Twenty years ago today (March 5, 1990), the legendary West Coast hip-hop group Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. released their debut album New Funky Nation. The group of Samoan brothers from Carson City, California is a truly one-of-a-kind act, transitioning from a breakdancing crew in the late '80s to a hip-hop collective known for mixing live instrumentation with gritty gangsta rap reality.

Going on to release eight albums and work with the likes of Kid Frost, Eminem and Ice Cube, the crew had long cemented their street and musical legacies by the time Jim Jones asked them to appear in his "Certified Gangstas" video to, well, certify his gangsta. The "Too Rough International Boo-Yaa Empire" went from active Bloods to a crew of dancers to hip-hop legends over the course of their career. To help educate music fans on their important anniversary, we've compiled the 7 Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. songs you should know...

Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. "One Time"
RELEASED: 1988

• "From the island of Samoa," reads the cover of Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.'s very first 12 inch Coming Hard To America. Though born and raised in Los Angeles, the title may have alluded to a reintroduction, as the group originally found fame as dancers and amateur artists in Japan, after moving in with a cousin there to escape the pitfalls of their gang origins. "One Time," though, a particularly funky tale of tale of the avoiding the police, is the yin to the B-side's yang of "Slow Groovin."

 

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Club Nouveau f/ Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. "No Friend Of Mine"
RELEASED: 1989

• Club Nouveau, probably most famous for soundtracking Principal Joe Clark's rise in prominence with a remake of Bill Wither's "Lean On Me" for the movie of the same name, gave the Devoux brothers an R&B shot with a verse and a dance spotlight in the video for "No Friend Of Mine," a song about calling out frienemies.

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Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. "Psyko Funk"
RELEASED: 1990

• "Psyko Funk," a song about fucking up people who aren't partying hard enough, was a fitting introduction to the Boo-Yaa mentality. They were there to party, but were quick to get gangsta if need be. Just looking at them, we can't imagine that need being too often, but as Tone Loc can attest, the T.R.I.B.E. will fuck up your party up if you piss them off. "Psyko Funk" stands as the group's only real national hit single, putting them on the hip-hop map and pushing their debut New Funky Nation to #33 on the Hip-Hop/R&B album chart.

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Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. "Rumors Of A Dead Man"
RELEASED: 1992

• Initially recorded for their shelved sophomore album Good Times, Bad Times, this joint was too hard to let sit stagnant, ending up on the soundtrack of the film South Central, the gang-banging classic staring Glenn Plummer as OG Bobby Johnson. Essentially just Ganxsta Ridd threatening listeners pretty continuously over an oh-so-funky bassline, the song displayed the harder side of the T.R.I.B.E. as well as the group's musical chops, as they were still playing all the instruments for their production.

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Faith No More & Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. "Another Body Murdered"
RELEASED: 1993

• This unlikely collaboration was a standout on the cult classic Judgement Night soundtrack. The T.R.I.B.E. linking up with metal group Faith No More proved one of the more seamless groupings on the project, comprised wholly of rock and hip-hop collaborations in an attempt to exceed the maximum teenage angst allowable on a CD. The T.R.I.B.E. must have really felt at home, as they went on to release a metal-based album called Angry Samoans in the late '90s.

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Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. "Get Gatted On"
RELEASED: 1994
Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. f/ Eminem & B-Real "911"
RELEASED: 2003
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• After years of releasing independent projects to little attention, 2003's West Koasta Nostra album was released with the sole mission of uniting west coast artists. The brothers felt, along with a host of others, that Suge Knight's lingering choke-hold on the game was a direct obstacle to other artists getting "on" and getting money. Despite guest appearances from West Coast rising stars and vets alike, "911" garnered the most attention, not only for its Eminem appearance, but because he also produced it.

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BONUS: The Blue City Crew (a.k.a. Boo-Yaa before they became Boo-Yaa) segment from from a 1983 documentary called "Breakin 'N' Enterin." Bet you didn't know big dudes could move like that!

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