Rap royalty Boo-Yaa Tribe have landed in Aotearoa for Raggamuffin on Saturday, 20 February in West Auckland. The Samoan hip hop group from Carson, California are composed of the Devoux brothers Paul, Ted, Donald, Roscoe, Danny, David and Vincent. Their family is from American Samoa. They became popular after touring in Japan in the mid 1980s, where they were initially known as the “The Blue City Crew.” The “Boo-Yaa” in their name signifies the sound of a shotgun being discharged, while the “T.R.I.B.E.” stands for “Too Rough International Boo-Yaa Empire.” According to hip-hop documentarians, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. is “synonymous with hip hop in Los Angeles.

They first began playing music in their father’s Baptist church. Before anyone else arrived, they would play P-Funk and experiment with other forms of hip hop. Particularly popular in their South Bay neighborhood, they began to dance to funk music. The brothers then created the dance crew the Blue City Strutters and publicly performed. All members are former members or members of West Side Piru and Samoan Warrior Bounty Hunters. Despite their religious upbringing, the brothers eventually fell into the gang scene popular in their home of Carson, California.

After their youngest brother was killed in a gang-related shooting in 1987, they decided to turn their lives around and dedicate their lives to music because “that’s what he would have wanted.” To get away from the gang culture, the brothers decided to leave Los Angeles and go to Japan. While there, they were inspired to begin performing music again, with Paul “Gangxta R.I.D.” rapping in front of eager Japanese audiences. They toured Japan in the mid 1980s and became popular. Upon their return to California in 1988, the group focused again on making music and re-christened themselves as the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.

Their debut album, New Funky Nation, was different from most rap records at the time because the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. played live instruments on it. They have also recorded music in the rap metal genre, and Angry Samoans incorporated heavy metal influences.

Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. appeared on the Judgment Night soundtrack performing “Another Body Murdered” with Faith No More, on Kid Frost’s East Side Story LP, on The Transplants’ Haunted Cities LP and on the rock group P.O.D.’s Testify, with the track “On the Grind.” The group also had moderate success with their 1989 single release, “R.A.I.D.”

Source: MzzWest & Wikipedia