Screwball (group)

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OriginNew York City, New York, US
GenresHip hop
Years active1996–2004
Associated actsCormega
MembersBlaq Poet
Past membersKL (deceased)
Hostyle (deceased)

Screwball is an American underground hip hop quartet from New York City, composed of rappers Hostyle, KL, Blaq Poet and Solo. The group has released two studio albums, Y2K: The Album in 1999 and Loyalty in 2001, and a compilation album Screwed Up in 2004.

Their debut Tommy Boy Records-released album Y2K was a minor success, reaching number 50 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It featured contributions from Godfather Don, Big Noyd, Capone, Cormega, MC Shan, Mobb Deep, Nature, Pete Rock and Marley Marl among others, and yielded two charted singles: Mike Heron-produced "H-O-S-T-Y-L-E" and DJ Premier-produced "F.A.Y.B.A.N. (Fuck All You Bitch Ass Niggas)". Screwball's follow-up album, Landspeed Records-released Loyalty, gained more success than its preceder, peaking at number 185 on the US Billboard 200 and number 44 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It featured contributions from Ayatollah, Kool G Rap, N.O.R.E., Tragedy Khadafi, The Beatnuts, Cormega, Godfather Don and Nature among others. Its lead single, Lee Stone-produced "Torture" featured M.O.P., became the group's highest charted single with #78 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #2 on the Hot Rap Songs. All the group members, along with Noyd, R.A. the Rugged Man and their frequent collaborator Godfather Don, appeared on Hostyle's debut solo album One Eyed Maniac, released on June 29, 2004 via Hydra Entertainment. In July 2004, the group released a compilation of new and old material, Screwed Up, which was named after their debut single and is considered their final project to date. KL died in 2008 of an asthma attack and Hostyle died in 2020.[1]


The Poet[edit]

Wilbur Bass a.k.a. Poet was earlier heard in the diss song "Beat You Down" towards Boogie Down Productions from the Bridge Wars during 1987.[2] As a part of hip hop group PhD with Dante "DJ Hot Day" Franklin, he released the duo's only studio album "Without Warning" on August 31, 1991 through Tuff City Records. The album is not well known, but Poet's lyrical flow and content give the album its share of publicity. The album's only guest star was young Cormega on the track "Set It Off". After several singles by PhD, Poet and Hot Day parted ways in 1996 due to being unable to find another record label.

Blaq Poet's debut solo album Rewind: Deja Screw was released in 2006 by Traffic Entertainment Group and featured his own production skills along with contributions from DJ Premier, Alchemist, Easy Mo Bee, Teflon, with KL the only featured Screwball member. Same year he signed with DJ Premier's Year Round Records.[3] Poet and DJ Premier appeared on the song "The Victory" from KRS-One and Marley Marl's album Hip Hop Lives, which made an end to KRS and Poet's rivalry during the Bridge Wars. He also appeared on the NYG'z debut 2007 album Welcome 2 G-Dom that also released through Year Round Records. Poet's sophomore solo album Tha Blaqprint was dropped on June 30, 2009.


Fredrick Ivey a.k.a. Hostyle released his debut solo album One Eyed Maniac on Hydra Entertainment on June 29, 2004. He also appeared on DJ Muggs's 2000 Soul Assassins II, Infamous Mobb's 2002 Special Edition and Cormega's 2007 album Who Am I?. Hostyle’s sons Fred Jr and Jasuan Ivey continue to live on in their fathers legacy by making music as well.

He reportedly died in January 2020 under unknown reasons.


Kenneth Lewis a.k.a. KL, a cousin of Blaq Poet, also was a part of a duo called Kamakazee with fellow Screwball member Kyron "Solo" Jones and released a couple of hailed underground 12" singles in the late '90s and early 2000s, often produced by Marley Marl. In 2006 KL appeared on the Molemen album Killing Fields, on the song "Street Conflict", with Cormega, and fellow Screwball member Hostyle. KL died on March 28, 2008 of an asthma attack.[4] Upon his death, DJ Premier said:[5]

His hardcore delivery and raspy voice was well known in many circles...He is already up in ghetto heaven, so his music will live through all of us that love him.


Kyron Jones a.k.a. Solo appeared on Marley Marl's 2001 come-back album Re-Entry.



  1. ^ Fitzgerald, Trent (January 21, 2020). "Hostyle Has Passed Away, Says Rapper's Group Screwball". XXL. Retrieved October 3, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ Cordor, Cyril. "Biography: Blaq Poet". AllMusic. Retrieved October 3, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ "A Tribute To Ignorance (Remix)".
  4. ^ Diep, Eric (March 28, 2013). "Today in Hip-Hop: R.I.P. KL of Screwball - XXL". XXL. Retrieved October 3, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 April 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]