3rd Bass

From Academic Kids

3rd Bass was a pioneering early nineties rap group, notable for being one of the first white rap groups in history. With the Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass helped prove that white rap was viable both critically and commercially.

MC Serch (b. Michael Berrin), Pete Nice (b. Pete Nash) and DJ Richie Rich (b. Richard Lawson) were the three founding members of the group; Richie Rich was the only African-American. Nice was a student at Columbia University and hosted a hip hop show on WKCR. MC Serch rapped at clubs and block parties and released a single called "Hey Boy" on Idlers, an independent label. Sam Sever, a producer, convinced Nice and Serch to work together in 1987. Sever, Prince Paul and the Bomb Squad produced The Cactus Album (aka Cee/D), a critically acclaimed debut LP.

In 1991, 3rd Bass released Derelicts of Dialect, which included vicious teasing of Vanilla Ice, as well as guest appearances by KMD, Chubb Rock, and Nice & Smooth. The track critical of Vanilla Ice, "Pop Goes the Weasel", was the group's biggest chart single, and helped separate the two phenomena of Ice and 3rd Bass. Whereas Vanilla Ice was regarded as a culture thief who watered down the sound of rap, 3rd Bass managed to identify themselves as unambiguously white, but still respectful of hip hop's traditions.

MC Serch went solo in 1992 and released Return of the Product, which includes the second major label recording of Nas, a now legendary rapper. Nice and Rich teamed up as Prime Minister Pete Nice & DJ Daddy Rich, and released Dust to Dust in 1993. Neither act achieved much popularity.

MC Serch went on to work at Wild Pitch, a now defunct label, then founded Serchlight Productions. Nice retired and opened a baseball memorabilia store in Cooperstown, New York.

Discography

All albums released on the Def Jam record label.

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