Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
Influenced by rap, rock, and new wave, 2 Skinnee J's are an energetic, silly, and sometimes stingingly satirical group who have suffered as many problems with record companies as they have lineup changes. The band formed at the beginning of 1991 with dual MCs Special J and Rabbi J-Slim handling the vocals, Joey Viturbo playing guitar, Sammy B playing the bass, DJ Casper on the keyboards, and Andy Action behind the drums. The cassette demo 6 Songs for 5 Bucks was released that same year, but Eddie B would be gone by the summer of 1992 and replaced by Eddie Eyeball. Four saxophonists would be added to the band that year, beefing up a lineup that would hit the stage in colorful costumes for an energetic, theatrical live show. A second cassette demo, American Heroes, appeared with the spelling "Too Skinnee J's" in 1994 just as Joey Viturbo and Rabbi J-Slim were making their exit. Stevie Spice would join on trombone and keyboards soon after. During 1995, Sammy B. would be back in the group under his new name, King Vitamin, and on the guitar; the entire sax section would leave along with DJ Casper; new vocalist J Jonah Jameson would spend a couple months with the group before being replaced by J Guevara; and DJ Ariel would join on turntables. No wonder their 1995 full-length debut would be titled Return of the New & Improved.
Before Sing, Earthboy, Sing! arrived in 1997 with the "Too" spelling switched to "2," DJ Ariel would leave and guitarist A. Mays would replace King Vitamin, who would go on to form the Mooney Suzuki using his much more conventional name Sammy James, Jr. Released by Capricorn in 1998, Super Mercado would become the band's major-label debut. Their loyal fan base grew as a tour with Sugar Ray and Everlast took the band across America. A. Mays would be gone by the end of the tour and replaced by future Rhones man Capital R, but it was only a month before he was replaced by Lance Rockworthy. Drummer Andy Action was replaced by Mikey B before promos of their next album, Volumizer, were sent out by Capricorn in late 2000. Capricorn then collapsed, leaving the band without a label until the Jive subsidiary Volcano rescued the album and released it in 2002. Unhappy with Jive and their lack of commitment to the group, the band switched to the indie Dolphins vs Unicorn for their 2003 release Sexy Karate. They soon announced they were taking an extended break and dubbed their 2003 tour a "farewell tour." In 2005 they resurfaced, playing the East Coast on their 5 Nights of Fury Reunion Tour.
2 Skinnee J's is the name of a musical band characterized as nerdcore hip hop. The band was founded in 1991 by Special J (vocals), Rabbi J-Slim (vocals), Joey Viturbo (guitar), Sammy B (bass guitar), DJ Casper (keyboards), and Andy Action (drums). With numerous line-up changes, the band was active through the 1990s until 2003, when they officially disbanded. The group recorded several demos, 2 EPs, and 3 studio albums; SuperMercado! on Capricorn Records, Volumizer on Volcano Records, and Sexy Karate on Dolphins vs. Unicorns. The band went through several key membership changes before its breaking up in 2003, although they briefly reunited for reunion tours in 2005, 2008, 2010 and 2012.
2 Skinnee J's formed in 1991 at Columbia University in New York City. The original line-up was Special J and Rabbi J-Slim (vocals), Joey Viturbo (guitar), Sammy B (bass), DJ Casper (keyboards), and Andy Action (drums). Their first independent release was on cassette, titled 6 Songs for 5 Bucks. They attracted a fan following through heavy touring in their early years. A second cassette release entitled American Heroes, was released in 1994 with the band titled "Too Skinnee J's". Several personnel changes saw original rapper J-Slim, bass player Sammy B and guitarist Joey Viturbo part with the band; whilst J Guevara and Stevie Spice were recruited. King Vitamin (aka original bassist, Sammy B) rejoined in 1995, now playing guitar.
They started to break through into the mainstream in 1998 after signing with Capricorn and releasing SuperMercado!, which found airplay on modern-rock radio stations. 2 Skinnee J's performed at Woodstock '99 and later criticized the event. Relations soured with Capricorn and the label delayed release of the second album on 2 Skinnee J's two-album contract, Volumizer, produced by Mickey Petralia, for two years after it was recorded. The label folded and the band's contract was bought by Volcano Records. When the album was officially released in 2002, many critics refused to review it again as they had reviewed a pre-release version years earlier. Rockworthy says the delay and its fallout, which left the band without a label, were a major problem and contributed to their decision to break up in 2003. Sexy Karate was released on indie label Dolphins vs Unicorn that year, before their farewell tour in 2003. They returned for a "Five Nights of Fury" tour in 2005 and another five-show reunion tour in 2008.
In 2009 the band website announced the premier in September 2009 of Get In The Van a film shot during the 2008 reunion tour.
Special J, Eddie Eyeball, Lance Rockworthy and Andy Action got together for the band's next reunion tour, billed as "acoustically-charged, tell-all brawls," of which there were seven dates between Feb. 12 and April 16, 2010. These shows were a unique way for fans to connect personally with the band, as they were held at small, intimate venues, and featured heavy audience participation, through Q&As and singalongs. In between acoustic versions of selections from their entire catalog of songs, each band member told stories about how songs were written, life on the road and the evolution of the band. J Guevara was scheduled to join the band for two of the April shows, and several hints were dropped about plans for a "full-on electric" tour to follow in summer 2010.