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3rd Bass

3rd Bass was one of a still-small number of white hip-hop artists to achieve wide acceptance in the larger community. Along with the Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass proved that white hip-hop wasn't necessarily going to become a watered-down, commercially exploitative rip-off of the genuine article, as so many white interpretations of black musical forms had been in the past. Instead, they were possessed of a well-developed lyrical technique and were respectfully well-versed in hip-hop culture and tradition. They helped set the tone for the way white rappers could credibly and intelligently approach the music, and despite staying together for only two albums, they managed to create a highly positive lasting impact.

3rd Bass was formed by Queens-born MC Serch (born Michael Berrin) and Brooklyn-native Prime Minister Pete Nice (born Pete Nash), along with African-American DJ Richie Rich (born Richard Lawson). Nice had been an English major at Columbia University and hosted a short-lived hip-hop show on radio station WKCR. Serch, meanwhile, had honed his skills battle-rapping at clubs and block parties and had previously released a solo single called "Hey Boy" on the small independent Idlers label. Both Serch and Nice were working as solo acts until producer Sam Sever convinced the two 20 year olds to join forces in 1987. Along with Prince Paul and the Bomb Squad, Sever produced their 1989 Def Jam debut, The Cactus Album (aka Cee/D), which was greeted with enthusiastic reviews in most quarters. Clever, good-humored singles like "The Gas Face," "Steppin' to the A.M.," and "Brooklyn-Queens" helped make 3rd Bass's name in the hip-hop underground. They followed it in 1991 with Derelicts of Dialect, which featured one of the first recorded appearances by Nas and contained a viciously funny jab at Vanilla Ice called "Pop Goes the Weasel." Accompanied by an equally humorous video, "Pop Goes the Weasel" became 3rd Bass's biggest chart single and performed some much-needed damage control in the hip-hop community: not only did it prevent 3rd Bass from getting lumped in with Ice, but by extension, it also distanced at least some of the Caucasian race from the whole phenomenon, opening doors for greater inclusiveness later on.

Despite their success, 3rd Bass disbanded in 1992 when MC Serch went solo. He issued Return of the Product later that year, and the remainder of the group, billed as Prime Minister Pete Nice & DJ Daddy Rich, teamed up for Dust to Dust in 1993. Neither was as successful or high-profile as the two gold-selling 3rd Bass albums. Serch, interested in discovering new talent, became the head of A&R at the respected, now-defunct Wild Pitch label, and later founded his own label, Serchlight Productions. Nice, meanwhile, dropped out of the music business and opened a store in Cooperstown, NY, that sold baseball memorabilia. In 2000, 3rd Bass reunited for several concerts. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

