When all is said and done, the Beatnuts (Psycho Les and Juju) will be remembered for their 1999 hit “Watch Out Now” and the 1997 Big Pun and Cuban Link collab “Off the Books.” The two singles were two of the most well-known rap tracks from their respective years. While the mainstream might consider them one song away from making the cut for an episode of VH1’s One-Hit Wonders, the Beatnuts deserve way more props.
They broke out on the scene with their 1993 EP, Intoxicated Demons, with then-member Fashion (Al Tariq), which consisted of a mix of raunchy humor over a colorful sound palette. Follow-up studio LPs Street Level in 1994 and Stone Crazy in 1997 were even more solid. Ironically, Musical Massacre (1999) might be their least impressive output of the decade, but it wound up being the group’s biggest commercial success with help from the aforementioned, Billboard-charting “Watch Out Now.”
Though never considered elite lyricists, the Beats—who also helped usher in the Latin rap movement in NYC—had a style of their own. Some consider MM their only shining moment, and that’s just nuts.