Ugly Duckling is an American hip hop group that formed around 1993 in Long Beach, California. Ugly Duckling’s members include Dizzy Dustin (Dustin McFarland), Young Einstein (Rodney Pleasant Jr.) and Andy Cat (Andy Cooper). They took the name Ugly Duckling because they felt like outcasts on the Southern California hip hop scene of the mid-1990s. According to the book How to Rap: the Art & Science of the Hip-Hop MC, it is one of the most prominent underground hip hop groups.
The group’s style is primarily a throwback to the kind of hip hop popular in the 1980s and ’90s. It uses samples and scratches as the foundation of most the group’s tracks, whereas many modern artists have given up sampling in favor of self-made beats and song elements. The two MCs, Andy and Dizzy, frequently alternate lines and punctuate each others thoughts, reminiscent of early groups like the Beastie Boys. It is known for humorous and intelligent lyrics, « lampooning the excesses of modern hip hop » and modern hip hop’s obsessions with sex and materialism.
Their music makes use of the original elements of hip hop music: turntablism and MCing. The group’s DJ Young Einstein employs complex scratches both on the record and live, unlike many modern hip hop groups where the emphasis tends to be on the MC. He is also the owner of the group’s unofficial mascot, the dookie gold rope, which is the subject of the song « Eye on the Gold Chain, » and is worn by Einstein during most live performances of the track. The group is renowned for their live shows, performing various antics on stage and making every effort to involve the crowd in their shows. They have performed in numerous countries around the globe including Australia, China, Japan, and Korea, and most of Europe including Poland the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.
Ugly Duckling’s music demonstrates the contrast of having grown up in an area known for gangsta rap and inner-city themes while listening to a variety of music, much of which was anything but hardcore. The band’s songs often incorporate themes such as love, forgiveness, and rejection of worldly values. Some songs include lyrics pertaining to the biblical end times. They also frequently make use of early hip hop hyperbole, where the primary goal of lyrics was to brag and self promote in an exaggerated and often humorous fashion. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugly_Duckling_%28hip_hop_group%29)
A Little Samba (Journey to Anywhere (2000))
MeatShake (Taste the Secret (2003))
Let It Out (Bang For The Buck (2005))
I Won’t Let It Die (Audacity (2008))
Elevation (Moving At Breakneck Speed (2011))
Turn it Up (Live) (2011 European Tour)