B. Cox reviews West Coast hip-hop trio Tha Alkaholiks debut album 21 & Over, as it turns 30. The trio, made up of emcees Tash, E-Swift and J-Ro, formed in the late 1980s and were mentored by legend King Tee. After signing to Loud/RCA, the group started recording their debut album. The album would be a compact, but power-packed 35 minute effort that introduced this eclectic, but a serious group of emcess to the hip-hop game.
The group's style, which was based around a fun-loving times filled with drinks, weed smoking and partying, was not of the slapstick or parody type of music that many thought it would be. Going more of the route of some of the West Coast contemporaries like Cypress Hill, Pharcyde and Souls of Mischief, the 'Liks' sound featured hard hitting and funky sample based beats with capable emceeing while maintaining a feel good vibe.
The album featured the likes of Field Trip, Threat, the duo Lootpack (a young MadLib and Wildchild) from Stones Throw Records, and King Tee himself. The group and King Tee produced the majority of the album with E-Swift taking charge of much of the production credits. While none of the albums three singles charted on the Hot 100, they did catch on on the Hot Rap and R&B Charts and the group would gained a cult following in the coming years among West Coast fans and eventually worldwide due to their fun-loving demeanor while displaying a high level of emceeing and beats that could get the parties rocking or heads nodding.