Das EFX

Das EFX's wildly playful, rapid-fire stuttering -- dense with rhymes and nonsense words -- was one of the most distinctive and influential lyrical styles in early-'90s hip-hop. While the duo completely rewrote the MC rule book, they themselves were increasingly pegged as a one-dimensional novelty the longer their career progressed, despite watching elements of their style creep into countless rappers' bags of tricks. Krazy Drazyz (born Andre Weston; Teaneck, NJ) and Skoob (born Willie Hines) were both raised in Brooklyn, but didn't begin performing together until they met at Virginia State University in 1988. Removed from an active music scene, the two were free to develop their most idiosyncratic tendencies; they started making up gibberish words (anything ending in "-iggity" was a favorite) that added loads of extra syllables to their lines, and wove plenty of pop-cultural references into the tongue-twisting lyrical gymnastics that resulted. Das EFX caught their big break when they performed at a talent show judged by EPMD; though they didn't win, EPMD was impressed enough to offer them a deal, and the duo became part of the Def Squad crew of protégés.