a Epitaph Records: Lateef & The Chief Are Maroons
Lateef & The Chief Are Maroons

Lateef the Truth Speaker Lyricist 

Chief Xcel Mixmaster 


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Lateef & The Chief Are Maroons

In these days of trouble, Lateef & The Chief's Maroons : Ambush, offers soul power against soul-crushing powers, hard music for hard times.

The Maroons are Lateef the Truth Speaker, one-half of the critically acclaimed Latyrx, and Chief Xcel, Blackalicious' musical mastermind. After years of working together in the studio and on the road, Ambush is the first fruit of their extended collaboration. From the opening title track through the last track, "365," they turn battle rhymes into statements of peace, and celebrate survival, solidarity, and the sistas. For them, "Don't stop" is both a command and an affirmation.

They took their name from the renegade 18th century African societies that erupted in the slave colonies of the New World from Brazil to Jamaica to Surinam to Florida. "The Maroons are still inspiring," Xcel says. "They were Africans who refused to be enslaved. To us as black men trying to be responsible and accountable, they represent freedom and independence."

Lateef adds, "That's been our whole approach to music and the industry and to ourselves---to create without being watered down by what society or popular culture dictates, to be to able to speak our minds from a place of our own integrity."

The two met in 1992 in the basement studios of KDVS-FM at the University of California at Davis, and immediately bonded over hip-hop records. Xcel came from Sacramento, born to parents who had been involved in the black power movement. Lateef was raised in East Oakland, where his father was security detail for the Black Panthers and his mother was a Panther medic and a roommate and political associate of Angela Davis.

Linking with the Gift of Gab, Lyrics Born, and DJ Shadow, Lateef and the Chief form...

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