The Gift of Gab is most well known as MC, and one-half, of the rap duo Blackalicious. Along with producer/DJ Chief Xcel, the two have sold over half a million records worldwide, toured extensively across the globe and have had their music licensed by some of the most well-known brands on the planet.
Born Tim Parker, Gift of Gab spent his childhood growing up in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley but attended high school in Sacramento. It was there in 1987 that he first met Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley) and the two joined forces. However it wasn’t until 1991 that Blackalicious was officially formed at UC Davis College where the two connected with DJ Shadow, MC’s Lateef the Truthspeaker & Lyrics Born and author Jeff Chang. The group formed a collective they dubbed SoleSides and went on to release their own records in the mid to late 90’s.
Blackalicious’ very first single, “Swan Lake” was released in 1994 with many more to follow, establishing themselves as a major force in the West Coast Hip-Hop scene and resulting in extensive touring taking them all over the United States and Europe. Work on a full-length album began in earnest during which time SoleSides reconfigured itself in to the seminal record label and collective, Quannum Projects.
In 1999 Blackalicious released the A2G EP which featured the hit “Alphabet Aerobics”, solidifying the duo as a force to be reckoned with and establishing The Gift of Gab as one of the most talented MCs in the game. Blackalicious’ first full length album titled Nia was released in 2000 with their second album Blazing Arrow following in 2002. Both albums became a phenomenon and are still considered as two of the most important and influential Underground Hip-Hop records of all time. The group’s third album, The Craft was released in 2005 to critical acclaim. Soon after the group took a hiatus until recently, releasing their fourth album, Imani Vol. 1 in late 2015.
In addition to Blackalicious, Gift of Gab has had a long and prolific solo career that began with his 2004 album, 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, produced by Vitamin D and Jake One. With Blackalicious on hiatus after The Craft, Gab joined up with fellow Quannum collaborator Lateef the Truthspeaker and Bay Area producer Headnodic (Crown City Rockers) to create The Mighty Underdogs. The trio released an EP in 2007 (The Prelude) followed by a full-length record in 2008 titled Droppin’ Science Fiction. The following year Gab released his next solo project titled Escape 2 Mars, produced by DNAE Beats. The album featured the track “El Gifto Magnifico”, creating another moniker for the famed MC.
In 2012, Gab released his third solo record titled The Next Logical Progression, produced by G Koop. The album featured many guest artists including Martin Luther, Zion I, George Clinton as well as his Quannum brothers Lyrics Born and Lateef the Truthspeaker.