Outlawz

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Outlawz
Outlawz original members.jpg
The group in 1996, on the set of the music video for Hit 'Em Up. Standing: Napoleon, E.D.I. Mean, and Hussein Fatal. Kastro, Makaveli The Don and Yaki Kadafi.
Background information
Also known as Outlaw Immortalz, Tha Outlawz,
Genres Hip hop, G-Funk, gangsta rap
Years active 1993–Preaent
Labels Outlaw, Death Row, Ca$hville, Amaru, Real Talk, Koch, Rap-a-Lot
Associated acts Kane & Abel, Yukmouth, Bone Brothers, Scarface, Chilly Chill, Crucial Conflict, Dead Prez, Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, C-Bo, Krayzie Bone, Smif N' Wessun, Boot Camp Click, Layzie Bone, LBC Crew, DJ Quik, Tech N9ne, Young Buck, 2Pac, Bun B, Prince Ital Joe, Alx Beatz Original, Benzino, Killa Tay, DJ King Assassin, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Ja Rule
Past members E.D.I Mean 1993-2017 Young Noble 1996-2017 2Pac 1993-1996 (deceased)
Yaki Kadafi 1993-1996 (deceased)
Hussein Fatal 1995-1996-2009-2015 (deceased)
Moozaliny 1995-1996 (deceased)
Kastro 1993-2009
Napoleon 1993-2003
Komani 1995-1996
Storm 1995-1997
Nutt-so 1995-1996
New Child 1996
Muszamil 1996
Stormey Coleman 2003-2009

Outlawz (formerly known as Outlaw Immortalz and Dramacydal) was an American hip hop group founded by Tupac Shakur in late 1995 after Shakur's release from prison.[1] Collectively, they were best known for their association with Shakur.[1]

History[edit]

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", on 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), and Big Malcolm (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 stepbrother, 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. Together they formed the original lineup of the Outlaw Immortalz that debuted on 2Pac's multi-platinum smash hit album All Eyez on Me. They later dropped the title of "Immortalz" after the untimely deaths of 2Pac and Yaki Kadafi. Subsequently, some of the members of Thug Life, not joined by the others, moved on as the "Outlawz".

When Tupac Shakur recorded "Hit 'Em Up", a diss song beamed towards his former friend and rival The Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, and Lil' Kim, he recruited three members from the group he had previously worked with, eager to work with them again. Together with 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, that carried 2Pac's new stage name, Makaveli. It was on this Makaveli album that Outlawz, appearing on a few songs, first came to the greater rap community's notice.

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.

Original members[edit]

There were 10 original members of the Outlawz, including Makaveli:

  • Makaveli (Tupac Shakur) was the leader of the group; he gave himself the name of Makaveli after the Italian political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, whose writings inspired Shakur in prison. Shakur was fatally injured in a drive-by shooting on September 7, 1996 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • 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.[2] He was shot and killed by Napoleon's cousin in what is believed to have been an accident on November 10, 1996, 2 months after the death of Tupac Shakur.[3]
  • 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. Mean (later changed to 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 2Pac and Yaki.[citation needed] He felt that the remaining group members were going against Tupac's wishes by signing contracts with Death Row.[citation needed] He more recently rejoined the Outlawz, which then comprised him, Young Noble and Edi before being killed in a car accident on July 10, 2015.[citation needed]
  • 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.[citation needed]
  • Moozaliny (Tyruss Himes), also known as Big Syke who was in 2Pac's previous group Thug Life, joined the Outlawz and Makaveli gave him the name Moozaliny after Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. He died December 5, 2016.[4]
  • 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, she met Tupac during the shooting of a film.[citation needed] 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. She was introduced on the multiplatinum selling album All Eyez on Me.
  • Young Noble (Rufus Cooper III), the last official Outlaw member picked up by Tupac himself. He was introduced to Tupac by Kadafi and Hussein Fatal in Los Angeles, a few months before his death.[citation needed] He appeared in many of 2Pac's last recordings, and featured heavily on 2Pac's last album and The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. He was always known as Young Noble and was never given an alias from Tupac.

Other Members[edit]

Later years[edit]

Shortly after joining the group, Mopreme and Big Syke severed all ties with Death Row and left the Outlawz for financial and personal reasons.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] As a result, Fatal left the group, claiming they weren't being loyal to 2Pac.[citation needed] Napoleon left the group due to his conversion to Islam and is now traveling all around the globe to spread the teachings of Islam.[citation needed] While managing and working on her solo project, Tupac signed Storm to Death Row Records.[citation needed] She left the group shortly after the death of Tupac.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] Despite stylistic differences and divergent fanbases, the two crews maintained connections on the basis of personal relationships.[citation needed] Members of the Outlawz were featured on Boot Camp releases like Heltah Skeltah's "Magnum Force" and Rock's "Veterans' Day."[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] Storm was also edited out of some of the original recordings for unknown reasons.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] In 2009, Kastro had confirmed he had left the Outlawz to pursue a solo career.[citation needed] He reunited with the group on Outlaw Culture Radio in October 2010.[citation needed] Later the members went to release solo albums and collaborations with other artists.[citation needed]

In 2009, the Outlawz reunited with former member Hussein Fatal, who had left the group following the deaths of Tupac and Yaki Kadafi.[citation needed]

The Outlawz sixth studio album Perfect Timing was released on September 13, 2011 on 1Nation Entertainment.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed]

In 2011, some of the remaining members of The Outlawz made peace with longtime rival enemy Lil Cease of Junior Mafia.[citation needed] They both recorded a track called "Bury the Hatchet", on a DJ Kay Slay album.[citation needed]

In 2014, Outlawz released a single named Karma featuring Snoop Dogg on June 5, 2014.[citation needed]

In 2015, Hussein Fatal died in a car crash.[5]

In 2016, Moozaliny died at his home in California.[6]

Between 2016 and 2017, the group released their final albums, Livin Legendz and LastOnezLeft.

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Outlawz | Biography & History | AllMusic
  2. ^ "Yafeu Akiyele 'Yaki Kadafi' Fula was Tupac's Godbrother". Capital XTRA. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  3. ^ "Shakur shooting witness found dead in N.J. - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper". lasvegassun.com. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  4. ^ "Rapper Big Syke Dead at 48". BallerStatus.com. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  5. ^ Hussein Fatal, Member of Tupac-Led Group Outlawz, Dies at 38 | Billboard
  6. ^ [1]

External links[edit]