Hip hop legends Rodney O and DJ Joe Cooley will reunite to release their first studio album in twelve years. Titled “˜Joe and Me,’ the upcoming album’s first single “That Supa Radio” began receiving coveted airplay in Los Angeles on 103.3 KKBT immediately after its release. The Compton, California based duo first hit the Billboard charts in 1989 with “This Is For The Homies,” and then four years later landed on the Billboard charts again, securely becoming part of the collective consciousness of a West Coast hip hop generation, with solid hip hop tracks and memorable songs like their radio hits “Humps For The Blvd” and the iconic “U Don’t Hear Me Tho.'”
“Humps” remained on the Billboard charts for over three months. The duo released successive albums until 1999, and then they released a two-set volume of greatest hits in 2000.
The group first struck gold when their label secured a distribution deal through Macola Records, the historic pressing plant that issued discs including NWA’s seminal “˜NWA And The Posse,’ the late Eazy-E’s “Dopeman,” Dr. Dre’s Wrecking Crew and Ice-T’s first single “Six In The Morning,” arguably the first “gangsta rap” track to be released on the West Coast. In their initial formation as a group, which then included Egyptian Lover and General Jeff, Rodney and Joe Cooley exploded onto the scene with the release of their groundbreaking single “Everlasting Bass,” which would become hugely influential in Miami bass music.
Rodney and Joe were seen during the 90’s performing on late night television, on shows like “˜The Arsenio Hall Show,’ and at countless concerts. Rodney recalls, “We did shows with NWA, Mariah Carey, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, Ice-T, Roger and Larry, you know, Zapp, En Vogue, New Kids On The Block, E-40, DJ Quik, Jermaine Dupree, Westside Connection and Digital Underground. There were more. We did so many shows back then, I couldn’t keep up with who all we played with. There aren’t a lot of people we didn’t play with.” He notes, “We did a lot of summer jams and radio station gigs, and shows with more cats from New York, too, like Grandmaster Flash, Kool Moe Dee and MC Lyte.”
He remembers, “Tupac used to come to our shows with his manager Leila Steinberg when we played up North. That sort of thing really meant al lot to us, to get love for our music from our peers, ones that we really respected.”
Rodney and Joe decided to call it quits, predicting the business model would change further, and because of the fact it was increasingly being taken over by large corporate conglomerates. Now, twelve years after a long vacation (or lost weekend) from working in the music business together, Rodney and Joe started doing shows together again last fall, including one at AEG’s L.A. Nokia Theatre with Ice Cube, the Dogg Pound and DJ Quik. “We got a big response, and realized this was what we needed to do again,” said Rodney. Being back on stage and seeing the fans’ ecstatic reaction to their return there, DJ Joe Cooley’s head spun, as much his turntables did.
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