Chief Rocka by Lords Of The Underground is one of those hip hop songs that just sounds good. What I mean to say is that Hip Hop often has a sound that is only enjoyable to hip hop fans. That’s cool because that’s who it’s aimed at but it’s always fun when a song sticks to a hip hop format but also has enough traditional musical qualities to appeal to a hip hop layman.
Lords Of The underground hailed from Newark, New Jersey and consisted of three members, MCs, Mr. Funke ( the one with the higher pitched voice) and DoItAll (Do it all) Dupre’ along with the group’s DJ Lord Jazz. The crew was sometimes joined in the studio by hip hop legend, DJ and producer Marly Marl and DJ K-Def. This was the case with Chief Rocka where the two added K-Def’s scratching and Marly’s mixing skills to the single.
The Lords released the song on June 3rd 1993 for Elektra Record’s subsidiary Pendulum Records.
Chief Rocka was the third single off of their debut album: Here Comes The Lords. The song peaked at 55 on the Billboard charts and made it to the top of the Billboard Hot Rap Singles list in July of ’93.
The song features samples of Twine Time by Alvin Cash and The Crawlers as well as Spinning Wheel by Blood Sweat And Tears and Drum Pan Sound by Reggie Stepper, an earlier favorite sample song The Champ by The Mohawks also appears again on this tune. If you remember from the other day it was sampled by the song in my last Retro Rap feature, Lord Finesse: The Return Of The Funky Man. It must be an unconscious favorite of mine.
The Lords dropped 4 albums overall but never again released a single as popular as Chief Rocka. I know that every band has to have a high point but it’s too bad that The Lords weren’t able to replicate their earlier success because they had a radio friendly sound and with a little nudge might have made a greater splash on the charts.
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