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|Also known as||Outlaw, The Outlawz, Dramacydal|
|Origin||Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, G-Funk|
|Labels||Outlaw, Ca$hville, Amaru, Death Row, Real Talk, Koch, Rap-a-Lot|
|Associated acts||2Pac, Smif N' Wessun, Bun B, Young Buck, Bone Brothers, Yukmouth, Dead Prez, Tech N9ne, Scarface, Tha Dogg Pound, C-Bo, Krayzie Bone, Kane & Abel|
|Past members||Makaveli (Deceased)
Yaki Kadafi (Deceased)
Outlawz, formally known as , is an American hip hop group founded by Tupac Shakur in late 1995 after Shakur's release from prison. Collectively, they are best known for the numerous songs and albums they did with Tupac Shakur.
In the earlier years of the Outlawz, they were known as Dramacydal. Dramacydal first appeared on the B-side of Tupac Shakur's 1993 single Holler If Ya Hear Me, the track "Flex". Dramacydal was composed of K-Dog who later became Kastro, Young Hollywood who later became Yaki Kadafi, Mutah or Mu who later became Napoleon, Big Malik who later became E.D.I. Mean . They also appeared on 2Pac's Me Against The World and All Eyez on Me albums. They were also known as "Thoro Headz" and "Young Thugz".
When 2Pac signed to Death Row upon his release from prison, he recruited his step brother Mopreme Shakur and Big Syke from Thug Life. Hussein Fatal, Napoleon, E.D.I. Mean, Kastro, Yaki Kadafi, and Storm (the only female Outlaw) were also added, and together they formed the original lineup of the Outlaw Immortalz that debuted on 2Pac's multi-platinum smash All Eyez on Me. They later dropped the title of "Immortalz" after the untimely deaths of 2Pac and Yaki Kadafi. Subsequently, they moved on as the "Outlawz" without the members of Thug Life. When Tupac Shakur recorded "Hit 'Em Up" a diss song towards his former friend and rival, The Notorious B.I.G., he recruited three members from the former group whom he had worked with previously, and was eager to work with them again. Together, with the New Jersey rappers and other associates, they formed the original lineup of the Outlawz. Young Noble was later added and appeared on 2Pac's second Death Row release The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. It was on 2Pac's Makaveli album that Outlawz first came to the greater rap community's notice, appearing on a few songs.
The idea behind the group was for each member to have a rap name coinciding with the names of various leaders who resisted control by the new world order, past and present. Outlawz chose in later years to make a backronym out of the letters of their group name Operating Under Thug Laws As Warriorz although it does not stand for the group's name and is used infrequently.
All together, there were 10 Original Members of the Outlawz, including Tupac:
- Makaveli (Tupac Shakur) was the leader of the group, and gave himself the name of Makaveli after the Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, whose writings inspired Shakur in prison.
- Yaki Kadafi (Yafeu Fula), also known as Young Hollywood, Killer Kadafi and The Prince, was given the name Yaki Kadafi after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. He was also Shakur's godbrother and an original member of Dramacydal.
- Kastro (Katari Cox), also known as K-Dog, was given the alias Kastro after Cuban leader Fidel Castro. He is also a blood cousin of Shakur and an original member of Dramacydal.
- E.D.I. Mean (Malcolm Greenridge), also known as Big Malcolm, was given the alias E.D.I. (aka EDIDON) after Ugandan president Idi Amin and was also an original member of Dramacydal.
- Hussein Fatal (Bruce Washington), introduced to Yildirum by childhood friend Yaki Kadafi, was given the alias after former leader of Iraq Saddam Hussein. Hussein left the group after the killings of Pac and Yak. He felt that the remaining group members were going against Tupac's wishes by signing contracts with Death Row. He recently rejoined the Outlawz, which is now composed of him, Young Noble and Edi.
- Napoleon (Mutah Beale), childhood friend of Kadafi, was given the name Napoleon after French military leader Napoleon Bonaparte and was also an original member of Dramacydal. Napoleon left the group to be a Muslim motivational speaker.
- Mussolini (Tyruss Himes), also known as Big Syke who was in 2Pac's previous group Thug Life, joined the Outlawz under the alias Mussolini after Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
- Komani (Mopreme Shakur), 2Pac's stepbrother, who was in 2Pac's previous group Thug Life, joined the Outlawz under the alias Komani after the Iranian political figure Ruhollah Khomeini.
