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Tha Alkaholiks, also known as Tha Liks, was an American hip hop group from Los Angeles, California. Since the early 1990s they have produced hedonism-themed party music with a hardcore hip hop edge, powered by the beats of DJ and producer E-Swift (born Eric Brooks in Columbus, Georgia, raised in Toledo, Ohio) and the rhymes of J-Ro (born James Robinson in Los Angeles) and Tash (born Rico Smith in Cincinnati). Though commercial crossover success largely eluded the group, they maintained a dedicated following on their native West Coast, throughout the United States and worldwide.
The group’s follow-up album Coast II Coast in 1995 saw them attempting to develop their sound further while staying to their fun-loving roots, working with A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and expanding their lyrical outlook with tracks such as “21 And Under” which warned of the dangers of underage and irresponsible drinking. Likwidation followed in 1997 (see 1997 in music), and Tash’s debut solo album Rap Life was released in 1999 (see 1999 in music), both to mixed reviews. During this time they also formed the Likwit Crew, a close association of artists including Xzibit, Defari, King Tee and Lootpack.
The early 21st century saw a slight increase in Tha Alkaholiks’ profile due to the sudden Dr. Dre-powered rise to fame of the Likwit Crew’s Xzibit (whose platinum album Restless they appeared on in 2001), and they sought to take advantage of this with 2001’s X.O. Experience which saw them working with hit-making producers of the time like The Neptunes and Rockwilder. They also changed their official name from Tha Alkaholiks to the shortened Tha Liks, the reason being that many mainstream radio stations refused to play tracks by a group called Tha Alkaholiks. A DVD XO - The Movie Experience was also released just after the album. Though the album sold reasonably well, it was not as much as expected.