Columbus native J. Rawls started to make fans for himself in the hip-hop community as a producer when his tracks "Yo, Yeah" and "Brown Skin Lady" (the latter eventually something of a headphone classic) were featured on Mos Def and Talib Kweli's successful Black Star collaboration.
Unbeknownst to a lot of those new fans, though, his duo Lone Catalysts, with Pittsburgh rapper J. Sands, had been knocking around the periphery of the scene since the mid-'90s. The team began to make its own ripples in the last few years of the decade by dropping a number of well-received 12" singles and appearing on a few popular compilation series (Superappin', Hip Hop Independents Day) as well as putting out the six-song EP The Beginning, before finally tackling Hip Hop, their debut 2000 full-length for their own nascent independent label B.U.K.A. Entertainment. The Catalysts Files followed in 2002, also on B.U.K.A.. ~ Stanton Swihart, Rovi