Urban Thermo Dynamics, Mos Def’s first hip hop group (1994/1995)

After posting a short rant on our Facebook page about the resurrection of Payday Records, things took a turn for the better. By way of a new—well, old—find. The Billboard article I shared included a mention of UTD: Urban Thermo Dynamics, a short-lived hip hop group Mos Def formed together with his brother DCQ and sister Ces. To this day, I’ve been unaware of the group’s existence (shame on me), so I figured to share it in case UTD also slipped under your rap radar.

Only active in 1994 & 1995, Urban Thermo Dynamics released two 12″ records via Payday Records: their debut “My Kung Fu” and “Hardcore Nights/Luv It & Live It” a year later, followed by their full-length album Manifest Destiny with an unofficial release some time in the mid to late 90s, but officially re-released in 2004 via Illson Media.

And that’s it for UTD. Years later Mos Def made waves on Rawkus, linked up with Talib kweli and formed Black Star, released the classic Black On Both Sides—and the rest is history.

Listen to Manifest Destiny in full below, preceded by their only video as well as one of my favorite tracks, “Victory”. See it as a gentle reminder, if you already own or know this gem:

Full Album: Urban Thermo Dynamics – Manifest Destiny

 

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