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|Origin||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|Genres||East Coast hip hop, hardcore hip hop|
|Labels||East West Records/Atlantic Records|
|Associated acts||Solid Scheme, EPMD, DJ Premier, Hit Squad|
Das EFX is an American hip hop duo. It consists of emcees Dray (also known as Krazy Drayz, born Andre Weston, September 9, 1970) and Skoob (also known as Books, born William "Willie" Hines, November 27, 1970). They named themselves "DAS" standing for "Dray and Skoob" and "EFX" meaning "effects". They rose to popularity in the early 1990s due to the duo's stream of consciousness lyrical delivery, which became one of the most influential lyrical styles in hip hop music at the time; as well as their affiliation with EPMD's Hit Squad. Their style combined intricate rhymes, sometimes mixed with made up words (especially ending with "-iggedy"), delivered with a fast-paced flow and numerous pop culture and hip hop culture references.
Skoob hails from Brooklyn, New York City while Dray hails from Teaneck, New Jersey, but the two met at Virginia State University in 1988 and began performing together. Das EFX caught the attention of EPMD at a local talent show where, despite losing the competition, they did well enough to convince EPMD to sign them to a recording contract. The duo gained critical and commercial fame with the release of their landmark debut album Dead Serious, which highlighted their unusual rapping style (which they nicknamed "sewage").
Dead Serious went platinum and its lead single, "They Want EFX," (which contains samples from James Brown's "Blind Man Can See It" and Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals") reached the top ten on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart, the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. Follow-up singles "Mic Checka" and "Straight Out the Sewer" did not chart on the Hot 100, but reached #1 and #3 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart, respectively.
The duo also made a guest appearance on the remix of Ice Cube's smash hit single "Check Yo Self". The song reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Rap Tracks chart. The track peaked at #36 on the UK Singles Chart in August 1993 and sold over one million copies in the U.S.
As their career progressed, Das EFX's once-distinctive and unique lyrical delivery was imitated by several other artists and became more commonplace. Derailed by the popularity of their own style, the duo slowed down their fast-paced flow, eliminated the iggedy suffix and downplayed their cartoonish content on their second album, Straight Up Sewaside.
Around the time of their third album Hold It Down (which was far less commercially successful than their debut release), Das EFX found themselves caught in the middle of EPMD's ugly breakup. They ended up siding with PMD (Parrish Smith), and it led to a three-year absence from recording. They returned in 1998 with the album Generation EFX and followed up in 2003 with the album How We Do; both were panned by critics.
After a hiatus, the group went on an international tour with DJ Rondevu in 2006. In 2007, the duo appeared on the remix of Nas' "Where are They Now" and continued to tour the globe on a regular basis. They toured again in 2010, and are working on a new album. Das EFX continues to record and perform today to a much smaller yet devoted cult following.
From the time of their debut in 1992 to 1993, several elements of their style were adopted by other hip-hop artists, including Lords of the Underground, Fu-Schnickens, Kris Kross, Common and even, to a lesser extent, Public Enemy. The 1996 BLACKstreet song "No Diggity", with "diggity" meaning "doubt", bears a title phonetically identical to the track "No Diggedy" on DAS EFX's 1995 release Hold It Down. This also became a popular catchphrase at the time. Jay-Z's early style is described by Vibe as "a distinctly Das EFX-type, stiggety style" on his 12" single "Can't Get With That" although Jay-Z actually predated Das EFX with this style on the song "The Originator" alongside old school rap legend The Jaz AKA Jaz-O in 1990. Some hip-hop pundits maintain that Das EFX exploited the tongue twisting style as a gimmick and that they are erroneously credited with originating a style that was established years before their debut.
Their refrain of "Chiggedy-check yo self before you wriggedy-wreck yo self" from their feature on Ice Cube's hit single "Check Yo Self" became a catchphrase in 1993. The song appeared in the videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, playing on the radio station Radio Los Santos.
Comedian Dave Chappelle has made numerous references to DAS EFX's unique style and lyrics in sketches of his popular Chappelle's Show. In one sketch, a teenage Chappelle tells his girlfriend "I riggity-realize that I liggity-love you." In another, Chappelle as President Bush announced that a country named "Riggity-Row" will join the Coalition of the willing. In yet another sketch, Chappelle as a news presenter announces the opening lyrics of "They Want EFX" as a special report.
- Dead Serious (1992)
- Straight Up Sewaside (1993)
- Hold It Down (1995)
- Generation EFX (1998)
- How We Do (2003)
- Old School Throwback (2015)