Friday, April 12, 2024

Fourfifths - Earth Wind & Fire - 1997

12" - 1997 - Conception Records  

Little slice of Seattle hip-hop history with this 12" released by the group Fourfifths in 1997 on Conception Records. This record label which was co-owned by Dany Clavesilla a.k.a Mr Supreme and Strath Shepard, dropped a bunch of good 12"s during the 90s and "Earth Wind & Fire" is one of the best in my opinion. 

The 12" is composed of the track "Earth Wind & Fire" (Remix & Original versions), "The Science" and "Mr. Supreme's Bonus Beat", with all the productions handled by the Conmen (Jake One & Mr Supreme).

Fourfifths was a duo comprised of the Seattle-based rappers Geoff  Gillis a.k.a Cuniform and Delon Williams a.k.a Sub Zero. In a recent interview I had with him, Cuniform explained that the names were just jokes…he was "Cuneiform", the oldest known written type font of the ancient Egyptians, and Delon was Sub Zero... the coldest.

Sub Zero (Left) & Cuniform (Right) - Photo courtesy of Geoff Gillis

Cuniform was born in Seattle and raised in New York. He moved to New York when he was 4-5 years old. Everything began for the duo when Cuniform, who was a young local house party and mixtape DJ in New York around 1991-1992, moved back to Seattle in August 1996. 

He first met Sub Zero with the help of Thomas Gray from Champagne Champagne/ Lil Lebowski, who took him to Sub Zero's house. They instantly clicked and they 've all been making music since…According to Cuniform, they weren’t really rappers at the beginning but just DJs who really were outside so it made sense… Cuniform lived on Union and Sub Zero lived on Madison, so it was easy for them to organically create and go out in the clubs every night with their homeboys… They were taught by Vitamin D, Mr Supreme and Jake One. 

There is nothing released by the group after that 12" because they went to college and lost interest in the performance part…they recorded a bunch of records with Jake One (all this material is on ADAT tapes !!!) but by the time Cuniform got out of school being a rapper felt corny so they just moved on. Cuniform explained that they were really just making fun of the rappers, it wasn't meant to be serious... they just had fun making the music. After that, Geoff Gillis went back to New York to work with Dame Dash/Biggs at Rocafella, and Delon Williams worked with Strath Shepard for Flavor Magazine. 

The wax is affordable and really easy to find, so grab it if you can. If you're looking for more material from the duo, you can listen to those tracks entitled "Analyse" and "Trust No One" from the album "Choked Up" which was released by Sharpshooters (Mr Supreme & Shane "Shureshot" Hunt ) one year prior, still on Conception Records.

Mad Props to Geoff Gillis, thanks for your time. 

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