At 16th April of 1989, Tone-Lōc went to the No.1 on the US album chart with his debut studio album, "Lōc-ed After Dark".
Born and raised in the hope-destroying pit known as Los Angeles, Anthony Smith managed to survive the streets by adopting the gang lifestyle that many poor black kids are driven to by their meagre prospects. Called "Antonio Loco" by his friends, Smith spent his youth as a member of the Crips, one of the more notorious gangs thriving in LA at the time. In the late 1980s he made an unexpected break into the music industry as a rapper, shortening his name to Tone-Lōc and specializing in party-themed songs that deliberately avoided wallowing in the negativity of his gang background.
For his debut album, the rapper enlisted the production skills of the Dust Brothers and the writing skills of an unknown named Young MC (who would earn his own big break the following year with the Grammy-winning track 'Bust A Move'); two of the Young-penned tracks 'Wild Thing' and 'Funky Cold Medina' went on to become popular singles, with Wild Thing earning Tone-Loc the distinction of being the second rap performer to reach the top of the mainstream charts (the first having been the Beastie Boys and their 1986 album 'Licensed to Ill').
It may seem commonplace today for new rap albums from Lil Wayne, Nelly and Ludacris to hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 (sometimes their first week out) but when Tone Loc released "Lōc-ed After Dark" in 1989 it was far from it. Loc smashed through the barriers between pop culture and hip-hop to a far greater degree than anybody other than Run-D.M.C., Fresh Prince and the Sugarhill Gang had done.
This album is actually filled with good tracks, achieving success outside of its two main hits. 'On Fire', 'Loc'ed After Dark', 'I Got It Goin' On', and 'Next Episode' all share a similar sound, but each of them is a track you wouldn't want to skip over. 'Cheeba-Cheeba' is a lot of fun to listen to, and the fact that it can be seen as glorifying the smoking of a certain type of plant is not important as long as you don't take the song too seriously. The album closes strongly with 'The Homies.' While it is a strange track quite unlike anything preceding it on the album, you can't help but laugh and enjoy it.
Basically, 'Lōc-ed After Dark' qualifies as mainstream rap music, and the immense popularity Tone-Loc enjoyed in 1988 and 1989 did have a profound effect on the rap and pop music industry, preparing the way for more serious rappers to reach a wider audience in the years following this album's release. If you were a youth during the 1980s, you almost surely have fond memories of 'Wild Thing' and 'Funky Cold Medina'. A great album to own for any fan of late 80's rap.
At 20th April of 1996, English R&B singer Mark Morrison had his first UK No.1 single when 'Return Of The Mack' started a two-week run at the top of the charts. A No.2 hit in the US, the beat was sampled from Tom Tom Club's 'Genius of Love.'
Mark Morrison was the most successful British R&B singer of the mid-90s. His breakthrough single, "Return of the Mack" became a Top Ten hit worldwide in 1996, and opened the US market for him the following year. Although he became a commercial success overnight, his career was plagued by run-ins with the law that prevented him from consolidating his position as a superstar.
Mark Morrison says of this song in '1000 UK #1 Hits' by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, "When I wrote that song, it was all about my moving from the negative to the positive. And that's how it turned out. Within the space of a year, I went from the lowest point of my life to return as The Mack and move forward to what's become the highest point of my life." When this song topped the British chart, Morrison became the first black male solo artist to reach #1 in the UK in the '90s.
Although his career was going well, Morrison was constantly in trouble with the law. In 1997 he was imprisoned, the same year (coincidently) he received four Brit nominations, a Mercury Music Prize nomination, an MTV Europe award nomination and 5 MOBO nominations (including winning best R&B), as "Return of the Mack" began to climb its way to number two on the American Billboard charts receiving platinum status en-route. It stayed on the Billboard charts for an incredible 25 weeks.
- Louisiana Technical College- SowelaInformation Technology, 2003 - 2005
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