992 with "The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)" (#9), and "Strobelite Honey" (#1). Black Sheep was also featured on the remix of Vanessa Williams's single "Work to Do" (#8). The group's relationship with its label, Mercury/PolyGram, allowed Dres to establish a boutique label through which he could sign his own acts. Mercury distributed the imprint, which was called One Love, through PolyGram's Independent Label Sales division rather than PolyGram Group Distribution. However, only one full-length title was ever released, the only album by affiliated act the Legion, titled Theme + Echo = Krill (One Love/Mercury/PolyGram Records 124 029), from 1994.

The group's second album, Non-Fiction, was released later that year. Because of virtually no promotion and a generally poor reception, the album managed only lackluster sales.

Aftermath and return (1996–present)[edit]

Titus and McLean would take a break afterward to work on various independent projects and left the label. This resulted in Dres's solo album Sure Shot Redemption and being billed as Dres the Black Sheep. Mista Lawnge continued to produce music and remixes on other projects such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Subway and others. In 2000, Dres recorded the title track of the movie Once in the Life, in which Dres had an acting role. In the same year, the duo reunited and released an EP called Redlight, Greenlight (EP). It was released two years later and was not covered by the media.

Dres was featured on the second Handsome Boy Modeling School album White People, on the track "First...and Then." In 2006, Dres released an online-only album titled 8WM/Novakane. 8WM stands for Women with Women with Weed with Wine with Me. According to AllHipHop.com, Mista Lawnge has changed the spelling of his name to Mr. Long. He also released a solo project called “The Class of 89” in 2006. Dres appeared on the 1990s remix of Nas' February 2007 song "Where are They Now?"

In 2008, the single "The Choice is Yours (Revisited)" was ranked number #73 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs. The song was featured in a commercial for the 2010 Kia Soul.[2]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Album information
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
  • Released: October 22, 1991
  • RIAA Certification: Gold
  • Billboard 200 chart position: #30
  • R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #15
  • Singles: "Flavor of the Month"/"Butt...In the Meantime", "The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)"/"The Choice Is Yours"/"Have U.N.E. Pull"/"Yes", "Strobelite Honey"/"Gimme the Finga", "Similak Child"
Non-Fiction
  • Released: December 6, 1994
  • Billboard 200 chart position: #107
  • R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #24
  • Singles: "Without a Doubt"/"We Boys", "North South East West"
8WM/Novakane (Dres Solo Project)
  • Released: October 23, 2006
  • Billboard 200 chart position:
  • R&B/Hip-Hop chart position:
  • Singles: "Whodat?"
From The Black Pool of Genius (Dres Solo Album)
  • Released: 2010
  • Singles: "Birds of a Feather", "Party Tonight", "Come Back Home"

Singles and EPs[edit]

Music videos[edit]

  • Black Sheep - Flavor of the Month (1991)
  • Black Sheep - The Choice Is Yours (1991)
  • Black Sheep - Strobelite Honey (1992)
  • Vanessa Williams ft. Black Sheep - Work to Do (Remix) (1992)
  • Showbiz & A.G ft. Black Sheep - Bounce Ta This (1992)
  • Black Sheep - Similak Child (1992)
  • The Legion featuring Dres - Jingle Jangle (1993)
  • Black Sheep - Without a Doubt (1994)
  • Black sheep - Work to DO

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bush, John. "Black Sheep: Biography". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  2. ^ "Kia Soul ad brings back the hamsters, and the funk". USA Today. May 27, 2010. 

External links[edit]