Onyx (band)
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Onyx Band
Onyx (hip hop group).jpg
Background information
Origin South Jamaica, Queens, New York
1988 (1988)-present
Labels JMJ Records, Def Jam, Armee Records, Koch Records, D3 Entertainment, Iceman Music Group, Goon MuSick, Mad Money Movement, Major Independents
Jam Master Jay
Website onyxdomain.com
Members Fredro Starr
Sticky Fingaz
Sonny Seeza
Big DS (deceased)

Onyx is an American multi-platinum hardcore hip hop group from South Jamaica, Queens, New York City, founded in 1988 by Fredro Starr, Suavé (also known as Sonny Seeza) and the late Big DS. Sticky Fingaz joined the group in 1991.

Onyx released three gold and platinum studio albums. The group had reached success with their smash rowdy hit Slam off their 1993 Def Jam debut album, Bacdafucup, which is certified platinum by the RIAA in the same year and considered the best-selling rap album released in 1993. In 1994 the album was nominated as "Rap/Hip-Hop New Artist" on American Music Awards of 1994 and won "Best Rap Album" on 1994 Soul Train Music Awards. Their follow up, All We Got Iz Us, was critically acclaimed, recognized by Vibe as one of 1995's best-produced hip hop album. In 1998, the group dropped their last Def Jam album, Shut 'Em Down, with features from Wu-Tang Clan, DMX and 50 Cent.

Onyx is a groundbreaking hip-hop group, who first make a crowd slamdancing, stage diving, set a new trend to throw water at the crowd during a concert, started rapping the grimy voice and started the bald head fashion.[6]


Foundation and name

The group was formed in 1988 by Fredro Starr and his schoolmates Suavé (also known as Sonny Seeza) and the late Big DS. Big DS came up with the name for the group, he named it after the black stone Onyx.[7]

"...That's why I chose the name Onyx cause he is black, he is black and he is black and we valuable just like the black stone."

1988-1991: The Beginning

Onyx began to make the first demos in the basement of B-Wiz with drum machine beats from an SP-12.[8]

"...B-Wiz was my producer when I was fifteen and sixteen, even. When all the other kids was getting turntables, he had an SP-12 [sampler]. He was one of the first niggas in the hood with a beat machine."

In 1989, Onyx signed Jeffrey Harris as their manager, who helped them secure a contract with the label Profile Records. In 1990, at York Studio in Brooklyn, they recorded their first single, Ah, And We Do It Like This, which was released to low sales on April 25, 1990 on Profile.[9][10]

"...That very first record was produced by a producer named B-Wiz. B-Wiz was the first producer of that record. He produced "Ah, And We Do It Like This," and a lot of the original shit in like '89, '87, and '88 for Onyx."

1991: Jam Master Jay

In 1991, Fredro Starr, Big DS and Suave met Jam Master Jay in a traffic jam at The Jones Beach GreekFest Festival on July 13, 1991.[11] In an interview with Steve Lobel, Fredro Starr remembers:[12]

"...I met Jay at the "Freaknic" on Saturday in Queens on the beach. It was a traffic jam, and next car over was Jay's car. He was in a van, black van driven by his older brother Marvin. And they was "rolling up". I've seen smoke coming out a van, and it smells like weed. So I look, it was Jay smoking weed. I'm like "Yo! Jay, we can hit that with you?". And he like "Coming at a van!". And we were at a van with Jay, we smoke with Jam Master Jay at a van. Before I left I had to tell 'em: "I'm a rapper, man...". So he was like: "Yo'! Take my number ...". That was it!"

Jay give them about two months to get a demo, but Suave and Big DS were in jail for committing robbery.[13] They were replaced on the demo by Fredro Starr's cousin, Sticky Fingaz, who at that time was pursuing a solo career under the name Trop. Fredro and Sticky Fingaz recorded only one song, "Stik 'N' Muve", which Jam Master Jay liked enough to sign the group to his label, JMJ Records.[14][15] Onyx was signed to his label JMJ Records in 1991 for a single deal ("Nigga Bridges"), then for an EP deal followed by an album deal

1991: Chyskillz replaced B-Wiz

In 1991, despite the reproaches from Fredro, the Onyx's music producer, B-Wiz, sold his drum machine SP-12 and went to Baltimore to sell crack, and eventually he was killed in Baltimore. Thus, all Onyx records were lost.[16]

"...When I met Jam Master Jay, I told B-Wiz, who was doin' his thing, sellin' drugs, goin' to Baltimore. I said, "Yo, don't go down South, I just met Jam Master Jay." He went down south, he got murdered... When he got murdered, we lost that sound. When we lost that sound, that was the end."

That's when Kirk and Fredro come up with the new Onyx logo. The bloody letter X in the name Onyx is a tribute to the memory of B-Wiz. Madface is the face of Sticky Fingaz. At that time the group came up with a new image - the bald head fashion.[17]

"...When B-Wiz got killed, one day I just went into the barbershop and cut all my hair off. I wanted to start clean. Then Stick and them did it and we had an image going. I didn't plan it, but it was a cool style for us."

So the group needed a new music producer. Queens, New York City M.C. Neek The Exotic introduced DJ Chyskillz to the group Onyx in 1991. In Brian Coleman's book Check the Technique Fredro described how Onyx met their new producer:[18]

"...We met Chyskillz on Jamaica Avenue one day. We was buying weed at the weed spot and Chy was chasing my truck down the street, yelling, 'I got beats!' His stuff back then was jazzy, on some Tribe Called Quest shit, but it was hot. I knew he could put beats together right away. We brought him into our zone and made him do some grimy shit."

1993: Bacdafucup

In 1993, Onyx released their debut album entitled "Bacdafucup". The album was produced by Chyskillz, Jam Master Jay and Kool Tee. Bacdafucup is a groundbreaking hip-hop album, that brought to hip-hop slamdancing, stage diving, rapping the grimy voice and the bald head fashion.[19] The album features three the Billboard singles Throw Ya Gunz, Slam and Shifftee. Their breakout single, Slam, which received heavy airplay on both radio and television (MTV and BET), leading the song to reach #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Slam was certified Platinum by the RIAA on August 10, 1993. It proved to be a commercial success. The album marked the group's highest debut on the Billboard 200, peaking at #10. Bacdafucup was certified Platinum by the RIAA on October 25, 1993. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Albums.

Onyx also teamed up with Biohazard on the tune "Judgment Night", taken from the soundtrack album of the same name.

1993: U.S.G. (Unreleased album)

In August 1993, Onyx started working a new album tentatively called "U.S.G." (United States Ghettos), dismissing the name "Bacdafucup Part 2", to which they will return after 10 years.[20] This album never came out! One of the songs from this album - "Black Ghost Wit Gunz", the studio session of which can be seen on the DVD Onyx: 15 Years Of Videos, History And Violence

1994: Big DS went solo

Big DS left the group in 1994 to start a solo career. Big DS founded his own label Illyotic Music and started producing music. After recording a few demos, Big DS sent them to Jimmy Iovine, co-owner of Interscope Records, in the hope of signing a contract with his label for the release of the album.

1995: All We Got Iz Us

In 1994, Onyx started working on a new album All We Got Iz Us. Chyskillz was replaced by Agallah. Especially for this album Fredro Starr came up with a new nickname Never.[21][22] While the second album was much less successful commercially, it proved to be a critical success. In the August 2008 issue of VIBE, All We Got Iz Us was listed as the best produced rap album of 1995 and one of twenty albums every fan of hip-hop must own.

1995: Armee Records

In 1995 Onyx founded its own label Armee Records, distributed through MCA Records.[23] Contracts were signed with the artists: Gang Green, All City (Greg Valentine and J. Mega),[24] Panama P.I. and Choclatt (Jared Crawford).[25]

1995: Onyx: Fight!

o In April 1995, Marvel Music, a short-lived imprint of Marvel Comics, released a comic book "Onyx: Fight!", written by Karl Bollers (author), drawn by Larry Lee (illustrator), and based on an idea by Onyx - starts off in a post-apocalyptic wasteland known as New York City in "One thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine". The group is playing a show in the bombed-out remains of the New York Public Library when their girlfriends, a competing rap trio, are suddenly kidnapped and taken to a nearby desert. Onyx follow in hot pursuit, but just as they swoop to the rescue, alien No-Madz show up, sapping the world of its creative energies through haphazard remixes. So Onyx form an underground rebellion (called Bal Hedz, and located under 125th Street, to be exact), using the controlled anger of their music to eventually destroy the No-Madz. As they emerge out of the 125th Street subway stop, Onyx observe that "life just wuzn't all that. But yo, kid... it wuz a'ight". Great drama, this is not, but full of tanks, machine guns, lasers, and even a little romance.[26] Especially for this comic book, Onyx recorded a song "Fight" which was not officially released anywhere.

1998: Shut 'Em Down

Onyx returned in 1998 with their third album Shut 'Em Down, which featured appearances from Onyx's affiliate X-1, DMX, a then unknown 50 Cent, Still Livin from Gang Green, All City, Mr. Cheeks, Wu-Tang Clan, N.O.R.E., Big Pun and others. The album was produced by Keith Horne and Self, with help from DJ Scratch of EPMD, Bud'da and Latief. The album features three the Billboard singles The Worst, Shut 'Em Down and React. The album marked the group's highest debut on the Billboard 200, peaking at #10. The album was poorly received by the public despite moving over 500,000 units.[27] "Shut 'Em Down" is the last album, released by Onyx on the Def Jam. JMJ Records as well as Onyx was officially removed from Def Jam on "Black Thursday" - January 21, 1999 - because the label PolyGram, who in 1994 purchased 50% of Sony's Def Jam, was sold to Seagram on December 10, 1998.[28]

1998: Afficial Nastee (Unreleased album)

According to Fredro Starr's interview on Def Jam's "Survival Of The Illest", in the summer of 1998, Onyx was working on a collaboration album called Afficial Nastee with All City, Gang Green. The whole album was produced by Self Service, producer of Shut 'Em Down album

2002: Bacdafucup Part II

In 2001, Onyx made a deal with Koch Records to release one album Bacdafucup Part II and came back with the sequel to their very successful debut LP "Bacdafucup".[29] The album was produced by Davinci, DR Period, Havoc, Self, Ant Boogie, Co-Stars, Scott Storch. The album features appearances by American rappers X1, Still Livin', Versatile, Platinum Plus, Felisa Marisol. The album consisting of 12 new tracks and included a return to their biggest hit with "Slam Harder", DR Period track uses a clever sample of the theme song from the TV show "Welcome Back, Kotter" to introduce the song and provide melody throughout.[30] However, "Slam Harder" is censored on the album when the rest of the LP is explicit. The song "Feel Me" was recorded on the night of September 11, 2001 and dedicated to the events that happened that day in the USA.[31] Album had negative criticism from the fans of the group, and were recognized as commercial.[32]

2002: Death of Jam Master Jay

On October 30, 2002, at 7:30 pm,[33] an unknown person fatally shot Jason Mizell in a Merrick Boulevard recording studio in Jamaica, Queens. The other person in the room, 25-year-old Urieco Rincon, was shot in the ankle but survived.[34]

2003: Death of Big DS

On May 22, 2003 Big DS died in the hospital in Queens after receiving chemo as a result of lymphatic cancer at 31 years old.[35][36][37]

2003: Triggernometry

In 2003, Onyx returned with Triggernometry, an album consisting of 10 new tracks and 11 stories from the life of the group Onyx, told by the group members themselves in the gap between the songs. All the songs were produced by one producer Kronic Tones, who had already produced 7 tracks for Fredro Starr's second solo album "Don't Get Mad Get Money". The album features appearances by American rappers T Hussle, Genovese, Begetz, X1, Bad Luck, Dirty Getinz. Album picked at #66 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and was criticized by the fans of the group Onyx, who believe that such production is suitable only for nightclubs, but not for the streets.[38][39]

2003: 100 MAD

In 2003, Fredro Starr start a new movement 100 MAD. His younger brother Who$ane did a logo consisting of shot from Onyx's Throw Ya Gunz video. Sticky Fingaz came up with the term 100 MAD. It means the following: "No matter where in the world Onyx, there are always 100 crazy niggas with it".[40] For years, the number of rap artists of the 100 MAD movement has grown steadily, new people have appeared, among them Bishop Brigante, Merkules, Young Kazh. At this time, 100 MAD consist of Onyx, Snowgoons, Dope D.O.D., N.B.S., Larceny, MakemPay, SickFlo, Snak The Ripper and Jay Nice.

