“Hip-Hop was never a company or corporation…it’s something that we should preserve, we started that…”
–Dres (interview with Ballerstatus.net, 3/25/05)
New York City-bred Black Sheep hail from the Native Tongues crew, which included such acts as the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. Their first album, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, featured hot singles which charted on Billboard’s Album, Rap and Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts in 1992 including “The Choice is Yours” (#1, Rap; #9, Top 200 Singles) and “Strobelight Honey” (#1, Hot Dance Music/Club Play).
Almost fifteen years to the date of Black Sheep’s first release, Dres released 8WM/NOVAKANE, October 24, 2006 on Bumrush Records/The Orchard, signifying his official return to the Hip-Hop masses. Exclusively released digitally by The Orchard, 8WM/NOVAKANE features the production of BeanOne, Vitamin D, Showbiz, Wendell Haynes and Dinky Bingham, dabbles into Dres’ infamous lyrical past but boasts his intellectual present and future.
Known for innovative videos and thought-provoking lyrics, Black Sheep’s return to the hip-hop game isn’t to prove anything to anyone currently on the charts. Rather, Dres hopes the return will provide the hip-hop masses with options, not just ideas. Having an influential member of hip-hop revisiting the scene, the new school of hip-hop poses a few concrete walls, but the evolution of independent music overpowering the masses gives hope to provide the alternative option for the true hip-hop connoisseur.
“For this album we decided to work with up-and-coming producers, as well as a few veterans, to give our album something different while still staying true to our original style,” says Dres. Through many studio sessions, mixers and meetings with past and present members of the industry, although the album may seem overdue to some, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Black Sheep promises to give people something to talk about, playing to a few generations of fans…while still flossing Polo’s and Nike’s.
Since 2000, Black Sheep have appeared on tours with artists such as De La Soul, Alicia Keys, the Roots, Matisyahu and the Handsome Boy Modeling School. Dres also appeared on the Handsome Boy Modeling School sophomore album White People, with the song “First…and then.” In 2005, Black Sheep joined the MTV2 Sucker-Free Tour, and performed with Doug E. Fresh during the 2006 Essence Music Festival.