Gift Of Gab (Tim Parker) and Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley) met at John F. Kennedy High School in 1987 in Sacramento, California and formed the group in the early 1990s. They released their first recording, "Swan Lake", on solesides records. The Solesides Crew consisted of the duo, as well as other friends of theirs they had met at University of California - Davis, including DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born and Lateef The Truth Speaker. The single was an underground hit, but label trouble prevented the duo from immediately capitalizing on their fame.
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Blackalicious is an American hip hop duo from Oakland, California made up of rapper Gift of Gab (born Tim Parker) and DJ/producer Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley). They are noted for Gift of Gab's often "tongue-twisting", multisyllabic, complex rhymes and Chief Xcel's "classic" beats. The pair have released three full-length albums (1999's Nia, 2002's Blazing Arrow and 2005's The Craft), and have been described as "one of the most popular groups in the independent hip-hop scene.". At a recent solo show (June, 2010) Gift of Gab announced that him and Chief Xcel were 7 songs into their new album, and hoping for an early 2011 release.