Hieroglyphics, 3rd Eye Vision
Getting dropped from a major label has today become a badge of pride, but this wasn’t the case when East Bay rappers Del tha Funkee Homosapien (Elektra), Souls of Mischief (Jive) and Casual (Jive) went from “next level” to yesterday’s news in the mid ’90s. They returned to their hometown Hiero collective (which also featured Pep Love, Domino and Toure) and built an even larger audience on their own. They were early adopters of the Internet, using their website to sell a dizzying array of crew-branded tees and sweatshirts and forging alliances with skaters, snowboarders and purists with T-1 lines. By the time they released their first crew album, Third Eye Vision, they were probably more famous than they’d ever been.