- Storm (Donna Harkness), The only female member of the group, met Tupac during the shooting of a film. After he found out how well she could rap, he immediately signed her on the spot and added her to the group, which later became known as The Outlaw Immortalz. Storm was to be a solo artist for Tupac's record label. She was introduced on the multiplatinum selling album All Eyez on Me.
- Young Noble (Rufus Cooper III), the last official Outlaw member by Tupac himself. He was introduced to Tupac by Kadafi and Hussein Fatal in Los Angeles, a few months before his death. He appeared in many of 2Pac's last recordings, and featured heavily on 2Pac's last album and the now legendary The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. He was always known as Young Noble and was never given an alias from Tupac.
Shortly after joining the group, Mopreme and Big Syke severed all ties with Death Row and left the Outlawz for financial and personal reasons. Two months after the death of Shakur, Kadafi was killed in a housing project in New Jersey; after two years, Napoleon convinced his cousin to turn himself in for shooting Kadafi.
Though Tupac had told them specifically to never sign to Death Row Records, after his death, the leftover members of the Outlawz decided to do just that. As a result, Fatal left the group, claiming they weren't being loyal to 2Pac. Napoleon left the group due to his conversion to Islam and is now traveling all around the globe to spread the teachings of Islam. While managing and working on her solo project, Tupac signed Storm to Death Row Records. She left the group shortly after the death of Tupac.
New Child and Muszamil were never official members but have worked closely with the Outlawz and remain good friends.
The Outlawz are also known for their longtime relationship with Brooklyn's Boot Camp Clik, a relationship that begun as a result of 2Pac's friendship with Boot Camp's Smif-n-Wessun and Boot Camp Clik, while working on the yet unreleased "One Nation" album. Despite stylistic differences and divergent fanbases, the two crews maintained connections on the basis of personal relationships. Members of the Outlawz were featured on Boot Camp releases like Heltah Skeltah's "Magnum Force" and Rock's "Veterans' Day."
In 1999, the Outlawz released their first album as a group with original unreleased recordings of 2Pac, entitled Still I Rise, granting them even more recognition. The album was released on Death Row Records. Member Hussein Fatal did not appear on any of the album as he was edited out of the original recordings due to issues with the record labels. Storm was also edited out of some of the original recordings for unknown reasons. Original member Big Syke also appeared on the album. It wasn't until late 2000, though, that they finally got the go-ahead to release their debut album, Ride Wit Us Or Collide Wit Us. Unfortunately, the album didn't prove to be much of a success, and neither did the group's follow-up album a year later, Novakane, also released on the group's Outlaw Recordz label (distributed by Koch). In 2008 they signed a short deal with Young Buck's Ca$hville Records. In 2009, Kastro had confirmed he had left the Outlawz to pursue a solo career. He reunited with the group on Outlaw Culture Radio in October 2010. Later the members went to release solo albums and collaborations with other artists. In 2011, there were three active Outlaw members: Edi, Young Noble, Hussein Fatal. The group's final cd is called Perfect Timing.
As of 2009, the Outlawz reunited with former member Hussein Fatal, who immediately left the group following the deaths of Tupac and Yaki Kadafi.
The group has teamed up with allhiphop.com to release a new Outlawz song every week on the site in a series entitled "Return Of The Real" in anticipation for their upcoming studio album "Perfect Timing".
The Outlawz put out 2 new mixtapes before the official album, Killuminati 2k10 and Killuminati 2k11 available online for free download.
The Outlawz last studio album Perfect Timing was released on September 13, 2011 on 1Nation Entertainment. The album features guest appearances from many big name rappers including Bun B, Tech N9ne, Scarface, Krayzie Bone, Young Buck, Lloyd, among others and production from Focus..., Cozmo, Maxwell Smart, The Network and CyFyre. In 2011, some of the remaining members of The Outlawz made peace with long time rival enemy Lil Cease of Junior Mafia. They both recorded a track called "Bury the Hatchet", on a DJ Kay Slay album.
- Official Website
- Outlawz on Myspace
- Outlawz on Facebook
- Outlawz on Twitter
- Outlawz's channel on YouTube
- Outlawz discography at Discogs