U-God

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U-God
U-God performing in Atlanta.jpg
U-God performing in Atlanta in May 2008
Background information
Birth name Lamont Jody Hawkins
Born (1970-11-11) November 11, 1970 (age 43)
Origin Staten Island, New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Years active 1990–present
Labels Soul Temple Records (current)
Priority Records, Frank Radio Records (former)
Associated acts Wu-Tang Clan

Lamont Jody Hawkins[1] (born November 11, 1970),[2] better known as U-God (short for Universal God), is an American rapper and member of the hip hop collective, Wu-Tang Clan. He has been with the group since its inception, and is known for having a deep, rhythmic flow that can alternate between being gruff or smooth.

Early life[edit]

Hawkins was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York. However he moved to Staten Island as a youth. He was originally a beatboxer for Cappadonna, as well as being well known friends with future members Method Man, Inspectah Deck and childhood friend Raekwon. Sometime before the members united, U-God was mentored in rap by Cappadonna. He soon became friends with RZA and Ghostface Killah, and he began rhyming under the alias Golden Arms, based on the Kung-Fu movie Kid with the Golden Arm. Later on he changed his name to U-God (which is short for his Five-Percent Nation righteous name "Universal God Allah").[3][4]

Music career[edit]

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) / Wu-Tang Forever[edit]

U-God was convicted of criminal possession of controlled substance on April 17, 1992 and was paroled on January 1993.[2] His incarceration prevented him from featuring heavily on the group's debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), his input on the seminal LP consisting of only a short bridge on the groups debut single "Protect Ya Neck" as well as the now-famous opening verse of "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'". Nevertheless, after his release he quickly became known to fans for his rugged flow and bass-like voice on Wu tracks such as "Winter Warz", "Knuckleheadz", "Investigative Reports", and "Black Jesus". He was featured heavily on the groups second album Wu-Tang Forever, on which he was one of only four of the group to get a solo track - "Black Shampoo" (While the others being Inspectah Deck with "The City", RZA with "Sunshower" and Ol' Dirty Bastard with "Dog Shit"). Around this time his young son was accidentally shot and injured, an ordeal the rapper documented on the Wu-Tang Clan track A Better Tomorrow.

Golden Arms Redemption[edit]

U-God was the eighth member of the group to record a solo album, releasing Golden Arms Redemption in 1999 on Priority Records, which displayed a wide variety of sounds from gritty blaxploitation funk to urgent string sections, and featured guest appearances from several Wu-Tang members and affiliates. It had two singles in "Dat's Gangsta" and "Bizarre". The song "Rumble" was used as the main song for the video game Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style. Bizarre debuted #7 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles, but soon after Priority Records was on the verge of shutting down. Still, the album managed to go Gold in sales. Based on the initial success, U-God was able to open his own label, Suppa Nigga Productions. He released his second album Mr. Xcitement in 2005.

Dopium and The Keynote Speaker[edit]

In 2009 U-God released the album Dopium and had the lead single "Wu-Tang" featuring Method Man. The album featured guest appearances by Sheek Louch, Jim Jones, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, GZA, Cappadonna, Method Man, Killah Priest and Scotty Wotty with production by Bloody Beat Roots, Felix Cartel and Large Professor. In 2013 U-God announced a new album The Keynote Speaker with production by RZA who also served as the albums executive producer. The album was released on July 23, 2013 by RZA's Soul Temple Records with guest appearances from Styles P, Kool Keith, Method Man, RZA, GZA and Inspectah Deck.[5]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US US R&B US
Rap
Golden Arms Redemption 58 15
Mr. Xcitement 3 2 1
Dopium 93
The Keynote Speaker 58 40
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Collaborative albums[edit]

List of collaborative studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
US
R&B