MC SERCH'S LYRICALLY SHARP, SOLO ALBUM IS AWESOME!
nicko252008
Mc Serch is the f**king man, this music never gets old. word
Super underrated.
jason.mcginl e y
3rd Bass made me feel accepted as a young Caucasian hip hop fan in the late 80s. Beasties were cool but didn't have much street credibility. 3rd Bass were the first truly "down by law" white hip hop outfit.
stazja01
Found these guys by seeding KMD and MF Doom. Love their production and flow. Musically talented and smart. Quality work.
mac700
Black, white, brown, orange...non e of that matters, good music and how its delivered... t h a t matters. Can't help but bounce my head to these dope a** early beats.
3rd Bass was mad kool. They had mad respect.
Derelicts of Dialect was the first CD I ever owned. The only caucasian rap group that was comparable at the time was Beastie Boys even though the Beasties were actually the first alternative rap band. Both ahead of their time.
Gas face to the 3rd base crew
I love this...f**ki n timeless
Why is being a caucasion rapper circa de 1989outta far rockaway an issue with pandora. At onepoint whenit didnt really matter. I thought they were Porto Rock or Porto Rican. They were down by law and did not bite any one style like Beastie Boys wid Run Dmc. Vanilla Ice wid Hammer and bitin Kane style. Most caucasian rappers were str8 biters i said as a pre teen, teenager and in my 20' s they have no style in rap thats original. Ony 3rd bass was like the most authentic style then.
Words of wisdom that s**ts thunder all day likin it yeah nice.....
I smell somethin I smell somethin funky ' its tha f**kin gas face s**ts funny as hell over 20 yrs old funny lol .
3rd bass let everybody kno that the beastie boys weren't a fluke- white dudes can flow too- ya'll realize without MC SEARCH we wouldn't have NAS? Know ur history and respect it as such! All y'all haters get the gas face!
I picked out Derelicts of Dialect as my first ever CD given to me by my Dad. I remember going to the record store (as records and tapes were slowly getting phased out) to pick it out for my birthday. I was really into their lyrics, very well thought out and there was a message in 90% of the songs. Check out Problem Child. Really great songs.
tremaynebank s
My favorite 3rd Bass record ever...I chill in bedstye drive a maserati...l i g h t skin i eat dinner like a soul man...
Leave a comment…
Pete Nice had to have been the coolest white boy I ever seen...
Pete Nice, Everlast 2 of the coldest MCs ever....
Become a fan of Twice the Hype at www.reverbna t i o n . c o m / t w i c e t h e h y p e
opened doors for frauds like m&m who never gives any credit to them or my man everlast pete nice was a beast
coreywms
Word to 3rd
lyrical assassins... . ' n o u g h said about 3rd base.
they deserve credit because they are good not because they are white. these guys are awesome and one the creative leaders for a period of time in hip-hop. NAS and MF DOOM first appeared on these guys albums. JUST PURE GREATNESS.
OMG.......I gotta get this on Vinyl!! Haven't heard 3rd Bass in so long!!
rap can be for blacks and whites dumbass.b ut some people jump on that bar too often
Jeremy, don't get it twisted. Hip hop is black music. So is jazz, the blues, reggae, R&;B. . . . e t c . I hate to see white folks jump on black music or some other branch of black culture and than think they deserve a cookie because they are some kind of novelty. Now if they can do it and respect the art along with the people than that's ok. But there not somehow special because they are white.
3rd Bass were just good. It wasn't about color, it was about creativity and flow. They were more traditionali s t than the Beasties, but still created some great, youthful music that reeks of NY City in the early 90s. Plus, they helped launch KMD, which later gave us Doom. I believe Doom is on Gas Face. Gas Face is just classic. The Cactus Album is all just classic material. Serch's fade was dope too. How did they pull it off? Skillz.
Greatness.
Afika Bambaataa. Rap aint black. ahh yeah it is. so sorry
As live as a limb attached to a cripple. Gotta love it.
ha! People are still making ignorant comments about a 2 decade old white rap group that held their own as well as any black act at the time and had a great sense of humor? You need to listen to what Digable Planets said on "Blowout Comb": RAP AINT BLACK.
traciwicklif f e
CLASSIC!
tc_neal
Get a box of Newports... and Puma sweats!
THE BEST white hip hop group EVER.

I said it.

"BUT MY BALLS ITCH"
Is that a fat Emilio Estevez smoking the cigar?
blknlovely1
they were the s#%$!. I loved these guys.
Never knew they were white!!!
I wish these guys never broke up. They were in E-F-F-E-C-T.
hey, at least they were entertaining for a minute. serch is cool. keep doing reality shows that aint making no cheddar. and give it up for raps archie bunker! always in a chair. with a cane. that's enuff right there. deuces.
If their career started earlier in the 80s they might have made it over the 1990s hump when hiphop turned into a gansta symbol. Some acts survived like beastie boys. But any hiphop that used glitter and flash was pretty much put to the grave til the late 90s when bits like puff daddy made it cool to be rich again. ;)
they could have been better than they were, I think they were trying to hard to be liked by blacks.

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