UTFO (an abbreviation for Untouchable Force Organization) was an American old-school hip hop group from Brooklyn, New York City.[1]

UTFO
OriginNew York City, U.S.
GenresHip hop
Years active1983–1992
Labels
Associated acts
Past members
  • Doctor Ice
  • Educated Rapper (deceased)
  • Kangol Kid (deceased)
  • Mix Master Ice

The group consisted of Kangol Kid (Shiller Shaun Fequiere), Educated Rapper (Jeffrey Campbell), Doctor Ice (Fred Reeves), and Mix Master Ice (Maurice Bailey).[1] The group's best-known single is "Roxanne, Roxanne,"[1] a widely acclaimed hip hop classic, which created a sensation on the hip hop scene soon after it was released and inspired a record-high of 25 answer records in a single year (Roxanne Wars),[2][3][4] with estimates ultimately spawning over 100.[5] The most notable remake was done by Marley Marl's protégée Roxanne Shanté, which led to hip hop's first rap beef.[6][2] "Roxanne, Roxanne" was originally the B-side of the lesser-known single "Hangin' Out".[4] Due to personal issues, Educated Rapper was absent for its second effort, Skeezer Pleezer (1986), which produced one notable track with the song "Split Personality". EMD was, however, on one album track, "Pick Up the Pace", also featured in the movie Krush Groove.

In 2008, "Roxanne, Roxanne" was ranked number 84 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.[7]

HistoryEdit

The group formed in the early 1980s and were originally known as UFO. However, the name was taken by a rock group so they were forced to change it to UTFO. Kangol Kid and Doctor Ice were originally known as The Keystone Dancers and were a dance duet, before going on to be dancers for Whodini.[1] Eventually, they went on to form UTFO in their hometown of Brooklyn, New York City, New York. In 1984, the group signed with Fred Munao's Select Records, and, in the same year, it released its hit single, "Roxanne Roxanne".[8] The group's debut album was produced by R&B group Full Force.[1] Full Force brought in New York's sound and sampling wizard, Gary Pozner, to help create the sounds and the beats. This was one of the first instances of the new sampling machine, the E-mu Emulator, used on a commercially released record.[citation needed]

On June 3, 2017, Educated Rapper (Campbell) died following a battle with cancer.[9] On December 18, 2021, Kangol Kid died of colon cancer.[10]

The members of UTFO were the first breakdancers to appear on The Phil Donahue Show.[11]

DiscographyEdit

Studio albumsEdit

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[12]
US
R&B
/HH

[13]
UTFO 80 11
Skeezer Pleezer
  • Released: 1986
  • Label: Select (US)
    Cooltempo (UK)
  • Formats: CD, LP, Cassette
142 14
Lethal
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: Select
  • Formats: CD, LP, Cassette
67 2
Doin' It!
  • Released: 1989
  • Label: Select (US)
    Accord (FRA)
    Injection Disco Dance Label/Select (NED)
    BCM (EUR)
  • Formats: CD, LP, Cassette
143 30
Bag It & Bone It
  • Released: February 5, 1991
  • Label: Jive/U.T.F.O. Records[1]
  • Formats: CD, LP, Cassette, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As lead artistEdit

List of singles and selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US Hot 100
[14]
US Dance
[14]
US R&B
[14]
UK
[15]
"Hangin' Out/Roxanne, Roxanne"[16] 1984 UTFO
"Roxanne, Roxanne" 77 40 10 72
"The Real Roxanne"
(with The Real Roxanne)
44
"Roxanne Meets UTFO" (Limited Edition)
(with The Real Roxanne)[16]
Non-album single
"Beats and Rhymes"[16] UTFO
"Bite It" 1985 79
"Leader of the Pack" 43 32
"Pick Up the Pace"[16] Skeezer Pleezer
"Fairy Tale Lover" 36
"Split Personality" 1986 50
"We Work Hard"[16]
"Ya Cold Wanna Be with Me" 1987 43 Lethal
"Lethal"
(featuring Anthrax)[16]
"Let's Get It On"[16] 1988
"Wanna Rock"[16] 1989 Doin' It!
"Rough & Rugged"[16]
"If You Don't Wanna Get Pregnant"[16] 1990 Bag It & Bone It
"I'm a Dog"[16] 1991
"Lollipop"
(with The Real Roxanne, featuring Syncere)[17]
1998 The Best of U.T.F.O.
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

Compilation albumsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Colin Larkin, ed. (1998). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 350. ISBN 0-7535-0252-6.
  2. ^ a b "Yo Kangol!: INDUSTRY ADVISOR". All HipHop. September 1, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  3. ^ Palmer, Robert, ed. (August 14, 1985). "THE POP LIFE". The New York Times. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  4. ^ a b MacInnes, Paul, ed. (June 12, 2011). "The Roxanne wars". The Guardian. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  5. ^ Hess, Mickey, ed. (November 25, 2009). Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide. ABC-CLIO. p. 36 (xxxvi). ISBN 9780313343216. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  6. ^ Wilkinson, Dan, ed. (August 13, 2015). "The story of the first ever rap beef". RedBull. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. June 2, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  8. ^ Prato, Greg. "Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  9. ^ "Educated Rapper aka EMD of UTFO Has Passed Away At the Age of 54". HotNewHipHop.com. June 3, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  10. ^ Kreps, Daniel (December 18, 2021). "UTFO Rapper Kangol Kid Dead at 55". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  11. ^ "OldSchoolHipHop.Com - Old School News". Archived from the original on March 19, 2006. Retrieved April 11, 2006.
  12. ^ "Audio Two Chart History". Billboard 200. Archived from the original on January 30, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  13. ^ "Audio Two Chart History". Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Archived from the original on January 30, 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  14. ^ a b c "UTFO Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  15. ^ "U.T.F.O. - full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Roxanne Meets UTFO (track listing). UTFO With Roxanne. Streetwave. 1984. MKHAN 40.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ Lollipop / Roxanne, Roxanne (track listing). UTFO. Black Jam. 1998. 050-16835.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)

External linksEdit