Saturday, May 23, 2020

Luniz "I Got 5 On It" (Promo, 1995)


The Luniz are a hip-hop duo from Oakland, California, consisting of Yukmouth and Numskull. An article in Rap Pages (12/97) described the Luniz, saying: "Part of the secret to the Luniz' success can be attributed to the duo's uncanny ability to make most topics instantly appealing and engaging with effortless rhythmic interplay and revealing lyrics... What usually comes out of the Luniz' mouths are effortless verbal tirades of rhyme, life and game, mixed with clever undertones that are either comedic or serious depending on the content and tone of the track." Their bio offered a brief history on the group: Yukmouth and Numskull first hooked up "back in the day" (around '87) while attending Oakland's West Lake Jr. High School together where, as Yukmouth says, "We had a whole crew of n!ggas with us doin' shows". This crew of six, prophetically called B.W.P. (Brothers With Potential) recalls Numsjull, "did shows whenever and wherever we could. We even did lunchtime shows at schools everyday." While the other members of this group fell off, the two Luniz stuck it out as both rappers and buddies.... "We wasn't even tripping off rap, trying to come large or nuthin'. We always was rappin' though. And then the shit just got serious!" That was around the end of '92 when Yukmouth just got out of a year in juvenile hall. During his stay, he kept in constant touch with Numskull through letters, exchanging rhymes he'd written and suggestions of names for their future group. Note that even while incarcerated, Yukmouth was putting on shows. "I had a group in there too!", he laughs good-heartedly. Numskull also spent a couple of months in jail around that same period, during that time he smiles, "I wrote hella rhymes". This lighthearted reflection on such serious periods of one's life merely displays the Luniz' collective inner strength and craziness. It was shortly after this period in late '92 that the Luniz (then known as Luni Tunz) hooked up with Dru Down on tracks such as "Ice Cream Man," a sinister ghetto tale of a coke dealer told in a surreal fairytale-like manner. This soon led to the two landing a deal with Noo Trybe/Virgin, and the rest as they say is rap history." Their debut album Operation Stankola was released in July, 1995, and featured the smash hit "I Got 5 On It." The original song and a suspenseful orchestrated remix version play a crucial role in Jordan Peele's 2019 horror film Us, which garnered renewed attention for this classic cut. "I Got 5 On It" samples Club Nouveau's "Why You Treat Me So Bad" (1987), Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie" (1973) and Audio Two's classic "Top Billin'" (1987). Reminisce below...


The original promo for the Summer '95 Motto "I Got 5 On It" and press bio...