U-God: Wikis

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U-God

U-God performing in Atlanta
Background information
Birth name Lamont Jody Hawkins
Born October 11, 1972 (1972-10-11) (age 37)
Origin Staten Island, New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Years active 1990–present
Labels Priority Records
Free Agency Recordings
Associated acts Wu-Tang Clan
Hillside Scramblers

Lamont Jody Hawkins (born October 11, 1972), better known as U-God, is an American rapper and member of the hip hop collective, Wu-Tang Clan. He has been with the group since its inception, and is known for having a deep, hypnotisingly rhythmic flow that can alternate between being gruff, or smooth. He is perhaps the group's lowest-pitched member.

Contents

Biography

Hawkins was born in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York. However he moved to Staten Island as a youth. He was originally a beatboxer for Clan associate Cappadonna, as well as being well known friends with future members Method Man, Inspectah Deck, and Raekwon. Sometime before the members united, U-God was mentored in rap by Cappadonna. He soon became friends with RZA and Ghostface, and he began rhyming under the alias Golden Arms, based on the Kung-Fu movie The Kid with the Golden Arm. Later on he changed his name to U-God.[1] U-God has also stated that he has paranoid schizophrenia.[2]

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)/Wu-Tang Forever

Being jailed for narcotics possession prevented him from featuring heavily on the group's debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), his input on the seminal LP consisting of only a short bridge on the group's debut single "Protect Ya Neck" as well as the now-famous opening verse of "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'". Nevertheless, after his release he quickly became known to fans for his rugged flow and bass-like voice on Wu tracks such as "Winter Warz", "Knuckleheadz", "Investigative Reports", and "Black Jesus". He was featured heavily on the group's second album Wu-Tang Forever on which he was one of only three of the group to get a solo track - "Black Shampoo" (While the others being Inspectah Deck with "The City", and Ol' Dirty Bastard with "Dog Shit"). Around this time his young son was accidentally shot and injured, an ordeal the rapper documented on the Wu-Tang Clan track A Better Tomorrow.

Golden Arms Redemption

U-God was the eighth (out of nine at the time) member of the group to record a solo album, releasing Golden Arms Redemption in 1999 on Priorty Records, which displayed a wide variety of sounds from gritty blaxploitation funk to urgent string sections, and featured guest appearances from several Wu-Tang members and affiliates. It had two singles in "Dat's Gangsta" and "Bizarre".[3] The song "Rumble" was used as the main song for the video game Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style. Bizarre debuted #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, but soon after Priority Records was on the verge of shutting down. Still, the album managed to go Gold in sales. Based on the initial success, U-God was able to open his own label, Suppa Nigga Productions.

Hillside Scramblers

Nevertheless in 2002 he released an EP titled "Super Nigga". In addition, U-God formed a clan affiliate group called the Hillside Scramblers that featured his team of Inf Black, Desert Eagle, Letha Fase, Black Ice, Kawz, and King Just. Their debut album, U-GODZILLA presents the Hillside Scramblers, was released in 2004 when he temporarily left the Wu-Tang Clan on Synergy Music. Shortly before the album was released, U-God released a DVD entitled Rise Of A Fallen Soldier. In the DVD, U-God talked about what life was like growing up, how he became an MC, with a behind the scenes outlook on the clan, and his opinions on the current situation of the rap game. The DVD also included a sampler of U-GODZILLA presents the Hillside Scramblers.

Later career

U-God signed on to Free Agency Recordings, and released his second solo album, titled Mr. Xcitement on September 13, 2005. It featured two singles: "Bump" and "You Don't Want To Dance". It featured guest appearances from Leatha Fase as well as Boo Kapone, Squeak Ru, MC Eiht, and Ebony Burke. The album sold 5,000 units and he had sample clearance problems.[4] Overall it was considered a poor album, and not nearly as good as his debut. He appeared with all the clan members during the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors, as well as on tour for the release of their latest album, 8 Diagrams. U-God then worked on an album titled with BabyGrande recordings, Dopium. A critically acclaimed mixtape titled "Bring Back God" was released online in November 2008, as a preview to Dopium.

Discography

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Solo Albums

Year Title Chart positions[5][6] RIAA
certifications[7]
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B U.S. Rap
1999 Golden Arms Redemption
  • Released: October 5, 1999
  • Label: Priority Records
58 15 Gold
2005 Mr. Xcitement
  • Released: September 13, 2005
  • Label: Free Agency Recordings
- - -
2009 Dopium
  • Released: June 23, 2009 [8]
  • Label: Babygrande Records
- 93 -

The Hillside Scramblers

Year Title Chart positions[5][6] RIAA
certifications[7]
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B U.S. Rap
2004 U-Godzilla Presents the Hillside Scramblers
  • Released: March 16, 2004
  • Label: Synergy Music

Singles and EPs

  • 1999 "Dat's Gangsta"
  • 1999 "Bizarre"
  • 2002 "Supa Nigga EP"
  • 2003 "Vendetta"
  • 2005 "Bump"
  • 2005 "You Don't Want To Dance"
  • 2007 "Takem Home"

Appearances

References

External links


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