NJ rap vets Lords of the Underground celebrate 25th anniversary of debut album
Published October 23, 2018 | Manny Faces
Veteran New Jersey hip-hop group Lords of the Underground is celebrating the 25 year anniversary of its debut album, Here Come The Lords. The group consists of two MCs, Dupré “DoItAll” Kelly and Al-Terik “Mr. Funke” Wardrick, both from Newark, and Anthony “DJ Lord Jazz” Colston, a Cleveland native.
L.O.T.U.G. kicked off the celebration of this musical milestone during the 13th annual Lincoln Park Music Festival in July, 2018, and is currently wrapping up a European tour in support of the album’s anniversary.
Released in early 1993, Here Come The Lords was the first of four studio albums the group created, and spawned several charting songs, including a number one hit, “Chief Rocka,” a high energy, jazz-influenced, punchy single, which has since become part of classic 90s hip-hop canon.
Their previous single, “Funky Child,” peaked at number two on the rap charts with its signature wailing horn and stabbing drum beat. The combination proved LOTUG no one-hit wonder, and solidified the trio as top-tier participants in a time frequently heralded as a golden era of rap.
To commemorate the anniversary, Lords of the Underground held a special performance at Symphony Hall during this year’s Lincoln Park Music Festival, where the City of Newark honored the group’s accomplishments with official proclamations.
“To honor one of Newark’s own on our stage,” stated Anthony Smith, Executive Director of Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District, “who has given so much hope to our youth and instilled so much pride the City of Newark for more than twenty-five years, is what Lincoln Park Music Festival is all about.”
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Wardrick, who now lives in Paris, France, thanked Smith, as well as Mayor Ras Baraka, adding, “To be honored by the city I was raised in, for what we do, is all anyone could ever ask for.”
Colston, who lives between Paris and Florida, also appreciated the moment. “It was an honor and definitely a blessing to come back to Newark, New Jersey, the city that adopted me from Cleveland, Ohio.”
Kelly, who continues to maintain a presence in Newark through his 211 Community Impact nonprofit organization, echoed the sentiments. “Growing up in Newark, New Jersey, one of my dreams was to become successful as a Hip Hop star,” said Kelly, who recently ran for councilman-at-large in his hometown. “That was achieved with the success of our group Lords Of The Underground and our debut album entitled Here Come The Lords. Twenty-five years later it was a honor to be celebrated by Lincoln Park Music Festival, the fans and the City of Newark.”