Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Choice is Yours

Song: The Choice is Yours
Artist: Black Sheep
Album: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing is the debut album from Native Tongues Posse affiliate Black Sheep. The album became one of the most popular and acclaimed alternative hip hop albums of the 1990s. Group members Mista Lawnge and Dres were praised for their humorous and creative content. The album featured three major singles, "Flavor of the Month," "Strobelite Honey," and "The Choice Is Yours [Revisited]," the latter two both charting on the Billboard Hot 100.

The album was certified Gold by the RIAA on April 3, 1992.

In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums.

Black Sheep is an alternative hip hop duo from Queens, New York, composed of Andres "Dres" Titus and William "Mista Lawnge" McLean. The duo are native New Yorkers but met as teenagers in North Carolina where both of their families relocated.[1] The group was an affiliate of the Native Tongues Posse, which included The Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. It debuted in 1991 with the hit song "Flavor of the Month" and later released their first album, A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, which gained them praise and recognition in the hip-hop community for the album’s unique rhythms and intelligent lyrics.


Black Sheep was the first hip-hop act to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno after the departure of Johnny Carson. Black Sheep was also one of the first groups to parody gangsta rap (still in its infancy when A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing was released) in the hilariously over the top "U Mean I'm Not." In the song, Dres describes in detail killing his sister, his parents, and his letter carrier. At the end, he is roused from his sleep and tells his friends bewilderedly, "I dreamed that I was...hard."

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing charted three times on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart in 1992 with "The Choice Is Yours" (#9), and "Strobelite Honey" (#1). Black Sheep was also featured on the remix of Vanessa Williams's single "Work to Do" (#8). The group's relationship with its label, Mercury/PolyGram, was so good that the label allowed the duo to establish a boutique label through which it could sign its own acts. Mercury distributed the imprint, which was called One Love, through PolyGram's Independent Label Sales division rather than PolyGram Group Distribution. However, only one full-length title was ever released, the only album by affiliated act the Legion, titled Theme + Echo = Krill (One Love/Mercury/PolyGram Records 124 029), from 1994.

The group's second album, Non-Fiction, was released later that year. Due to virtually no promotion and a generally poor reception, the album managed only lackluster sales. Titus and McLean would separate soon afterward to work on various independent projects and left the label. This resulted in Dres's solo album Sure Shot Redemption and being billed as Dres the Black Sheep. In 2000, the duo reunited to record the title track for the movie Once in the Life, in which Dres had an acting role. In the same year, the duo released an EP called Redlight, Greenlight (EP). It was released two years later and was not covered by the media.

Dres was featured on the second Handsome Boy Modeling School album White People, on the track "First...and Then." In 2006, the group released an online-only album titled 8WM/Novakane. 8WM stands for Women with Women with Weed with Wine with Me. Shortly before the album's release, Mista Lawnge left the group a second time. According to, he has changed the spelling of his name to Mr. Long and is working on a solo project. According to Dres through MySpace, although Lawnge was involved in the album, he is no longer with the group. Reasons for his departure were not given, but Dres says that it was amicable. Dres appeared on the 1990s remix of Nas' February 2007 song "Where are They Now?"

In 2008, its single "The Choice is Yours" was ranked number #73 on VH1's 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs.

The Choice Is Yours

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