'Between the end of 1993 through 1995, an incredible number of important and influential hip-hop albums were first released—records that expanded what the genre could be and set its course for years to come. With his new column Rolling on Dubs, Jeff Weiss revisits one of these albums each month, around their 20th anniversary, and retraces the past through a contemporary vantage point. This first edition covers Oakland quartet Souls of Mischief's indelible debut.' - Pitchfork
|Souls Of Mischief|
In 1995, Souls of Mischief members A-Plus, Opio, Phesto and Tajai joined forces with the other members of the Hieroglyphics crew including Del, Domino, Pep Love, and Casual to create a new independent label- Hieroglyphics Imperium- to publish and market the collective's, and individual members', releases.
OCWeekly published an article "Souls of Mischief Remain DIY" including interviews, group history, and talks about their upcoming album with Adrian Younge.
Hip-hop, just like other genres, hasn't really boasted many groups that have stayed together for decades. Attitudes and personalities flare and clash. Sophomore slumps come about and albums flop. Reunion tours showcase an act that's limp and uninspired. However, 38 year-old Tajai Massey (who goes simply by Tajai) and the Souls of Mischief crew appear to be a glaring exception.Continue Reading
"Recently Souls Of Mischief played the Rifflandia Festival in Victoria and even though two members were notably missing (Opio & A-Plus), they still held it down for their fans and kept the legacy of ’93′ Till Infinity’ alive and well." - Spliff Breaks
Here's a video of Tajai and Phesto Dee performing '93 'Til Infinity' at Rifflandia this weekend, although they were short two members, they got the entire crowd amped up! Shoutout to PudsBrand, Lotus Eaters Films, and INEO Studios for providing the video.
There was something strangely prophetic to Souls Of Mischief’s debut LP 93 ’til Infinity, and few groups in hip hop have shown the kind of longevity that the Cali group have demonstrated. Inspired at college by rap heroes like Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash, Tajai and A-Plus met Phesto, rolling with the OG posse Rhythm & Excellence before Opio joined, before Dante Ross at Jive suggested a name change.
It was as Souls Of Mischief that they settled into their true identity, delivering their stand-out debut in 1993. Like many acts that taste success with their first record, the Souls went on to establish their own independent collective as part of Hieroglyphics, with fellow like-minded emcees Del Tha Funky Homosapien, Pep Love, Casual, JayBiz and producer Domino. This strength of community gave everyone control over their musical output, and meant that the Souls could concentrate on what they’ve always excelled at: capturing the nuances and drama of everyday life in smart turns of phrase, and being the closest thing to an underground super group that the west coast had.
They continue to press on to this day, not just representing the 90s underground, but inspiring a whole new generation of rugged Cali afro-futurists like Odd Future, Co$$, and Black Hippy.
There's only a few more dates left on Souls of Mischief's 20th year anniversary Still Infinity Tour! Tonight they are in Flagstaff, AZ at the Green Room before hitting Phoenix tomorrow night at Club Red! They will be joined by A-1 for these dates, and the following shows in Solana Beach & Los Angeles, CA.
Souls of Mischief have been doing this for 20 years. Check out this Yo! MTV Raps live performance from 1993: