King T Recalls Tha Alkaholiks' Formation, Reveals He's Working On Likwit Crew Album
Exclusive: King T recalls how he and DJ Pooh took a page from Ice Cube's Lench Mob in starting Tha Alkaholiks. He also says he's up for the challenge to make the proper Likwit Crew album a reality.
In the early 1990s, Compton, California emcee King T (t/k/a King Tee) was working on his third album, Tha Triflin' Album with longtime musical partner, DJ Pooh. Pooh, who would later write the script to Friday with this partner, had been working with Ice Cube at the time, on the emcee's third solo LP, Predator. The Boyz N' Da Hood supporting star gave T and Pooh an idea: to form a group.
King T Says That Tha Alkaholiks' Creation Was Inspired By Da Lench Mob
"All the ideas came from messin' with Ice Cube," revealed T. "Ice Cube and I never did a lot of music together, but he's been there in the beginning of my career, helpin' and things like that. That's how [DJ] Pooh was able to go on and produce on his albums. We saw how he created a brand in Da Lench Mob," T observed that the quartet of J-Dee, Shortie, T-Bone and Maulkie had found commercial and critical success on their 1992 debut, Guerrillas In The Mist, a Top 25 release for Priority Records. "So me and Pooh wanted to create somethin', a crew. We had a party crew and all that; we wasn't really with the goin' out, beatin' up muthafuckas. We partied. We liked fuckin' with girls and all that type of shit," explained the emcee who made hits out of "Act A Fool" and "Played Like A Piano." Looking at his daily activities, T pointed out "What do we do? We get drunk, fucked up. So we came up with Tha Alkaholiks," he explains with a hearty laugh. "It was either gonna be The Daily Chronics or Tha Alkaholiks."
Two of the three would-be Alkaholiks were already near to King Tipsy. "J-Ro was with me from the beginning; he was like my hype-man. He and I went on tour and did shows," he recalled. "So J-Ro brought E-Swift in, and E-Swift became my deejay, after [DJ] Aladdin [stopped]. [Laughs] 'Cause Aladdin went on to do Low Profile with WC." E-Swift had already secured a co-production credit on King T's 1990 sophomore album, At Your Own Risk on the aptly-titled, "E Get Swift." T continued,
"E-Swift came in, and then they brought Catastrophe [n/k/a Tash] in, from Ohio. We was all just a big crew. They actually started working on a demo together under the name of E.S.P., Everyday Street Poets. They were trying to do a deal with A&M [Records]." With the branding, the group changed their name and began recording."
"We booked a studio, went in, got fucked up, and started recordin' shit. We recorded 'Make Room' and 'Likwit' and Steve Rifkind heard it." According to King T, another affiliate paid it forward for the would-be famous trio. "Broadway, who was the crew called Mad Kap, he took 'em to Loud [Records]. Steve heard 'em and signed 'em right up, around the same time he signed Wu-Tang [Clan], RZA and all that. It was lovely. It's been on ever since." Between the 1993 debut, 21 & Over that resulted from those early sessions and 2006's Firewater, the Alkaholiks released five group albums, two of which broke the Top 50 on the overall charts. The group is presently recording an EP with Queens, New York duo The Beatnuts, as LikNuts.
King T Discusses The Likwit Crew, Confirms An Album In The Works
Going back to the '90s though, DX also asked King T about the third generation of the story, The Likwit Crew. "It just seems like every young emcee that saw Tha Alkaholiks wanted to be down with [them]. So E-Swift just said, 'Fuck it. Likwit Crew.'" The loose-knit collective would go on to include Xzibit, Defari, Phil Da Agony and a young Madlib, courtesy of his group, Lootpack. Stylzik Jones, Declaime, Montage One and even J. Wells are also included in the roster at times, along with others. King T recalls the affiliation of the Likwit's Crew's most famous addition. "Xzibit was the cat that was runnin' around, young, just rippin' everybody on the mic. [Sway & King Tech's] Wake Up Show, every lil' battle—he was tearin' their heads off. He wanted to be down with the Likwit. E-Swift put Xzibit down; it's been a team ever since."
"I'm actually workin' on it right now," King T reluctantly explained with a chuckle. "I'm tryin' to work the [logistics]. I hate to speak on it [too much], but because when you talk about shit, it never happens." T also knows that there are a lot of moving parts to seeing this 20-plus year story through. "Yeah, I see it," he continues. "If you talk to Xzibit, he'll probably say it's doubtful, but I see it happening. We're gonna pull it together. We just gotta get the right machine behind us and make it happen."
In late 2012, King T released his second career mixtape, Still Triflin'.