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.