Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Divine Beings - Whatever Tracks

EP - 2014 - Dope Folks Records  

If you're looking for some dope 90's Philly Hip-Hop flavor, the group  Divine Beings is definitely for you. Here is the previously unreleased and shelved LP recorded by Divine Beings in 1993 and released on Dope Folks Records in 2014. This 6-track EP came out with the help of the legendary Kenny White (Underground North / Da Philly Street Buzz Magazine) who was their group manager.

From Left to Right : Da Gr8 - Kenny White & Air Smooth - Photo courtesy of Kenny White


Divine Beings consisted of Shawn White (RIP) a.k.a Air Smooth and Andrea Aston a.k.a Da Gr8, but Andrea Da Gr8 wasn't part of the group at the beginning... She was a solo artist. The Divine Beings was originally a trio formed in 1991 comprised of Air Smooth, Wise Truth a.k.a Kool Est and Saladean a.k.a The Dean.

The Dean : "The group's name started at Central State in Ohio... by a group of Gods that Air Smooth was apart of. He brought the name back home to Philly. Air Smooth was a MC and also did the production. I was a MC and hype man, Wise Truth was the DJ."

From Left to Right : Air Smooth - The Dean & Wise Truth - Photo courtesy of The Dean

When did Andrea Da Gr8 join the group exactly ? 

The Dean : "Drea joined in 93, we were all apart of a theater group called YOACAP (Youth Outreach Adolescent Community Awareness Program). We did hip-hop plays then we wrote and produced ourselves based around anti violence and HIV prevention... Drea was a solo artist apart of the Rap Underground North as we all were... our musical collaborations started as we started to travel the country with Woody Wood (of 3 Times Dope) doing our play. We did celebrity basketball games and performed at halftime. Black Thought was also apart of YOACAP."

1992 - On tour with 3 Times Dope, Kwame & Tat Money - Photo courtesy of The Dean

From Left to Right : Da Gr8 - Air Smooth & The Dean - Photo courtesy of The Dean

Divine Beings became a duo after that, consisted of Air Smooth and Da Gr8. Why did you stop?

The Dean : "Zukhanbeats... he produced "Fly High" for Jim jones, was also apart of YOACAP... We got close and formed a group called Barca Brothers. And DJ Woody Wood was our Manager... we remained family just went in different directions musically.

We still performed together... we did a song called "Revolution". With myself, Zukhan and Air Smooth. Drea did spoken word. The song was  crazy hot, but it was more along the lines of what me and Zu were doing and not what the Beings were doing !"

If you're looking for more info about their previous releases, the group dropped their debut single on Master Jam Records in 1992. It was composed of the lead single "Wreckyard" available in its original, remix and instrumental versions and the track "Loyal Land Lovers", fully produced by Air Smooth except the remix version of "Wreckyard" produced by Robert "Speedy" Johnson. 

12" - 1992 - Master Jam Records  

Do you remember how the connection happened with Master Jam Records for the release of the first single in 1992 ?

The Dean : "Kenny White.. he was our Manager...Kenny was major . He was a big reason the Underground North and the groups from Philly were heard and had a platform... and also Tab Edwards... Kenny made that single deal, Master Jam records was Kenny White ! "

From Left to Right : Air Smooth - Kenny White - Wise Truth & The Dean - Photo courtesy of The Dean

It was followed by the single "Funky Ultimatum" originally released on 4x4 Records in 1993 and on Reprise Records in 1994, with Air Smooth still on the production. It was their last release. 

12" - 1994 - Reprise Records

Mad Props to Fred Burnette a.k.a The Dean, thanks for your time. 
This is dedicated to Dr. Shawn "Air Smooth" White... Rest In Peace 

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