Onyx is a hardcore hip-hop group from Queens, New York City, formed in 1988. Onyx is one of the most important groups in the history of this genre, as they’re one of the first aggressive gangsta rap groups. They have released ten albums (nine solos, one collaborative) and they’ve sold millions of albums & singles copies. Beat-Town had the honor to chat with them about their new album “Onyx 4 Life”, their first steps in the game, Eminem, and many other interesting things!
Beat-Town: First of all, we want to say that it’s an honor for our website to have you featured here for an interview. Congratulations on your new album “Onyx 4 Life”! Are you happy with the final output of this project? What should your fans expect from this album?
Sticky Fingaz: Τhey should expect us to stick to our hip hop guns and deliver that gritty and grimey hardcore boom bap!
BT: After so many years in the industry, what pushes you in order to continue with new releases?
SF: Hip Hop is my way of life! Besides, nobody can do it like us!
BT: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
SF: We’ve already finished the “Onyx Worldwide” album, dropping this fall. So we coming outside! Cause this is AHHH YEAR (our year)!
BT: Over the last 13-14 months, the world is facing the whole COVID-19 situation. Many people have passed away, economies are ruined. This whole situation has also affected the music industry with tours and shows being canceled. You are one of the groups that are constantly touring all over the world. Besides being in the studio, how did/do you spend all this “unexpected” free time?
SF: Living, creating, helping, manifesting etc… As bad as it has been, we have to also look at the fact that we are survivors.
BT: How do you feel about the Hip-Hop game in general? Both mainstream and underground. It seems like the new generation of mainstream rappers (or trappers) doesn’t show respect towards their predecessors and the ones that have been in the game for years. We’ve witnessed, among others, young rappers dissing innovators in the game like LL Cool J, Lil Wayne, or T-Pain (about the autotune), although musically they’re embracing their style and you can tell that their style is inspired by the ones their dissing.
Fredro Starr: Hip hop is expanding into different types of hip hop, it’s growing more every day, but onyx remains the same.
BT: During the 90s it was the golden era of underground music. Groups like Onyx, Gangstarr, and DAS EFX made an impact on Hip-Hop. Can you give us a taste of the vibe that was in the air, when Onyx first burst onto the scene?
FS: Timberland boots, Polo, Phillie blunts, Pathfinders, Walker Wear, gold teeth, and Henny!
BT: During your first years in the game, was there any criticism, reaction, or censorship from the media, since you were one of the first aggressive hip hop groups around that time?
FS: There was a scene in Straight of Compton where a steamroller rolled over cassette tapes because of gangsta rap. Onyx “Bacdafucup” cassette tape was one of the tapes that got rolled over. So yeah!
BT: In his song “Godzilla”, Eminem stated that he is “a product of Slick Rick and Onyx”. He has also shown love for you in his track “Legacy” and he has worked with Sticky on “Remember Me?”. Is there any possibility to see you guys working with him again?
SF: You can’t forget about the song “What If I Was White” (laughs)! I absolutely would love to work with Eminem again. He’s one of our favorites too.
BT: All these years, you have worked with many rappers & producers, but is there someone you would like to work with and you haven’t managed to do it yet?
FS: DJ Premier!
BT: You’ve been in Greece a couple of times. You were supposed to be the headliners for “Off The Hook” festival in 2020, which was canceled due to the whole COVID-19 situation. Have you enjoyed your visits to Greece and the performances in Greece so far? Besides being in Greece for live performances, have you ever visited our country for vacations?
SF: We love performing in Greece! We actually spent some vacation time in Platanias, Crete too! It’s so dope out there, the beach life. Chris Peroulakis, a good friend of the family, showed us around out there.
BT: We would like to thank you again for doing this interview with us. Any last words for your fans in Greece?
FS: Shout out to our (Greek) Manager Perry Papadakos and Stathis at “Noiz Productions” for always taking good care of us when we’re in Athens – Also, Don’t be a malaka!
Find ONYX on social media:
Hosted By: Panagiotis Christoulakis & Hektor Apostolopoulos
Enjoy their latest album “Onyx 4 Life” below: