Da Youngstas: Philly Illy Kids

Da Youngsta’s: Reminiss
From Somethin 4 Da Youngstas (Atlantic, 1992)

Da Youngsta’s: Crews Pop
From The Aftermath (East West, 1993)

Da Youngsta’s: Grim Reaper
From No Mercy (East West, 1994)

Da Youngsta’s Illy Funkstaz: I’ll Make You Famous
From I’ll Make U Famous (Pop Art, 1995)

I mentioned earlier about having a few posts on the back burner and I have to admit…one of them was above this trio of kiddie rappers from Philadelphia: Da Youngsta’s.

First, I want to know why they have an apostrophe in their name…shoudn’t it be “Da Youngatas”? “Da Youngsta’s” is technically possessive but what is being possessed?

Second, I realize that many of you are either asking, 1) who the f— were Da Youngsta’s and/or 2) why is O-Dub dedicating a post to them, of all the various hip-hop groups I could have?

Fair questions. The thing is – I never found the group to be that compelling BITD – they were unabashedly a gimmick group from jump, capitalizing on, presumably the same wave that produced Kris Kross, pre-Infamous Mobb Deep, Chi Ali, etc. With each album, you could tell how derivative their style was based on who they were jacking at the time. Their second album was arguably the worst case offender with styles – visually and lyrically – that seemed straight bit off any number of NY-area artists, especially Naughty by Nature and Onyx.

Yet, despite all this, they put out four albums, three of which on majors. Sure, for the early ’90s, that probably wasn’t that rare but you have to admit that it wasn’t like an everyday thing. Even more notable are the producers they got to work with: The Beatnuts, Marley Marl, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, etc. As such, all of their four albums still managed to produce a few songs that are worth a listen, just for kicks if nothing else (and here at Soul Sides, we’re all about “just for kicks”).

Some questions you should all consider:

1) How does a group that isn’t even old enough to have reached puberty going to cut a song called “Reminiss”?
2) What’s with the name “Da Younsta’s Illy Funkstaz”?
3) Did they really have it like that, as they claim on “I’ll Make You Famous”?
4) When they did a collabo with Mobb Deep, do you wonder if both crews looked at one another and thought, “toys”?

Next post: Shyheim’s greatest hits! (j/k)