2007: Death of X1

After took part in the recording of Onyx's third album Shut 'Em Down and touring with Onyx, X1 focused on his solo career leaving the Onyx camp but still on good terms with all of the members, which he later on helped them with there solo projects. In 2000 X1 signed to the label of Mike Tyson - Tyson Records. A year after that the label didn't quite take off the way X1 expected, so he then went and signed a new deal with California record company Ball'r Records, which had a roster consisting of three acts: Krayzie Bone, The Relativez and X1. The label ended folded before X1 could release some. Then X1 signed to the label Dynasty Records (based out of Las Vegas, Nevada) where he is do to release his debut album "Young, Rich And Gangsta" in the summer of 2006.[41] X1 was found dead by his wife at his house in Las Vegas on July 4, 2007. Social media tells that he committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.[42] His girlfriend, fashion designer Angel Brinks, said that he committed suicide after Angel said something horrible to him:[43] "My son's father committed suicide when i was 9 months pregnant. I found him, and I couldn't really enjoy the birth of my son but mourn a loss of my husband at the time".[44] He was 28 years old.

2008: Onyx: 15 Years of Videos, History and Violence

Onyx released DVD entitled Onyx: 15 Years Of Videos, History And Violence via MVD Visual on June 10, 2008. The DVD contains every Onyx video digitally remastered with optional commentary, all solo videos, and over an hour of rare footage all the way back from 1992.

2008: Cold Case Files

Onyx released a 16-track collection of previously unreleased songs Cold Case Files through Iceman Music Group on August 19, 2008. The collection features underground singles, lost studio recordings from the group's first three albums, and appearances from Method Man, deceased Onyx affiliate X1, and Gangreen. According to the group, revisiting these sessions also served as a tribute to fallen soldiers Jam Master Jay, X1, Big DS, and all Onyx affiliates who have passed away in the last five years; some of which are still unsolved murders. Fredro's younger brother and frequent guest artist, Whosane, archived most of the unreleased tracks.[45][46][47]

2008: Onyx Live Overseas: Da Illest Show On Earth 2008

Onyx released on their website onyxdomain.com musical film "Onyx Live Overseas: Da Illest Show On Earth 2008" on November 25, 2008. The long awaited project was done entirely by Sticky Fingaz. The film takes you to every Onyx show of their first year back on tour. Russia, Belarus, Germany, Chile and many more live shows shot professionally, edited by Sticky Fingaz himself. Produced entirely by Sticky Fingaz, this marks the first feature-length film available exclusively in digital format. Sticky Fingaz brings Onyx fans on a visual tour, spanning several countries and cultures. Featuring live performances, backstage footage, and other scenes sure to hype up any hardcore hip-hop fan; this digital debut is not to be missed

2008: Sonny Seeza went solo

Sonny Seeza start a solo career in 2008, saying about other members "they went to Hollywood, they want to do what they do".[48] Sonny Seeza's debut album Tytanium was released on May 19, 2009.

2009: 100 Mad Niggaz Wit Gunz

In 2009, Onyx released a compilation 100 Mad Niggaz With Gunz, which featured appearances from artists of 100 MAD movement: Larceny, Rushya, DCAP, A.T.V. (DWI & MakemPay), Silkk Calone. This mixtape gave an opportunity to artists from the streets to express themselves, their music was heard overseas.

2010: 100 Mad. Part 2

The following year Onyx released the second compilation 100 Mad. Part 2. New artists were added to the camp: Pokaface (F. Nitty & Metaphorz), Rah Bigalow (A.T.V.), Myster DL, Chi King, Busy and Hollywood Money.