US
Rap

U-Godzilla Presents the Hillside Scramblers
(with The Hillside Scramblers)
  • Released: March 16, 2004
  • Label: Synergy Music
  • Formats CD, digital download
"—" denotes a title that did not chart, or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
US R&B
US Rap
"Dat's Gangsta" 1999 Golden Arms Redemption
"Bizarre"
"Supa Nigga" 2002 N/A
"Wildstyle Superfreak"
"Bump" 2005 Mr. Xcitement
"You Don't Want To Dance"
"Takem Home" 2007 N/A
"Train Trussle"
(featuring Ghostface Killah and Scotty Wotty)
2009 Dopium
"Wu-Tang"
(featuring Method Man)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Knuckleheadz" 1995 Raekwon, Ghostface Killah Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...
"Killa Hill Niggaz" Cypress Hill, RZA Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom
"Investigative Reports" GZA, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah Liquid Swords
"Black Jesus" 1996 Ghostface Killah, Popa Wu, Raekwon Ironman
"Winter Warz" Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Masta Killa, Cappadonna
"If It's Allright With You" Cappadonna The Great White Hype
"Semi-Automatic Full Rap Metal Jacket" Streetlife High School High
"Intellectuals" 1997 Sunz of Man, 60 Second Assassin, Hell Razah, Raekwon The Last Shall Be First
"Supa Ninjaz" 1998 Cappadonna, Method Man The Pillage
"Element Of Surprise" La the Darkman, Masta Killa Heist of the Century
"Grand Prix" 1999 Inspectah Deck, Streetlife Uncontrolled Substance
"Longevity" Inspectah Deck
"Mr. Onsomeothershits" Methods of Mayhem Methods of Mayhem
"No Exit" Blondie, Inspectah Deck, Mobb Deep No Exit
"Cherchez La Ghost" 2000 Ghostface Killah, Madam Supreme Clientele
"Militant" 2001 Killarmy Fear, Love & War
"Always NY" 2003 Mathematics, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Buddah Bless, Icarus Da Don Love, Hell & Right
"Digi Warfare" 2004 Masta Killa, RZA No Said Date
"Rock Steady" Tony Touch, Method Man, Raekwon The Piece Maker 2
"Break That" 2005 Mathematics, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Masta Killa The Problem
"Spot Lite" Mathematics, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna
"Still Grimey" Sean Price, Prodigal Sunn, C-Rayz Walz Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture
"No More Tearz" 2006 Soular Winds The Quiet Americans
"9 Milli Bros." Ghostface Killah, Wu-Tang Clan Fishscale
"Handle That" Inspectah Deck, Hugh Hef The Resident Patient
"Iron God Chamber" Masta Killa, RZA, Method Man, Masta Killa Made in Brooklyn
"The Glide" Method Man, Raekwon, La the Darkman 4:21... The Day After
"Rec Room Therapy" 2007 Ghostface Killah, Raekwon The Big Doe Rehab
"Kill Too Hard" 2009 Inspectah Deck, Masta Ace Wu-Tang Chamber Music
"Sound The Horns" Inspectah Deck, Sadat X
"Cipher Born" Raekwon, Ghostface Killah Cuban Revoloution
"Ghetto" 2010 Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Cappadonna Apollo Kids
"Doin' Nothin" 2011 Blu York
"Never Feel This Pain" Inspectah Deck, Tre Williams Legendary Weapons
"225 Rounds" Cappadonna, RZA, Bronze Nazareth
"Rivers of Blood" 2012 Wu-Tang Clan, Kool G Rap The Man with the Iron Fists
"Six Directions of Boxing" Wu-Tang Clan
"Blood on the Cobblestones" 2013 Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck Twelve Reasons to Die
"Murder Spree" Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Killa Sin

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huey, Steve (May 20, 2008). "U-God > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved April 19, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Inmate Population Information Search". New York Department of Correctional Services (DIN: 92A3131). Retrieved April 19, 2010. 
  3. ^ “”. "Rise of a Fallen Soldier - The story of U-God (part1)". YouTube. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  4. ^ "PodOmatic | Best Free Podcasts". Conspiracyworldwide.podomatic.com. Retrieved 2010-08-19. 
  5. ^ "The Keynote Speaker | Soul Temple Music". Soultemplemusic.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  6. ^ Bush, John (1999-10-05). "Golden Arms Redemption - U-God : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  7. ^ "Mr. Xcitement - U-God : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. 2005-09-13. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  8. ^ Rinaldi, Matt (2009-06-23). "Dopium - U-God : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 
  9. ^ "The Keynote Speaker - U-God : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-07-11. 

External links[edit]