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|Also known as||Outlaw Immortalz;|
The Outlawz (formerly known as Tha Outlaw Immortalz) was an American hip hop group founded by rapper Tupac Shakur in late 1995 after Shakur's release from prison. Collectively, they were best known for their association with Shakur. Most of the group members are named after autocratic political figures, Makaveli (2Pac), Yaki Kadafi, Hussein Fatal, Mussolini (Big Syke), E.D.I Mean, Kastro, Napoleon, and Komani.
The original Outlaw Immortalz were Mopreme Shakur and Big Syke from Thug Life, Hussein Fatal, Napoleon, E.D.I. Mean, Kastro, Yaki Kadafi, and Storm, all recruited by 2Pac after he was released from prison and signed to Death Row Records. They performed on two of 2Pac's albums in 1996, All Eyez on Me and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory; three members, Hussein Fatal, Yaki Kadafi, and E.D.I. Mean, appeared on the 1996 2Pac song "Hit 'Em Up".
"Immortalz" was dropped from the name after 2Pac and Yaki Kadafi were both shot dead in 1996, and the group continued as "Outlawz".
There were ten original members of the Outlawz, including Makaveli:
- Makaveli (Tupac Shakur) was the leader of the group, named for the Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, whose writings inspired Shakur in prison. He was shot to death in September 1996.
- Yaki Kadafi (Yafeu Fula), 2Pac's godbrother, was named for Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. He was shot to death in November 1996.
- Kastro (Katari Cox), 2Pac's cousin, was named for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. He left the group in 2009.
- E.D.I. Mean (Malcolm Greenridge) was named for Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
- Hussein Fatal (Bruce Washington), childhood friend of Yaki Kadafi, was named for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. He left the group in 1996. He was killed by a drunk driver in 2015.
- Napoleon (Mutah Beale), childhood friend of Kadafi, was named for French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. He left the group in 2005.
- Moozaliny (Tyruss Himes), who was Big Syke in 2Pac's previous group Thug Life, was named for Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. He died of natural causes in 2016.
- Komani (Mopreme Shakur), 2Pac's stepbrother, was named for Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini.
- Storm (Donna Hunter) was not named for a violent leader but as a pun on her given name.
- Young Noble (Rufus Cooper III), the last official Outlaw member, was never given an alias.
- Nutt-So (Sean Cole, brother of Keyshia Cole)
- Nadia Cassini
- New Child (Wallace Lynch, joined in 1999)
- Young Ritzy’’’ (Ronald Moore, also known as Gonzoe a member of kausion died on July 30th 2021)
- Muszamil (Kamil Beale, brother of Napoleon)
- Stormey Coleman (Courtney Coleman, joined in 2003)
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 and were originally going to sign to Makaveli Records, but after his death, the leftover members of the Outlawz decided to do just that. As a result, Fatal left the group, claiming they were not 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 was looking for solo deals for Storm. And Young Noble as well. She left the group around late 1998.
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. 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 The Lost Songs Volume 1 & 2 in March 2010. Later the members went to release solo albums and collaborations with other artists.
In 2009, the Outlawz reunited with former member Hussein Fatal, who had left the group following the deaths of Makaveli and Kadafi.
The Outlawz sixth 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 longtime rival enemy Lil Cease of Junior Mafia. They both recorded a track called "Bury the Hatchet", on a DJ Kay Slay album. They also confirmed the longstanding rumor that they smoked Tupac's ashes.
In 2015, Hussein Fatal died in a car crash.
In 2016, Mussolini died at his home in California.
Between 2016 and 2017, the group released their final albums, Livin Legendz and LastOnezLeft.
- "Outlawz | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- "Yafeu Akiyele 'Yaki Kadafi' Fula was Tupac's Godbrother". Capital XTRA. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
- "Shakur shooting witness found dead in N.J. - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". Lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
- "Rapper Big Syke Dead at 48". BallerStatus.com. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
- Rao, Mallika (August 30, 2011). "The Outlawz Insist They Smoked Tupac". HuffPost.com. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- "Hussein Fatal, Member of Tupac-Led Group Outlawz, Dies at 38". Billboard.com. July 12, 2015. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- BITETTE, NICOLE. "Rapper Big Syke, longtime friend and collaborator of Tupac, found dead in California home". Nydailynews.com. Retrieved April 1, 2020.