Dilated Peoples
Neighborhood Watch
This Way
Rakaa (Iriscience) made his way onto the hip-hop scene in 1984 via graffiti art. Involved in poetry since childhood and music since birth, he knew the combination of the two was both natural and powerful. Also involved in hip-hop through graffiti, Evidence took his expression to the next level, channeling his energy into MCing and perfecting the art of production. After freestyling at open mic sessions at The Hip Hop Shop in L.A., Rakaa and Evidence decided to record a song together. The natural progression was to form a group and the balance of the two represents the voice of Dilated Peoples.

The backbone of hip-hop is the DJ. In this case the DJ is Babu. A member of the World Famous Beat Junkies, Babu entered the fold in 1997. Bringing his own brand of turntablism to the Dilated platform, Babu's style incorporated memorable soundbytes in choruses and displayed a wide array of scratching techniques. Now that the two MCs had a world class DJ, Dilated evolved into a group not unlike those that had heavily influenced each member. "All of us were inspired by EPMD and Run DMC, two groups with two MCs and a DJ," Babu says, "so we try to keep that same ethic."

With the starting line-up complete, Dilated Peoples hooked up with Bay Area-legend Beni B's independent ABB label and released a string of vinyl-only underground hit singles. The maxi-single "Work the Angles", which included "The Main Event" and "Triple Optics," sounded the alarm that put the world on alert. Addressing everything from wack MC's to apathy, the 12" rocked the underground scene. "Work the Angles" was selected as the top single of 1998 by Hip-Hop Connection (the UK's premier hip-hop magazines), #2 single on Sway and Tech's syndicated Wake Up Show's 1998 countdown, and #3 by Blast Magazine (Japan) in their yearly chart.

The Dilated Peoples May 2000 release The Platform brought them global critical acclaim and marked a rebirth in the West Coast underground. As a live act, Dilated has established a solid reputation touring with such acts as Rage Against The Machine, Gangstarr, Talib Kweli & Hi-Tek, Jurassic 5 and many others. October of 2001 birth the trio's sophomore release entitled Expansion Team. Enlisting the help of a couple of East and Left coast heavy hitters, including the beat maestro himself DJ Premier, Dilated recruited Da Beatminerz to blaze "Trade Money" and on the Juju (of Beatnuts fame)-produced "Self Defense". Guest vocalists include Black Thought of the Roots on the Babu-produced "Hard Hitters" and Tha Liks on "Heavy Rotation" produced by Evidence.

Having already stomped their footprints into hip-hop's official underground scene leading LA's hip-hop renaissance, Evidence, Rakaa (Iriscience), and Babu are about to take it to the next level and establish a new platform for themselves. After nearly 10 years of recording and touring, Dilated Peoples is set to strike once again with their third release on Capitol Records, Neighborhood Watch, due in stores in early 2004. For more info, log on to their website, www.dilatedpeoples.com
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