The crew known as K.M.D.
first came to be known in 1989 as affiliates of Def Jam Recordings' highly talented trio Third Bass
, an affiliation that would one day prove its irony. K.M.D.
member Zevlove X contributed the concept and a compelling verse on the classic Third Bass
jam, "The Gas Face." The crew composed primarily of Zevlove and DJ Sub-Roc kept close ties with emerging talents Third Bass
for a couple of years, then went on to record their debut Mr. Hood
on Elektra Records in 1991. On Mr. Hood
, K.M.D combined lighthearted humor with divisive political rhetoric, but the overall sentiment was one of youthful positivity. The album featured production from the Stimulated Dummies and a guest spot from Brand Nubian
. "Peach Fuzz," a tale of young romance, rippled momentarily, but the crew could not capitalize on their connections to 3rd Bass
(even with a "Gas Face" reprise entitled "The Gasface Refill").
Two years later in 1993, tragedy struck the group after DJ Sub-Roc was hit by a car and fatally injured. Devastated and full of bewildered rage, Zevlove and the rest of his crew released the controversial Black Bastards
in 1994. The tragic death of Sub-Roc in combination with a newfound black nationalist ire produced a blatant and violent record. However, it was the album cover's artwork depicting a cartoonish Sambo-like character hanging from a gallows that caused the hubbub. The album was pulled from many record stores. The crew that got its start with Caucasian sensations 3rd Bass
now espoused a more militant racial attitude. Despite some inventive sampling including the use of Jody Watley
's "I'm Looking for a New Love," the album's frustrated angst did not catch on. Hip-hop at the time was not in need of a savior, what with instant classics appearing fairly regularly. K.M.D's heartfelt and political expressions would go mostly unnoticed.