Out of all internal issues with hiphop elite groups of the 90s, this (to me)… is the BIGGEST reunion that Brooklyn Hiphop Festival has made happen in 2012. For all of you who remember, Busta Rhymes was a skinny kid in Leaders Of The New School when he first got started; then he turned into one of Hype Williams’s muse in the video era. Now, today… you recognize him from being on Aftermath/Interscope, then Universal, and now on Young Money.
But, in order for ‘July 14th’ to have happened with Busta, Dinco D, & Charlie Brown.. everything from the day before up to 1993 had to happen when LONS disbanded live on Yo! MTV Raps. You see, from my perspective (as a fan of theirs since their inception), I’ve watched this all unfold from living room couch. It’s crazy to see them doing well, and then you hear Kurt Loder on MTV giving the news on issues, beefs, and whatnot on groups that arent doing so well collectively (such as LONS). But to take 19 years to get it together for one night at the festival happens to be one of the greatest moments in hiphop history today…
Let’s take a trip down memory lane….
I’ll try my best to give you the quickest rundown from what I remember, and not from what’s been posted on the internet. LONS all met in high school; Charlie met Busta through battling and Dinco (well, he lived ‘around the corner’). Mind you, this was around the late 80s. LONS got their name from Public Enemy’s Chuck D, who they were working for as a promoter handing out party flyers for a crew Chuck was a part of (at the time) called Spectrum City. Eventually he would link them up with Doctor Dre & Flava Flav at a studio and get opportunities to go to various music seminars. When LONS decided to showcase their talent to Chuck D, they noticed how impressed Chuck D was with them and it set them off to take on to make A Future Without A Past, which was primarily about the basic ills of being a student in high school. That album took them to new heights, being respected for their ‘light-hearted content’ and their rhyme-style deliveries…
Popularity has grown for this group as they started doing features on TV like MTV, BET, Arsenio Hall show, In Living Color, and many other media outlets. They eventually became a part of the Native Tongues crew and in 1991, they linked up with ATCQ to do the infamous Scenario, which ended up becoming a huge sensation in the realm of music. Although the track did both groups justice, the hiphop world has focused on one person at hand: Busta Rhymes. Since then, the world has no longer focused on LONS as a group, but more on Busta as an individual. In 1993, LONS released T.I.M.E (The Inner Mind’s Eye), and that ended up being their last album that they put together as a group; but they linked back together one last time for Keep It Movin’, which was produced by Jay Dee (of The Ummah) for Busta’s debut album, The Coming.
Amidst all of this that was happening, there was turmoil within the group that eventually spilled on air. He was getting accused of stealing the spotlight from the rest of the group, as well as Busta was getting more notoriety as he ventured off to do joints with ATCQ on Midnight Marauders & The Love Movement, Mary J Blige on What’s The 411?, and many others which, in a sense, fueled the fire of the other Leaders’ complaints. Much of these internal issues with the group turned personal among Charlie & Busta (shit-talking), which led the entire group not speaking for over 19 years….
…up until July 14th at Brooklyn Hiphop Festival. But let me remind you, Charlie & Dinco D have linked up on a number of occasions for various music like for example, at the Native Tongues Reunion party at SOB’s (peep video).
Busta said ‘we will see them again’. I hope so, because knowing that it took them 19 years to make it to this point, they can’t possibly go back to where they came from. They grown now, and I’m glad they have put all that bullshit behind them.
*hopes for a LONS reunion album*