2010-2013: CUZO (Unreleased album)

After the duo of Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz postponed the release of the album Black Rock, they began working on recording a new album called CUZO. During this time the group released several singles from the forthcoming album: Black Hoodie Rap, Mad Energy, I'm So 90's, Classic Terror, If The Hood Was Mine, We On That, You Ain't Ready For Me, 2012, Belly Of The Beast. For each single was shot a video. On October 31, 2012 fresh from touring overseas, Onyx released the video on YouTube from their first single off of the new album CUZO entitled "Belly Of The Beast", the video was directed by Kevin KJ Johnson.[49] Onyx was going to release CUZO album on September 5, 2013, but the album is still unreleased.

2012: Cold Case Files Vol. 2

In August 2012, Onyx also released their second compilation album, titled Cold Case Files Vol. 2. The album is unique in that it is only available from OnyxDomain.com; as the purchase is digital, all proceeds go to the group.

2014: #WakeDaFucUp

In 2011, Fredro Starr connected backstage with DJ Illegal who performed with his group Snowgoons and M.O.P. at the club in Munich, Germany. At that time, Snowgoons working on a new album Snowgoons Dynasty and they asked Fredro to be on their album. So DJ Illegal sent Fredro a beat for the song "The Legacy", which immediately liked the member of Onyx and he asked Snowgoons to send him some more beats. After listening to some new music, Fredro offered producers: "Let's just do an album".[50][51] Onyx released their first album in over a decade, #WakeDaFucUp, through Goon MuSick on March 18, 2014. The album is entirely produced by Snowgoons. The album features guest appearances from Sean Price, Makem Pay, Papoose, Cormega, Dope D.O.D., Reks, Snak The Ripper and ASAP Ferg. To the disappointment of many fans of Onyx, the third member of the group, Sonny Seeza, does not appear on the album. #WakeDaFucUp was named by XXL as one of the best hip-hop albums of 2014 in "THE 25 BEST HIP-HOP ALBUMS OF 2014",[52] described by UndergroundHipHop.com as the best-selling CD album of 2014 in "Top 100 Hip Hop Albums For 2014 - CDs"[53] and recognized by Hip-Hop Chamber as the best album of 2014 in "Best Album of 2014", beating Wu-Tang Clan's album A Better Tomorrow.[54]


In 2014, X-Ray Records (a division of Cleopatra Records) released a compilation of Onyx's unreleased songs called #TURNDAFUCUP. The release include a modern trap style of production and up-tempo EDM beats mixed with their classic old school hard core hip hop sound. The collection mainly contains songs that were recorded for an unreleased album CUZO produced by Agallah, Audible Doctor and DJ Cutz. It features line-up of guest appearances by Busta Rhymes, Raekwon (of Wu Tang Clan), Myster DL, Ras Kass and Ill Bill. It also contains two bonus tracks: re-recordings of classic Onyx hits Slam and Last Dayz. HipHopDX gave the release three stars out of five.[55]

2015: Against All Authorities

In 2015, Sticky Fingaz and Fredro Starr came back with Against All Authorities, a statement about the current situation in the US of America. Onyx members use their lyrical weaponry to shoot back at the system. They recorded a 6 track EP protesting against racial injustice and police brutality. This is straight up dark and vintage hardcore hip hop focusing on the murders and brutality showcased by the police force on African-Americans, racial tensions have reached at high.[56] The whole album was produced by Canadian producer Scopic and features appearances by Sick Flo, Ras Kass, Jasia'n and Canadian rapper Merkules. Against All Authorities was described by UndergroundHipHop.com as the best-selling CD album of May,[57] named by HipHop4Real as the best EP of 2015 in "Best EP of 2015"[58] and recognized by Hip-Hop Chamber as the best album of 2015 in "Best Album of 2015", beating Dr. Dre's album Compton.[59]

2015: ICON

In 2015, Def Jam released a 11-track compilation of Onyx's classic songs called ICON. It contains the best songs from a group of three albums that were released on Def Jam.[60]

2015: Onyx vs. M.O.P.

