Music

What Went Right With… Now Born Click?

An image of a gas mask and the group's name Now Born Click by What Went Wrong Or Right With...? for whatwentrightwith.com

Now Born Click were an underground Hip-Hop group from New Brighton, Staten Island who had a short-lived career during the mid-nineties. Information about them is scarce since the group only released a handful of singles between 1993 to 1995 and publications were very scant when it came to mentioning or reporting on the clique. I can say that the main members were Born aka James Born aka Born God, Ill God, Bombay, and Solger. Some sources say there were additional members including P-Live, Bulletproof, Fred Da Flip, Nitty Wu, and DJ Fred-Low so let me know in the comments section if anybody’s missing.

Now Born Click were part of a Hip-Hop sub-genre that flourished during the mid-nineties, it was sometimes dubbed “Military Hip-Hop” but it wasn’t officially recognised. Borrowing and referencing military aesthetics and incorporating them into Hip-Hop was done by groups such as The Boot Camp Clik, C-N-N, Killarmy, Camouflage Large Clique to name but a few and Now Born Click were indeed one of those groups. Even the abbreviation of their name “N.B.C.” shared its acronym with the “Nuclear Biological Chemical” suit that is worn following any kind of nuclear, biological, or chemical attack, and maybe that’s why a gas-mask was sometimes used as the group’s logo.

The logo for Now Born Entertainment

The Now Born Click released a handful of vinyl singles, the first being “Now Born Soldiers/Mad Sick”. This single was released on Phat Wax Records in 1993 (some say 1994) and the two songs were typical of the group; head-nodding, rugged, underground Hip-Hop.

“Now Born Soldiers Remix” was then released on StepSun Music Entertainment in 1995 and it included better production than their previous version.

The group then left StepSun and dropped the single “Movin’/X-Fyles” on their own on Now Born Entertainment. “Movin'” was my personal favourite, it contained a haunting string sample, a rugged beat, an air-raid siren, and even some gas-mask breathing making for a very unique song (both tracks were produced by N.B.C. member Bombay). Unfortunately this single was to be the last official release from the group.

Since the Now Born Click disbanded, there has been a slow trickle of unreleased songs from the group including “Like That” and “Ruff Rugged”. Unreleased tracks like this prove that Now Born had enough songs to create an album but unfortunately that never happened.

Individual members of the group have also released solo material, for instance Ill-God’s unreleased demo track “Shaolin Temple” has made its way onto YouTube.

Born-God passed away in 2005, leaving his cassette-only release from 1994 (the very hard to find “Who’s That On The Track” on Goldfinger Records) as his lasting stamp on the genre.

It’s a shame that the group didn’t reach the heights of other fellow Staten Island MCs The Wu-Tang Clan because the Now Born Click had masses of appeal and the potential to be one of the greats from the golden age of Hip-Hop. It seemed like many rappers and rap groups who possessed credibility and genuine skills were being overlooked during the mid-nineties and because of this, by the late-nineties and early-noughties, real MCs were all but gone. All we have to remember the Now Born Click are three out-of-print vinyl singles, some low-quality, unreleased songs, and a bootleg mixtape. For me however this is enough to say that the group were a significant and noteworthy addition to the golden era. If their tracks were remastered and released as an official album there would be a sizeable interest from the underground Hip-Hop community because this clique were undoubtedly…

Mad Sick.

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7 replies »

  1. What about Binary Star , Athletic Mic League , N.A.T.A.S. , Hieroglyphics , Dayton Family , Project Born , Blackalicious or Cella Dwellas ? La Coka Nostra , A.O.T.P. , Fat Killahz and The Demigodz are newer (super)groups that deserve articles .

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