Thursday, June 6, 2019

Ground Floor

Noboby knows and understands why the group Ground Floor never gave a following to their famous first single "Dig On That / One, Two" released on Bandoola Records in 1994. Both tracks received recognition from the indy hip-hop scene at that time, "Dig On That" featuring and produced by Lord Finesse and "One, Two" produced by the group itself for Rockbottom Productions. 

12" - 1994 - Bandoola Records 

"This indie rap debut comes out rumbling, tumbling, and ready to roar. A creeping, high-pitched piano line advances over an insistent rap and abrasive backbeat. The bonus cut, "Dig On That", reworks the track, adding the rap prowess of Lord Finesse." - Billboard - October 29th 1994 

Photo courtesy of  Paul Boyd

 Ground Floor originally consisted of 3 members. ManhuntT.O the Funk Flow and J.D were Ground Floor front men... MCs and producers. They were all from Newport, RI and they can be considered as the first Rhode Island group to have a record deal.
To sum up quickly, everything began in the early 90s with a group founded by T.O called O.N.T a.k.a One Nasty Team a.k.a Oliveira N Thompson. First with another guy named Thompson then T.O added Manhunt. Thompson dropped out and T.O added his cousin JD... that became Ground Floor. 

Thomas McClorin was the guy in the back of Ground Floor, he handled all the street promo as well as booking shows throughout New England

Thomas McClorin : "We all met by a mutual friend and since I was the go to guy in the city's of Boston and Providence it all worked out. But yeah we were all just youngsters when it all began. The connection happened with Lord Finesse by one of our mutual friend who use to go to all the fuctions in New York where he befriended Lord Finesse who was already with Bandoola at that time along with Showbiz & A.G. "

Photo courtesy of Manhunt

 T.O and Manhunt were also affiliated with a Rhode Island crew named DFP (Dark Flow Productions), who consisted of T.O, Manhunt, D Woodland, Ron Hubb and Manhunt's cousins Wes & Maine. 

In 1994, Ground Floor was signed on the New York-based Label Bandoola Records founded by James E McMillan in 1992, who also started a management company called Ambitious Management at the same period. 
Bandoola Records and Ambitious Management were associated with 'Marquise of New York', which was the part for Promotions, Parties and Concerts. Bandoola Records, Ambitious Management and Marquise Of New York formed BAM.

After recording a last demo tape (For The Hustler In You / The Real M.C) in 1995, the group suddenly disappeared leaving a slight taste of bitterness... and for the so-called EP, It never came out ...

T.O : "It was a perfect storm of events… The owner of our label was best friends with Puff Daddy when the whole Bad Boy / Death Row beef started, we were in the middle of it all. He went through some things behind that and then ended up going to jail which are the main reasons there are a few others though. We actually didn’t get shelved, we were recording an album when all of this happened. On another note if the songs we were recording would have got out we would have blown up… We had songs with Leaders Of The New School, and was about to do a couple with Biggie...

After that, T.O and Manhunt continued their paths via DFP and Manhunt also focused on his solo career ... he released one 12" titled 'Tiamat War / Krypton' on Tiamat World Entertainment  in 1998. He also featured with Wicked and Cannibus on the B-Side of "Gone Till November". The song was called "No AirPlay" featuring Manhunt, Wyclef and Cannibus. He was supposed to sign to Wyclef Refugee Camp All Stars but he just wanted him and Manhunt was loyal to his crew. 

Mad Props to T.O, Manhunt and Thomas McClorin... 
thanks for your time. 


  1. Excellent reporting. A lot of indy fans have been wondering what happended to the group, why they never dropped a second single after the first one success. Keep up the good work!

  2. Great to hear what these cats was up too...


  4. Do you have the mp3 for the 1995 demo tape? cheers