Consisting of MCs Ryu and Takbir, Styles of Beyond take their inventive Los Angeles-based hip-hop to the millennium and try to propel the form into uncharted territory.
The group came together in 1995 when the two aspiring MCs met and freestyled together while on a break from class at Pierce Community College in Woodland Hills, CA. They were instantly impressed with each other's off-the-cuff wordplay and decided to start Styles of Beyond, a name Takbir was already using along with DJ Cheapshot. SOB released their first single, "Killer Instinct," independently on Bilawn Records in 1997. The song was video game-based and featured hip-hop cult legend the Divine Styler, a longtime family friend of Takbir whose older brother Bilal Bashir has produced for Ice T
, and Divine Styler
, in addition to helping out Styles of Beyond, including the title track of 2000 Fold. "Killer Instinct" was able to start a small buzz in the hip-hop community, especially in hip-hop mix shows and with critics. Styles of Beyond was even named Best New Artist of 1997 by the Wake Up Show, a highly respected hip-hop radio program. SOB released 2000 Fold in the summer of 1998 to satiate a demand in the underground hip-hop community. The group signed to the Dust Brothers' Hi-Ho Records at the beginning of 1999, and 2000 Fold was re-released by the label. ~ Stanton Swihart, Rovi