Snowgoons launched via Kickstarter campaign a new project Onyx vs. M.O.P. on November 22nd. The release of a new collaboration album was estimated roughly to drop for spring 2016, via Goon MuSick and Major Independents. During the campaign, Fredro Starr and Billy Danze recorded on the video their calls to the fans of both groups. But the project did not get the necessary amount to record the album and eventually was canceled on December 18th, 2015. For this time Snowgoons have collected about $10,000 of $30,000 goal and 186 backers.[61]

2017: Shotgunz In Hell

In 2017, Onyx teamed up with Dutch hardcore hip hop group Dope D.O.D. to release a collaboration album Shotgunz In Hell. Onyx first met Dope D.O.D. at the "Urbano Festival" in France on June 29, 2012, where performed both groups. After the performance Dope D.O.D.'s Skits Vicious hooked up with Onyx's Fredro Starr and exchanged phone numbers. Fredro Starr remembers the day he first heard the group Dope D.O.D.:[62] In the same year, both groups recorded a joint track "Panic Room" for the second album of Dope D.O.D. "Da Roach" released on April 19, 2013. The second joint track was "WakeDaFucUp", which became the title track for the next Onyx's album "#WakeDaFucUp" released on March 18, 2014. Then both groups decided to release an EP, which turned into an album.[63] The album was produced by Dutch producers - Tjibz, Nightwatch, Peter Songolo (Jay Reaper's brother), Ezra, Bananaz, Chubeats and a Spanish producer Cookin' Soul. The album features appearances by Sick Flo, Snak The Ripper, Dope D.O.D.'s ex-member Dopey Rotten and DJ Nelson.

2018: Black Rock

In 2004, Onyx began work on a new album under the title Black Rock, but for some reasons the album's release was postponed for years. Onyx returned to the process of recording the album in 2006, the album was due out in late 2009. In the summer of the same year Onyx did a tour "Black Rock U.S.A. Tour Summer 2009" consist of the cities of Unites States. But the album's release was postponed because of Damon Dash's project "Blakroc". The album was finally released on February 16, 2018 by X-Ray Records. The whole album was produced by 18-year-old Slovenian producer Emiljo Albert Cassagrande. The album features appearances by American rappers Optimus (also known as Jordy Towers), Skyzoo, R.A. The Rugged Man, Sick Flo, Snak The Ripper and DJ Nelson. Black Rock was met with generally positive reviews from music critics.


Onyx is a groundbreaking hip-hop group, who first make a crowd slamdancing, stage diving, set a new trend to throw water at the crowd during a concert, started rapping the grimy voice and started the bald head fashion.[64]

"...We left too many marks in Hip-Hop. We're the first, not even the first, the only rap group to make a crowd slam dance, stage dive, throw water. We started the grimy voice, we started the bald head fashion..." - Sticky Fingaz


With the release of the video for the song "Slam", Onyx introduced slamdancing into hip-hop, which previously could be seen in the crowd only at rock concerts. There was even a certain tradition: during the performance of the song "Slam" at Onyx's concert the crowd must slam into each other.

Stage diving

Onyx is the first hip-hop group, who started stage diving. During the performance of the song "Slam" at the concerts Sticky Fingaz usually jumps from the stage to the crowd

Throw water at the crowd

Onyx is the first hip-hop group, who started to spray water from the stage. At the very beginning of the show, during the performance at the concerts of the song "Bacdafucup", the members of the Onyx went on stage with bottles of water and sprayed water on the people who came to the show.[65]

"...We destroyed a lot of things on stage during our shows: speakers, microphones, everything.The sound engineers covered the speakers with a plastic film called Saran Wrap, because they knew that we would scatter water everywhere, every show was pandemonium, and many bands did not wanted to go on stage after us, they complained about it, I would not want to go after us either!"

The grimy voice

Onyx introduced the grimy voice into hip-hop. In August 1991, when Fredro and Sticky Fingaz recorded on a studio their first song, "Stik 'N' Muve", to present it to Jam Master Jay, they changed their style to the grimy style. And this song Jam Master Jay liked enough to sign the group to his label, JMJ Records.

Bald head fashion

Onyx is the first hip-hop group, who started the bald head fashion. When their first producer B-Wiz was killed, Onyx lost all of their records, which he produced. At that time the group came up with a new image - the bald head fashion.[66]

"...When B-Wiz got killed, one day I just went into the barbershop and cut all my hair off. I wanted to start clean. Then Stick and them did it and we had an image going. I didn't plan it, but it was a cool style for us."


