Newcleus will always be known for their sound in the Hip-Hop Culture
Old school hip hop group, Newcleus gained popularity in the early 1980s. The origins of Newcleus lay in a 1976 Brooklyn DJ collective known as Jam-On Productions, which included Ben “Cozmo D” Cenac, his best friend David “Dr. Freeze” St. Louis, and Ben’s cousins Monique “Nique D” Angevin and her brother Pete “Master Quadro” Angevin (all teenagers and still in high school). Many members (MCs as well as DJs) came and went as Jam-On rocked parks and block parties all over the borough. In 1981, Cozmo decided to create a recording group as an extension of Jam-On. The group included Cozmo, his wife Yvette (“Lady E”), Nique, and her future husband Bob “Chilly B” Crafton. The foursome originally took on the name Positive Messenger, but would later name their group Newcleus as a result of the coming together of their families.
By this time, Cozmo had begun to accumulate a collection of electronic recording equipment, and the quartet recorded a demo tape of material. With several minutes left at the end of the tape, Newcleus added a favorite from their block parties, with the vocals sped up to sound like munchkins. The track, “Jam-On’s Revenge,” immediately impressed producer Joe Webb, and it became the group’s first single, released as “Jam-On Revenge” by Newcleus featuring Cozmo & The Jam-On Production Crew in 1983 on Mayhew Records. A huge street success, the track became known unofficially as “the Wikki-Wikki song” (after the refrain). When it was re-released later that year on Sunnyview Records, it had become “Jam On Revenge (The Wikki-Wikki Song).”
In 1984, Newcleus topped themselves by releasing an all-time Hip-Hop and Electro classic, “Jam On It”. They also established themselves as the first Hip-Hop band, playing all of the instruments themselves live. They toured nationally with Cameo through 1983 and 1984, and they were part of the 1st national Hip-Hop tour in history, The Fresh Festival, with Run DMC, Kurtis Blow, Whodini, and The Fat Boys. Adding another all-time classic Electro song with “Computer Age (Push The Button)” and also a Breakbeat classic with “Automan”, Newcleus has solidified their place in Hip Hop and Electro history as true innovators and pioneers in the genres
Tragically, in February of 2010, Chilly B suffered a stroke and passed away. Cozmo D and Lady E continue to work on and finish the perhaps final Newcleus album, “Dreams In The Distance”. They also continue to tour and do shows all over the world as Newcleus along with Jam-On Productions original member Al “T” McLaran.
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