Onyx the Story, a Brendan Kyle Cochrane-directed documentary, has yet to be released. Documentary details the rise and emergence of a pioneering hip hop group that came out of an era where their voices represented the frustration and rage of changing times. The documentary will explore the roots in South Jamaica, Queens, the players, the drug trade, the beginning, the group foundation, growth, influence of culture at that time, artists on the rise, the landscape, the neighborhood, people, basement street performances, street, getting recognition, the first deal, influence of music at the time, crime, bold appeal, decepticons, friends and family affected by life. How it changed them and culture, cameo interviews from the pioneers from the era.[67]

Slam: Let the Boyz B Boyz, a documentary, promised to show early days of the group, has yet to be released.


  • Sonny Seeza (born Tyrone Taylor, 1970) - He is the oldest member of the group as well as the most experienced, having begun rapping in 1982, with Killah Priest at the age of 11 as a member of Taylor's older brother's hip-hop group "Cold Crash Scenes". Tyrone was known as a DJ at the battles in Ajax Park (Jamaica, New York) where he first met Fredro Starr in 1985. His debut solo album Tytanium was more a double mix-tape with old and new songs. It wasn't what it set out to be. Due to company discrepancies and them dropping the ball, he pulled out.[68] He worked on his second album Bridges from 2011 and finally released it in 2016. Seeza distanced himself from Onyx in 2008, saying "they went to Hollywood, they want to do what they do".[69]
  • Big DS (born Marlon Fletcher, 1971-2003) - The most invisible member of the group. Big DS came up with the name for the group and left this group in 1994 to start a solo career.[70] Big DS founded his own label Illyotic Music and started producing music. On May 22, 2003 Big DS died in the hospital in Queens after receiving chemo as a result of lymphatic cancer at 31 years old.[71][72][73]


Video games

Clothing line

In 1991, Sonny Seeza designed one of very first Onyx logo. In 1992, April Walker was a stylist for Onyx and developed a clothing design for the group. April Walker made a denim jackets on the Onyx's members on the cover of the album Bacdafucup. Also April Walker made jeans, denim jackets and hooded sweatshirts with a white Onyx logo on the Onyx's members at concerts in the USA and Europe around 1992 - 1993


50 Cent

The beef between Onyx and 50 Cent started on Def Jam's "Survival Of The Illest" concert at the legendary world-famous Apollo Theater. The concert was held on July 18, 1998. During performing the song "React" rapper Scarred 4 Life (also known as Clay Da Raider) performed 50 Cent's verse. In an 2008 interview for AllHipHop Fredro made a comment about 50 Cent:[75]

"...50 is a smart businessman and at the end of the day we gave him respect. We put him on records when we was at the top of the game. He didn't even have a car. We gave him respect on the strength of Jam Master Jay. What did we get in return? Someone talking slick on mixtapes? Swinging on n****s? So now I feel like it's a problem."

Damon Dash

In 2009, Onyx was going to release an album Black Rock but the album's release was postponed because of Damon Dash, one of the three founders of Roc-A-Fella Records, who together with Ohio-based rock duo "The Black Keys" with the participation of New York City-based rappers like Mos Def, Billy Danze, Q-Tip and RZA released an album called "Blakroc" in late 2009 (a collaboration of rap and rock), thus destroying the plans of Onyx. Despite all the threats from Onyx, the Damon Dash's project "BlakRoc" came out on November 24, 2009. Soon after this Onyx released a video "The Real Black Rock", in which Sticky Fingaz dissing Damon Dash, basing on a telephone conversation with Jay-Z.



Compilation albums

  • Cold Case Files (2008)
  • 100 Mad Niggaz With Gunz [Hosted By DJ Omega Red] (2009)
  • 100 Mad. Part 2 [Hosted by DJ Motion] (2010)
  • Cold Case Files Vol. 2 (2012)
  • #TURNDAFUCUP (2014)
  • ICON (2015)
  • Cold Case Files Vol. 3 (TBA)
  • 100 Mad. Part 3 (TBA)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Nominated work Category Result
1994 American Music Awards of 1994 "Bacdafucup" Rap/Hip-Hop New Artist Nominated
1994 1994 Soul Train Music Awards "Bacdafucup" Best Rap Album Won


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